Spicy Pan-Seared Tuna Steaks


These can actually be as spicy or not-so-spicy as your family likes. Fresh tuna steaks are marinated in a flavorful soy sauce based sauce and then quickly seared just before serving. Super easy. Super fast. Super delicious. Plus NO prep bowls to clean! Just one pan to clean and one Ziploc bag to throw away.

The marinade includes lime and soy sauce, ginger and garlic, chili paste (which can be adjusted to taste), and cilantro. Tuna is a drier fish, so the marinade also contains quite a lot of oil, but the marinade is drained off before cooking, so you don’t actually eat all of that oil. But it will keep your fish nice and moist. Tuna is best eaten on the rare side. It is so much more tender and flavorful that way. Nothing at all like dry tuna out of a can.

Marinate your fish in a Ziploc bag or shallow dish at room temperature for 30-40 minutes before you plan on eating (or prepare it earlier in the day and place in the refrigerator. Remove from fridge 30 minutes before you plan on cooking it).

This cooks very fast-only about 5 minutes total, so have your side dishes ready before you begin searing.

To cook, heat a skillet over medium-high to high heat. Don’t add any oil; the marinade has plenty of that! Remove fish from marinade, draining off as much of the marinade as possible.


Add tuna steaks to the hot pan and cook 3 minutes on the first side and 2 minutes on the second side.

You can cover the pan to reduce splattering, if you like. Tuna will be cooked about ¼” through, and rare in middle. Increase cooking time if you want it cooked a little more, but don’t overcook; it will quickly become dry.

DSC03825 .


Spicy Pan-Seared Tuna Steaks


4 tuna steaks (about 1 ½” thick)
Zest & Juice from one lime (or lemon)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp minced gingerroot
¼ cup soy sauce
1 tsp sugar (or low-carb sweetener)
¼ cup toasted sesame oil
¼ cup olive oil
1 tsp chili paste
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

Combine all ingredients in a Ziploc bag. Marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature, or up to 2 hours in refrigerator (remove from fridge 30 minutes before cooking).

Heat pan on medium-high heat. Remove tuna from marinade. Add tuna steaks to pan and cook 3 minutes on one side and 2 minutes on the 2nd side (cover to reduce splattering). Tuna will be cooked about ¼” around, and rare in middle.




Filed under Main Dishes

5 responses to “Spicy Pan-Seared Tuna Steaks

  1. I have never eaten fresh tuna because I can NOT get over the cooking requirement to leave it rare (ugly story…just trust me). Is it true that it turns to rubber if you cook it all the way through?


  2. Very nice pictures and very healthy meal. I’m transitioning into pescatarian (eventually vegetarian) and this looks delicious!


  3. Gina Pivetz

    I found this recipe a few months ago and it’s the only way I’ve ever tried tuna steaks so far. I make it quite often. My fiance and I are obsessed with it, which is why we haven’t bothered to look for other tuna steak recipes. It comes out perfect every time. Thanks for sharing it!


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