Living with multiple sclerosis, Learning to make the world accessible, Loving life with all of its challenges

Sesame Pan Seared Ahi Tuna is often a favorite treat when heading to a nice restaurant, but it might feel intimidating to replicate that same delicious flavor and sear in your home. But it’s not! While searing a tuna steak to perfection does take some attention to detail, recreating that restaurant pan seared ahi tuna is actually not nearly as hard as it seems and can definitely be done in your own kitchen.


Ingredients You’ll Need

This is a fairly low key ingredient list. The tuna takes center stage here, with just some marinade and seasoning to add some flavor.

Pan Seared Ahi Tuna

First off, you need two tuna steaks. We look for steaks that are at least an inch thick and because these are seared and fairly rare in the center, a fresh steak is definitely the way you want to work these. If you only have frozen steaks available you can still work with this recipe, but they are going to need to cook a little longer and can tend to be more chewy in the texture when finished.

For the sauce you’ll need, soy sauce, water, ground ginger, a minced garlic clove, brown sugar, honey, corn starch, and water.

The final ingredient you’ll need are sesame seeds. You can do a mix of black and white sesame seeds or stick with one or the other, depending on what you find available and your preference.

Starting with the Sauce/Marinade

Mix a quarter of a cup of cold water with the corn starch until corn starch is dissolved. Set this aside. In a sauce pan add ground ginger, garlic, brown sugar, honey, and soy sauce. Heat this mix on medium low and stir in some of the water/corn starch mix. The water and corn starch mix is a thickener that will give your marinade can give your marinade more of a runny or thick consistency. If you like it runnier, add less of the mix. A little thicker? Add more of the water/cornstarch mix. This is really a preference thing that you can play with as you make the dish.

Marinating Pan Seared Ahi Tuna

Flavoring the Tuna

Take half of the marinade and put it in a baking dish to cool. Put the other half of the marinade in a container and set aside.

Place your tuna steaks in the dish, cover, and refrigerate so the steaks can marinate. Depending on how much time you have, the steaks can marinate for anywhere from 30 mins-8 hours. The longer you marinate the steaks the more flavor they will take on.

Cooking the Sesame Pan Seared Ahi Tuna

Remove the steaks from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to cooking. If the steaks are too cool in the center they won’t sear appropriately, so you want them closer to room temperature.

Place sesame seeds on a plate and coat the tuna on both sides with the seeds by rubbing the tuna across the seeds on the plate.

Heat a non-stick skillet to medium high and add avocado oil. The oil is ready when it begins to smoke. Place the tuna steaks into the hot skillet. Sear the tuna for approximately one minute on each side. The sesame seeds will brown, and the outside of the steak will slightly char.

After each side has seared for roughly one minute, remove from the heat and immediately slice into quarter size slices.

Sliced Pan Seared Ahi Tuna

Plating the Seared Tuna

Once your tuna has been sliced, move it to your plate. Drizzle the remaining sauce over the top for flavor. Pair it with your favorite side and you are set! It’s time to eat!

Why we Love Tuna for an MS Diet

Tuna is a great source of Omega 3 Fatty acids, which is one of the reasons we love having this as a staple protein in our diet. Tuna is also rich in Vitamin D, which is an important nutrient for a multiple sclerosis diet, as it supports immune system, brain, and nervous system health, which of course we know those living with MS and other autoimmune diseases can use in their diet.

In addition to these benefits, Tuna is a low calorie, high protein meat. Dre far prefers this protein over red meats, as his body has an easier time digesting this and it provides a great source of energy.

We hope you’ll try your own pan seared ahi tun and let us know how it goes!

Please visit our Resources page if you are interested in finding some of the tools and gadgets Dre uses to make cooking accessible while combatting MS.

This page contains Amazon Affiliate links.

Pan Seared Ahi Tuna
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Perfect Sesame Pan Seared Ahi Tuna

Difficulty: Beginner Prep Time 30 min Cook Time 10 min Total Time 40 mins Servings: 2 Best Season: Suitable throughout the year

Teriyaki sauce


  1. Sauce

    Mix 1/4 cup of cold water with the corn starch and stir until it is completely dissolved.

  2. in a saucepan, combine all other ingredients except for tuna and sesame seeds and heat on medium low heat. Add the cornstarch/water mix and stir until desired thickness.

  3. In a medium dish, pour half of the sauce (allow to cool first) and place the two tuna steaks into the sauce. Marinate covered in the refrigerator for 1/2 hour to 8 hours, turning halfway through to coat both sides. Pull tuna out at least 30 minutes before cooking.

    Your prep time depends on the amount of time you decide to marinate the tuna. If you don't have time to let it marinate, you can simply coat it with half the sauce and then sear it, it just won't pull in as much of the flavor of the sauce.
  4. Heat a non-stick skillet to medium high and add avocado oil to the point where it begins to smoke. 

    Pan Searing Tuna
  5. Place sesame seeds on a plate, coat the tuna on both sides by dredging through the  sesame seeds and place into the hot skillet. Sear the steaks for approximately one minute until the seeds begin to turn brown. Flip the steaks and do the same for the other side. Remove from the heat and immediately slice into quarter inch slices.

    Cooked Tuna
  6. Serve by itself, or on top of a salad, or with a side of your choice. Serve the rest of the sauce on the side and garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.

    Sliced Pan Seared Ahi Tuna
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