How to Pan Sear Yellowfin Tuna Perfectly

A plate of pan seared Yellow Fin tuna Yellowfin tuna, also known as Ahi tuna, is popular in Japanese cuisine, notably in sashimi and sushi. The flesh ranges from light pink to deep red and the meat is moist...

A plate of pan seared Yellow Fin tuna
A plate of pan seared Yellow Fin tuna

Yellowfin tuna, also known as Ahi tuna, is popular in Japanese cuisine, notably in sashimi and sushi. The flesh ranges from light pink to deep red and the meat is moist and firm, with a mild, meaty taste. Low in saturated fats, sodium and high in protein, thiamin, selenium and vitamin B6, it’s a healthy lean protein. It shines when it’s pan seared. However, it has to be done right to yield the highest satisfaction. Here’s how to pan sear yellowfin tuna perfectly:

Choosing Yellowfin Tuna

When searing yellowfin tuna, only the freshest will do. Treat it as if you’re buying to make sashimi or sushi. Anything less will compromise the taste and result. Buy yellowfin tuna steak, at least ¾ inch thick.

Seasoning

When it comes to seasoning, it’s a matter of preference. If you like to taste more of the fish and nothing else, lightly season it with sea salt and pepper just prior to frying. If you prefer more flavor, the most popular way is to season the tuna steak in a marinade for at least one hour. You can create your own seasoning or find one in a recipe. Here’s one that‘s easy to prepare and works well to compliment the meaty flavor of the fish:

For 2 (6 to 8 Oz) yellowfin tuna steaks

Marinade
Marinade

Marinade:

  • 2 tbs of soy sauce
  • 1 tbs of sesame oil
  • 1 tbs of freshly-grated ginger
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • A squeeze of lime juice
  • A pinch of sugar

Whisk all the ingredients together in a medium bowl and put the tuna steaks in the marinade. Cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.

Pan Searing

This is the crucial part of the process. The trick is to sear the fish in such a way that the outside of the fish forms a crust and the inside is moist and rare.

  • Coat skillet with enough oil (canola oil, safflower oil or oil of choice) to cover the surface evenly.
  • Place it over medium high to high heat and allow the oil to heat up (about 2 to 3 minutes).
  • Once it’s hot, remove steaks from marinade and sear it for approximately one minute on each side. If you want it less rare, leave it on for another 30 seconds.
  • Remove from pan and use a sharp knife to cut it into ¼ inch thick slices. Serve while it’s hot.

Serve sliced yellowfin tuna with rice, over shredded daikon or a soy-based salad.

Using the right utensils can make pan searing easier. For more cooking tips, feel free to contact us.