Ahi tuna is a type of tuna that is divided into two distinct species: bigeye and yellowfin. And, with a somewhat similar flavor profile and texture, it’s also cheaper than bluefin tuna. It can usually be found frozen at Trader Joe’s or really cheap at your local grocery store.
Although I love salmon, it can be quite a bit costly. And tuna is safe, like salmon, and has a variety of serious health benefits (including being high in Omega-3s and vitamin B12).
A seared tuna steak is a little different from the canned tuna that everyone is used to. For one thing, it comes in an entire, beautiful raw steak that is far easier to shape than other forms of fish that might appear to flake apart.
You should use your best judgment if you are worried about eating raw fish. To be well-done, you can always opt to cook these Ahi tuna steaks all the way through.
But on the outside, tuna steaks are usually served seared and on the inside raw. Look up some recipe for seared ahi tuna and you’ll see that this way is almost always cooked. It’s bound to be served medium-rare as well if you order it at a restaurant.
I would recommend getting over your doubts and jumping on this bandwagon (unless you’re pregnant or don’t eat raw fish for some medical reason). Completely cooked tuna (like its canned counterpart) can be a little dry, but when the outside is a crispy, salty, savory layer and the inside is a soft, soft, tender layer, the flavor is so much improved and the texture is fantastic.
Plus, on the surface of the food, many of the bacteria that make raw foods more dangerous to consume are usually contained. When, as in this recipe, you sear the outside, you kill off the bacteria that can make you sick. The same goes for a fine seared steak.
The fact that medium-rare tuna is served accounts for its extremely rapid cooking time. In a mixture of soy sauce, oil, salt, and pepper, marinate the tuna (with some cayenne for some heat, if you like), preferably for at least ten minutes, or overnight.
Sear on each side for about two minutes for a typical ahi tuna steak (about 1.5′′ thick) (less time for rare; more time for medium). For this, I recommend using a nonstick skillet, or a very well seasoned cast iron skillet (fish tend to stick, and you do not want to risk sticking to the pan with the beautiful seared outer layer!).
It is also essential to get the SEARING pan hot before adding the fish. While leaving the inside raw, you want the outside to cook very quickly, so it should be as hot as possible before beginning to sear. Typically, I heat the pan for 3-5 minutes.
For a few minutes, let it rest, slice, and you’re ready!
On top of the sliced ahi tuna, I like sprinkling some sliced green onions along with some toasted sesame seeds and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
It’s delicious served with green beans or broccoli in a rice bowl and a drizzle of spicy mayo or any other sauce.
Or, serve it on a bed of greens with an Asian style dressing for a super healthy and low-carb meal. (We used this very fabulous soy-ginger one!).
Alternatively, this in a seared tuna poke bowl would be great. Poke bowls are usually made from raw fish, but in a poke bowl, I think this fish, seared maybe for a little less time than normal, cut into cubes, would be great.