I have an unconditional love for seafood. Unconditional. It’s just so tasty, and I can’t explain why. This sesame crusted tuna is unbelievably easy and quick to make. Searing it adheres the sesame seeds on so nicely and seals in the freshness of the fish.
The other day, I didn’t really feel like trying something at a picnic, and a friend
called me out reminded me that I had just written about giving things/food second chances. And he was absolutely right!
Today, I am simply grateful for that reminder.
And in honor of that, I decided to make a version of a dish that I absolutely hated when I first tried it and now enjoy: sashimi. Now I loveeee raw fish! And I spend way too much money on it! Recently, though, I visited the seafood counter at Nugget Market inquiring about their oysters and tuna. The very nice man behind the counter said that their fresh ahi tuna was not on sale (at $22 a pound, I most definitely passed) but they had just discounted sushi-grade ahi tuna steaks that were flash frozen in the freezer isle. Boo-yah!
I bought my tuna steak, let it defrost overnight in the fridge, and reveled in my home-cooked seared ahi tuna later that same night. Although sushi and sashimi have won my heart over and over again, I cannot help but think every time I eat it what my life would be like if I had never given it a second chance. Deep, I know, but seriously! What if we judged everything by the cover and never opened the book? Well, there’s just absolutely no adventure or fun in that. Let’s just say that I am always in favor of digging a little deeper.
After all, life tastes like food, right? :)
Sesame Crusted Seared Ahi Tuna Recipe (adapted from Kevin over at Closet Cooking)
- 1 Ahi tuna steak (mine was about 8 oz. or 1/2 pound)
- 2 Tablespoons of black sesame seeds
- 2 Tablespoons of white sesame seeds
- Kosher Salt
- Olive oil (or vegetable oil) for frying
- Optional: (Arugula tossed in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper), Teriyaki sauce, soy sauce and wasabi
Let tuna steak completely defrost overnight in the fridge (if using fresh tuna, skip this step). Lightly use a paper towel and pat the steak to absorbe excess juices. Cut steak to your liking–you can sear the entire steak as it is or cut it into a rectangle to get more even slices (I did the latter and cut my tuna steak in half to get smaller pieces).
In a separate bowl big enough to fit the tuna steak, add the black and white sesame seeds as well as a sprinkle of kosher salt. Using tongs, coat the entire outside of the tuna by pressing it into the sesame seeds until the steak is completely covered.
In a pan, add enough oil to just coat the bottom of the pan and preheat the pan to medium-high heat. Then take the tuna and place it in the hot pan and sear for about 45 seconds* on all sides (including the skinnier sides!). Tongs really help for this process.
Slice steak up into pieces and serve on a bed of arugula with soy sauce and wasabi. You can also drizzle some teriyaki sauce over them for flavor if you’d like!
* I like my tuna extremely raw (like sashimi) so 45 seconds on each side was perfect. If you don’t like your tuna as raw, sear for longer but I suggest that you don’t go over 2 minutes or else your tuna will be too dry.