Ahi tuna (also called yellowfin) is a firm-textured fish that stands up wonderfully to grilling. This seared tuna steak recipe coats it in a zesty spice rub and sears the fish quickly on the outside, leaving it rare in the middle. With a crunchy exterior, a rich, buttery texture inside, and balsamic reduction drizzle, it’s a tasty, healthier alternative to steak.
6 tablespoons/90 milliliters aged balsamic vinegar
1 medium lemon (juiced)
1 garlic clove (peeled and halved)
For the Tuna:
1 (1 1/2 pounds) center-cut ahi tuna fillet
1 1/2 teaspoons/7.5 milliliters kosher salt
1 teaspoon/5 milliliters coriander (ground)
1 teaspoon/5 milliliters paprika
1/4 teaspoon/1.25 milliliters cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons/7.5 milliliters black pepper (coarsely ground)
2 tablespoons/30 milliliters vegetable oil (for cooking)
Garnish: 4 lemon wedges
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
Ingredients for making spice-rubbed seared tuna steaks
Make the balsamic reduction: Place the balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and garlic in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.
Make balsamic reduction for tuna steaks
Simmer until the mixture reduces by half. Turn off the heat and reserve until needed. This sauce does not have to be hot for serving. The reduction will thicken slightly as it cools.
Simmering until mixture reduces by half
Slice the tuna fillet into 4 rectangular steaks of equal size. In a small bowl, combine the salt, coriander, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Lay the tuna steaks out on a plate and sprinkle the spice mixture evenly on all sides.
Slice the tuna fillet and sprinkle with seasonings
Evenly coat the tuna steaks with the freshly ground black pepper, and gently press it in so that it adheres to the surface, being careful not to smash the flesh.
Evenly coat the tuna steaks with the freshly ground black pepper
Place a thick-bottomed frying pan or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the pan. When you see small wisps of smoke, add the tuna to the pan and sear the steaks for about 1 minute per side, or until the desired doneness is reached.
Sear the tuna steaks
Remove the tuna steaks and place them on a cutting board. For presentation, cut each steak diagonally into 4 to 5 slices and fan on a plate. Serve with a small amount of sauce drizzled alongside. Garnish with additional lemon if desired. Enjoy.