Grilled Tuna Steaks With Asian Sesame Crust

Grilled Tuna Steaks With Asian Sesame Crust

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Special enough for any occasion and fast enough for a weeknight. I grilled it on a contact grill and after 3 minutes, it was a tender pink in the center with a crunchy sesame crust. The marinade was flavorful but a bit salty, so use sparingly as a sauce or dip.

Grilled Tuna Steaks With Asian Sesame Crust


1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup chopped scallions (white and light green parts)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
4 (6-ounce) tuna steaks
1/2 cup sesame seeds (white and black combined or white only)
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon water


  • Gather the ingredients.
  • In a large zip-top bag, combine the soy sauce, chopped scallions, lemon juice, sesame oil, and fresh ginger. Swish everything around in the bag until it’s well combined.
  • Add the tuna steaks, turning to coat them completely with the marinade. Press the excess air out of the bag, seal, and marinate in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
  • Preheat the grill to high heat; this can be a countertop contact grill, an open grill pan, or an outdoor gas or charcoal grill. If using a contact grill, set to “sear” or the highest temperature setting.
  • Place the sesame seeds on a plate or a shallow dish. Remove the tuna steaks from the marinade, brushing the scallions off the steaks; reserve the marinade. One at a time, coat the steaks in sesame seeds on all sides, pressing the seeds onto the steaks so they’ll stick.
  • Spray the grill plates lightly with nonstick spray and place the steaks on the grill. If using a contact grill, close the cover so the top grill rests evenly on the steaks; do not press down. Grill for about 3 minutes for a rare, pink interior; grill longer if you prefer your tuna cooked through.
  • If you are using an open grilling surface, carefully flip the tuna steaks with a pair of tongs after 3 minutes and cook for 3 minutes on the other side.
  • Remove the steaks from the grill and keep warm.
  • While the tuna cooks, pour the marinade into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Mix the cornstarch with the water to create a slurry and add to the saucepan, stirring with a whisk. Simmer for about 3 to 4 minutes, until the sauce thickens.
  • To serve, slice the tuna steaks on the diagonal into thin pieces. Fan the slices on a plate and drizzle with the sauce.

Rare tuna is safe to eat if you buy it fresh from a reputable fishmonger and use it as soon as possible. Note that mercury levels can be high in tuna, so don’t eat it more than a few times a month.
If you don’t like rare fish, you can grill the tuna a little longer until it is opaque throughout. The tuna will not be as tender, and its texture will be more like a well-done steak, but it will still taste good. Make sure not to overcook the tuna or it will become tough.
To easily prepare the fresh ginger, use the edge of a spoon to scrape off the peel from a knob of ginger. Grate it with a Microplane grater or the fine grating blades of a box grater. Another option is to buy jarred grated ginger, which is often sold in supermarkets in the Asian food section.

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