Sesame Seed Crusted Ahi Tuna

Simple ingredients often bring out the best in a protein, especially when you’ve got high quality meat, fish or poultry. People often try to complicate dishes when usually focusing on your preparation and cooking truly makes the protein’s inner beauty and flavors shine. Try this simple ahi tuna dish for something fast, easy, healthy and delicious. Pair it with some greens and you’re good to go.


For the Ahi Tuna:

  • Two fresh or recently thawed Ahi Tuna steaks
  • 3/4 Cup Sesame seeds (toasted or not)
  • Sesame oil
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh ground black pepper

For the 321 Sauce:


  1. Take tuna steaks out of the fridge and let them reach room temperature (15-20 minutes). Note the direction of the fibers in the fish so you know how to slice your steaks later.
  2. Prepare your grill for high heat.
  3. Coat your steaks in olive oil and a dash of sesame oil. Note: a little sesame oil goes a long way. A couple drops on each side will do!
  4. Add fresh ground black pepper to each side of of the tuna.
  5. Cover the steaks in a thin layer of sesame seeds. Gently press them into the steak so they don’t easily brush off.
  6. Sear the steaks over high heat two minutes a side. Don’t leave the grill! This will go very fast. You want to sear the outside of the steaks without burning your sesame seeds. It’s ok if some seeds char a bit. I also like to carefully sear the outer edges.
  7. Remove the fish from the grill and let rest 15 minutes.
  8. Slice into thin strips perpendicular to the grain you took note of in step 1. Your steaks should be rare (bright pink) in the middle. If not, stop here and make tuna salad.
  9. Combine ingredients for your “321 Sauce” and drizzle over your fish or serve on the side in a sauce dish.
  10. Enjoy!

Tuna steaks are another healthy way of enjoying an already healthy method of cooking – grilling. Each of these fillets contains only about two grams of fat and about 200 calories. This dish will easily serve two along with some mixed greens and veggies.


  1. Joe McCarthy says:

    We cooked up a variant of this for Christmas Eve dinner, intentionally substituting Thai Kitchen Red Chili Paste for the Sriracha Hot Thai Sauce and unintentionally omitting the sesame oil. Also added some stir fried bok choy and seasoned white rice as sides, which I found at another web site (though I substituted 3-2-1 sauce here for the bok choy).

    I posted a few notes from the food – and wine – mashup on my wine blog, highlighting the exciting new discovery (for me) of pairing ahi tuna and Mourvedre.

    • Joe says:

      Sounds great, thanks for the comments…sounds like an awesome Christmas Eve Dinner. Sriracha can get pretty spicy…I look forward to reading your blog.

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