How to cook yellowfin tuna

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How to cook yellowfin tuna
How to cook yellowfin tuna

Ahi tuna, also known as yellow fin tuna, has an extremely meaty flavor. This healthy fish is an excellent source of protein, is non-greasy and very easy to prepare. To get a better taste of this tuna steak, heavily or lightly roasted, you can also bake it to create a different texture. If you are buying sushi-grade tuna steaks, you can skip the cooking step and consume them raw.

  • Preparation (frying) time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 4-5 minutes
  • Total time: 15 minutes


  • Ahi tuna steaks
  • Peanut or vegetable oil
  • Condiments or marinade


Method 1 of 3: Searing ahi tuna

Cook ahi tuna step 1
Cook ahi tuna step 1

Step 1. Choose fresh or frozen tuna steaks

Ahi tuna is sold in large chunks or fillets that can be cooked similarly to beef chunks. Choose very red steaks with firm flesh. Avoid steaks that have a rainbow sheen or look dry, and don't buy fish that look speckled or pale in color.

  • Buy 170g steaks per serving.
  • If using frozen steaks, defrost them completely and refrigerate.
  • The fresh tuna season starts in late spring and lasts until early fall. If you choose fresh tuna, it is best to purchase it in season. Frozen tuna is available all year round.
  • Ahi tuna or yellow-finned tuna from the United States or Canada is the best choice as it contains relatively low levels of mercury and does not threaten fish stocks. Bluefin tuna should be avoided because of their higher mercury content and the ultimate threat to the depletion of the world's fish stocks.
Cook ahi tuna step 2
Cook ahi tuna step 2

Step 2. Prepare the tuna spice mixture

Seared tuna is often sprinkled with spices that add an extra meaty flavor to the tuna. You can grate the steaks or use any other spice mixing method that includes ingredients such as garlic powder, peppers, and dried herbs. Try making your own spice mix by mixing the following in a bowl (just enough to cover 170g steaks at once):

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
Cook ahi tuna step 3
Cook ahi tuna step 3

Step 3. Heat the pan or grill

Tuna fillets and steaks can be easily seared on the grill or stovetop. Use a method to fully reheat the cooking device before placing the tuna in it. This will ensure even cooking and a good crisp finish.

  • If using a stove top, heat a cast iron skillet or other heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of peanut butter or canola oil and heat until lightly smoked.
  • If using a grill, light the charcoal at least half an hour before cooking the tuna. This should be enough time to warm up well and warmly before lowering the tuna.
Cook ahi tuna step 4
Cook ahi tuna step 4

Step 4. Sprinkle the tuna with the spice mixture

For every 170 grams of steaks or fillets, you will need about one to two tablespoons of the seasoning. Season the tuna on all sides so that it is completely covered. After you have coated the steak, let it sit to room temperature before placing it in the grill or skillet.

Cook ahi tuna step 5
Cook ahi tuna step 5

Step 5. Fry the tuna on both sides

Typically, rare tuna steaks are used, as their composition is more attractive than whole tuna, the surface of which may remain dry.

  • To achieve a crust on the outside and keep the inside half-baked, place the tuna in a skillet or grill and cook for two minutes on one side. Turn the tuna over and cook for another two minutes, then remove from heat.
  • Watch your tuna cooking so you don't overcook it. You can determine its temperature from bottom to top. If it seems like two minutes is too long for one side, flip the tuna early.
  • If you want to make sure the tuna is completely cooked, leave it warm for an extra time.

Method 2 of 3: Roasting Ahi Tuna

Cook ahi tuna step 6
Cook ahi tuna step 6

Step 1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius

Cook ahi tuna step 7
Cook ahi tuna step 7

Step 2. Grease a baking dish

Choose a glass or ceramic bowl slightly larger than the steak or tuna fillet you are baking. Use olive oil to lubricate the bottom of the bowl and sides to keep the fish from sticking.

Cook ahi tuna step 8
Cook ahi tuna step 8

Step 3. Butter and tuna dressing

Rub each steak or fillet with a teaspoon of butter, ghee, or olive oil, then season with salt, pepper and dried herbs to your liking. The tuna will look great, so save the seasoning as an addition.

  • The squeezed lemon juice complements the tuna flavor well, so add a little for flavor if desired.
  • You can also season the tuna with classic condiments like soy sauce, wasabi, and ginger slices.
Cook ahi tuna step 9
Cook ahi tuna step 9

Step 4. Roasting the tuna

Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake until the crust is more pink and flakes off when pierced with a fork, about 10-12 minutes. The actual cooking time will depend on the thickness of your steaks. After 10 minutes, check the steaks and see if they need more time.

  • Better to err on the side of undercooking and undercooking, as overcooked tuna tends to become dry and fishy.
  • If you want to dry the baked tuna on top, turn on the fry and fry the top for the last two to three minutes of cooking.

Method 3 of 3: Cooking Tuna Tartare

Cook ahi tuna step 10
Cook ahi tuna step 10

Step 1. Choose sushi grade tuna

Tuna tartare is a raw Ahi tuna dish. It's a light, refreshing dish that doesn't really require cooking, but it's one of the most popular ways to cook fish. For sushi-grade tuna, it's important to use this preparation method, as you won't be cooking the fish to kill parasites and bacteria.

  • For four servings of tuna tartar, you need 450 grams of tuna. Or you need to cook steaks or fillets.
  • This dish is best prepared with fresh tuna rather than pre-frozen.
Cook ahi tuna step 12
Cook ahi tuna step 12

Step 2. Preparation of the sauce

Tuna tartare is prepared with a fresh citrus sauce paired with very warm wasabi. To make a delicious tartare, mix the following ingredients in a bowl:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon chili, chopped
  • 2 teaspoon chopped ginger pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons wasabi powder
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
Cook ahi tuna step 11
Cook ahi tuna step 11

Step 3. Cut the tuna into small cubes

Use a sharp knife to cut the tuna into 0.3-0.6 cm cubes. The easiest way to do this is with a knife, but you can use a food processor to save time.

Cook ahi tuna step 13
Cook ahi tuna step 13

Step 4. Toss the tuna cubes into the sauce

Stir them together thoroughly so that the tuna is completely covered in the sauce. Serve tuna tartare right away with crackers or potato chips.

  • If you don't consume the tuna right away, the lemon juice in the sauce will react with the tuna and change its texture.
  • If you want to cook the tuna tartare ahead of time, leave the sauce and tuna separately until serving.

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