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Seared Tuna Steaks Recipe with Spicy Sriracha Sauce

If you’re looking for a quick and easy dinner that’s restaurant-worthy, then you’ve got to try this seared ahi tuna steak recipe. A quick and easy marinade gives the fish an incredible flavor, and an optional Creamy Sriracha Sauce takes it over-the-top. For the best texture, the tuna steak should be cooked until it’s rare (or at most, medium-rare) on the inside. This will ensure it stays tender and silky (if over-cooked, the texture can be dry). Be sure to buy good quality, fresh tuna steaks that are 1 ½- to 2-inches thick—you will need either 1 large or two smaller tuna steaks (check out my shopping tips and watch me make this recipe in this video). For spicy tuna bowls, serve it over this Edamame Sushi Salad—the combination is sublime!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Marinating time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: seared tuna recipe, spicy tuna bowls, tuna steak recipe
Servings: 2 -3 people


  • 1 pound fresh tuna steak (you can use ahi or yellowfin tuna, wild caught recommended), 1 ½-to 2-inches thick
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons neutral vegetable oil (such as grapeseed or safflower), divided
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For Serving (optional)

  • Quinoa Edamame Salad, recipe link in header
  • Spicy Sriracha Sauce, recipe link in header


Marinate the tuna

  • Pat the tuna steak(s) dry and arrange it in a similar-sized dish or zip-top bag.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the tamari, 1 tablespoon of the oil, lime juice, garlic and honey. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the marinade over the tuna, turning the steak to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or for up to 2 hours, turning the fish occasionally.

Sear the tuna

  • Remove the tuna steak from the marinade and pat it dry using paper towels (this is important, so don’t skip this step). Season the steak with salt and pepper.
  • Coat a medium cast iron or non-stick skillet with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, and place it over medium-high heat.
  • Once the pan is hot and the oil is shimmering, arrange the tuna in the skillet. Cook 2-3 minutes, or until browned on the bottom. Flip the steak over and cook until browned on the other side (once the steak is browned feel free to flip it a few times to even out the sear)—it will take about 2-3 minutes longer total for rare.


  • Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes. Slice the tuna against the grain. If you’d like, pile arrange the tuna over the Edamame Sushi Salad and drizzle with the Spicy Sriracha Sauce.


Recipe tips:
  • Use a heavy-bottom pan, such as a cast iron skillet, for this seared tuna recipe. The pan will hold its heat, giving you a better crust on the outside of the fish. 
  • You can also grill the tuna if you prefer. Preheat a grill to medium-high. Once the grill is hot, clean and oil the grill grates. Cook the tuna until grill marks form on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Flip it over and cook until grill marks form on the other side, about 2 minutes longer.
  • Be sure to pat the tuna dry when it comes out of the marinade. This will ensure that it sears in the pan instead of steams. 
  • A thin fish spatula makes it easy to flip the tuna steak in the pan. 
  • While the tuna is delicious on its own, a Spicy Sriracha Mayo Sauce takes it over-the-top. To make spicy tuna bowls, arrange the tuna slices over this Edamame Sushi Salad or this Foolproof Sushi Rice!