Ahi Tuna Recipe (Whole30 + Paleo) – a simple and delicious ahi tuna recipe that is ready in minutes!
Does Seared Tuna Need to be Sushi Grade?
In short – most likely, yes. BUT, there actually isn’t an official “sushi-grade” that fish can earn by meeting certain standards. So, while some stores sell fish with that label, it really means that it is the best, highest-quality fish the store is offering and they would feel safe eating it raw. While there is no universal or government-regulated “sushi-grade” available for fish, parasitic fish (like salmon) are required to be frozen (at a temp much lower than your own freezer can provide) to kill any parasites before being consumed raw. Additionally, tuna is actually graded by wholesalers. But, again there is no “sushi-grade.” There is a Grade 1, which is the best grade tuna can get and is, most likely (and hopefully) what a store would consider “sushi grade.”
So, yes, if you are making seared tuna it is safest if it is “sushi-grade,” BUT knowing what you now know about that phrase and how it is completely unregulated, it may also be just as safe to ask a lot of questions before buying any fish to be consumed raw. Is it the highest quality fish available, is it a reputable store, etc. The Kitchn provides a good list of questions to ask here! It’s also important to use it right away after purchasing and make sure your cutting board and utensils are super clean!
Is Seared Ahi Tuna Safe?
I think when people ask this question they are wondering if by searing the tuna, it somehow makes it safer, even though the inside is still raw. In my humble opinion, the answer is very similar to the previous question. I think seared tuna is safer than a purely raw piece of tuna, but the inside is still raw. For that reason, I follow the same guidelines as discussed above before buying raw fish. The highest quality available (Grade 1 for tuna), use it right away and make sure your cutting board and utensils are super clean!
Definitely not sharing this with you to scare you by any means, but I think its important to be a safe/smart consumer of raw fish! Just educate yourself and you really don’t have much to worry about! Of course, only eat it if you feel comfortable! Me – sushi and seared tuna are seriously some of may favorite foods and I eat them ALL the time!!
What Goes Well with Pan Seared Tuna Steaks?
So you make this lovely, simple seared ahi tuna recipe … what should you serve with it?? Here are some of my favorites:
- a dipping sauce (see recipe Notes for soy-sauce related suggestions)
- anything avocado! Maybe some chunky guacamole?
- I personally think roasted broccolini goes with anything
- some cauliflower rice, sprouted brown rice, sushi rice or jasmine rice!
- for an asian-inspired vegetable you could do baby bok choy!
Alright, you guys are now seared tuna pros! Excited for you to try this super simple (but delicious!) pan seared tuna recipe!!!
Your go-to seared ahi tuna recipe! So simple and always delicious!
- (2) 1 inch tuna steaks
- 2 Teaspoons sesame seeds
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- Place tuna steaks on plate.
- Sprinkle each side with salt, pepper and 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds per side.
- Pat seasoning into each side to make sure they stick.
- Take large cast iron skillet and add oil.
- Bring to medium-high heat.
- When oil just starts to smoke, place tuna steaks in skillet.
- Cook for 30-45 seconds per side (or up to 1 minute if you just barely want it rare in the middle).
- Remove and let rest on clean plate for 5 minutes.
- Serve immediately with sauce of choice (see notes below).
- To ensure Whole30/Paleo compliance – use coconut aminos. For a gluten-free alternative, use Tamari sauce. Otherwise, feel free to use soy sauce.
- eat undercooked or raw foods at your own risk
Keywords: tuna, cast iron, oil, salt, pepper, sesame seeds, easy weeknight
This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Wooden Skillet!