This Sesame Soy Grilled Tuna with an Asian marinade with soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, and ginger makes a perfectly grilled tuna steak that is full of flavor. It’s great with Sesame Soy Edamame, Asian Zucchini Noodles, or this Asian Kale Salad.
This easy grilled tuna with Asian flavors is as good as you would get in any restaurant and doesn’t come with a huge price tag like the restaurant dishes normally do. It’s marinated in a simple blend of soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, green onions, and sesame oil. This adds tons of flavor to the fish without adding lots of calories in a heavy sauce or oil rich marinade. It can be cooked on an outdoor grill, on a grill pan, or even pan seared. It’s so good and really couldn’t be simpler to make.
Before we talk about this grilled tuna steak recipe, let’s talk about the elephant in the room – cooking almost raw tuna at home. When I first made this recipe and shared it on Instagram, so many of you reported you would be scared to make this dish at home. But you shouldn’t be! As long as you are buying the right fish, you can definitely cook medium rare or rare tuna at home just like you would get in your favorite sushi restaurant. It’s easy, fast, and a really healthy option for dinner. And if you prefer things cooked all the way, that’s an option too. This grilled tuna recipe will work for barely cooked tuna or fully cooked tuna.
A Quick Guide to Buying Tuna
Since buying fresh tuna can be expensive and a little scary for some, especially if you are preparing it raw or almost raw, it’s important to know what to look for when buying tuna steaks.
- Type of tuna: There are lots of different types of tuna and most can be enjoyed raw or just seared on the outside. Ahi tuna, also known as yellow fin tuna, is probably the most popular but you can also look for bluefin, bigeye, or albacore tuna. Most stores sell tuna as steaks and many times, these steaks are cut to order from a large loin piece.
- Color: The color of the tuna should a deep red to pink color and should be shiny and almost translucent. Differerent species will vary slightly in color but they all should have a rich pink to red color. The tuna should never be brown or matte looking. This normally means it is getting older. Another sign of age is any gaps in the tuna steaks. They should be a nice whole piece.
- Smell: Fresh tuna should always have a fresh ocean smell, but shouldn’t smell overly fishy.
- Previously frozen: Almost all tuna sold in grocery stores and fish markets has been flash frozen at sea to preserve freshness. So unless you are buying tuna that has just been caught, it is almost always previously frozen.
- Frozen: You can buy frozen tuna steaks and defrost them yourself at home. Just make sure to buy high-quality fish.
- Markets: Whenever in doubt, make sure to buy your tuna steaks at a quality market where you can count on the freshness or a fish market if there is one available. Many grocery stores have fish counters with knowledgeable staff that can ease your fears about buying fresh tuna.