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Ahi tuna, also known as yellowtail tuna, actually works more like a steak than fish. Most of the time it’s served rare (and rightly so); that makes it even more steak-like. And this recipe is so simple, it’s super simple seared ahi!
I know. Some of you are saying YUM…and some of you are saying “YUCK, raw fish, no way”.
If you like steak and you get good, fresh ahi tuna, you will think you are eating a steak with this presentation of simple seared ahi tuna. Texture, flavor, all of it. And the best part, it works so nicely with a big, bold, red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon.
The secret to making this dish is two-fold.
First, you must get sushi grade ahi tuna and have it cut thick – at least 1 1/2 inches – 2 inches is better. The thicker the cut, the better sear you can get on the outside while keeping the inside rare.
Of course, you can cook the ahi longer if you just can’t fathom eating a rare (really it should be raw) piece of fish. It’s up to you. But I recommend rare.
The second part is a HOT skillet. You want your skillet hot hot hot before you put your filet into the pan. A quick sear on the outside, about 1 – 1 1/2 minutes per side.
This recipe is a part of my article How to Serve Red Wine with Fish. But there are many variations you could do, including coating the filet in sesame seeds for a more Asian presentation. When I do that I like to serve the filets with the Wasabi Cream that is included as a part of this recipe.
Rub the tuna with the oil. Season well with salt and pepper.
Heat a heavy pan over high heat; throw the tuna in the pan and sear it for just a few minutes on each side. You want the middle to be rare. (If you insist on cooking it through, just make sure you don’t overcook it). Slice and serve.
Photo Credit: Joshua Resnick/123RF
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