Seared Ahi Tuna with Asian Avocado Salsa

by heidi on March 5, 2013

Are you a dinner recipe planner or do you fly by the seat of your desires once your cute striped TOD’s hit the front door of your favorite grocery store?

Seared Ahi Tuna ||

I wish I was a better grocery shopping planner. But then if I was, I wouldn’t have found these amazing tuna steaks at the good old Costco. And because I would have had a list I was compelled to follow, I probably wouldn’t have deviated from said written word. And then, I wouldn’t have shared these lovely meaty fishes with you. Meaty fishes? Oxymoron. But still.

Seared Ahi Tuna ||
When we lived in Venice, we didn’t have to buy fish from the good old Costco. We had Santa Monica Seafood which for anyone who has a crush on fish is like a the sparks that fly between Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper in Silver Lining Playbook. Why oh why did he not win Best Actor. His baby blues deserve their own award, stat.

SM Seafood had a plethora of fish, every single day. Stuff you’ve never heard of. But the tuna was crazy good. But given we were on the pacific coast, we didn’t always have to get our tuna from the store.

Nope, we had Jimmy for that.

Seared Ahi Tuna ||

Jimmy was our friend who lived at the end of the street. (Here he is last year when he visited us in Utah and popped the question to his soon to be bride.) Jimmy had friends who had boats. And they’d go out on those boats and head down to San Diego and fish. And fish. And fish.

And then he’d come home and we’d get the call. The call to bring the wasabi and soy sauce and pickled ginger.

Seared Ahi Tuna ||

And we would stuff our faces for hours on fresh tuna, caught that morning. For an entire evening we’d eat chunks of fresh tuna with as much fervor as a NASCAR fan gnawing on a turkey leg at the track. I know first hand, because I’ve done that too.

Come on all! Wave your leg in the air like you just don’t care. And no! I do not know this man nor is he my husband who does not sport a mullet. But I do like the title of this dude’s video.

Oh, but that tuna. There was only so much fresh fish we could eat, and we tried, washing it down with cold Kirins and unfiltered sake akin to a Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. I know, it was sad. So, so sad. That’s when we’d move to the cooked stuff, grilled and served with a sauce that was very reminiscent of this lovely recipe from Elise.

My husband was in charge of dinner choices for the night and whenever he’s looking for a recipe, his search always begins and ends with the internet. Yep, he’s a fan of a lot of food bloggers too. It runs in the family.

Seared Ahi Tuna ||

Tuna is a special fish, sort of the homecoming queen of the aquatic animals. It’s certainly a favorite around our house, and we’ve discovered a few cooking tips to keep in mind.

1. Choose a high-quality tuna, sushi-grade if you can find it. Many Whole Foods Markets stock it in their fish cases or you can order online and have it freshly delivered to your door. If you can’t find sushi grade, go for the freshest smell and reddest flesh you can find.

2. Sushi grade tuna is not meant to be marinated. Like a great steak, a simple sprinkle of salt and pepper is really all you need to enhance its own fresh flavor. If you aren’t a fan of that fishy taste, tuna is a great start for you with a meatier texture and sweeter, mild flavor. You owe it to yourself to give it a try if you’re a little shy with the fishes.

3. Another steak analogy: Like a fine steak, tuna is meant to be served rare. Pat the sides dry, and cook in a lightly oiled hot skillet for just one or two minutes per side to create a fine sear and just gently warm the inside of this delectable treat. Overcook it and it will dry out in a heartbeat.

4. To ensure even cooking, set the tuna out to come to room temperature for at least 20 minutes before cooking.

5. While tuna does have a small amount of mercury, the healthier benefits outweight the potential harm. Small children and pregnant women should avoid undercooked fish, which just leaves more for the rest of us. Thank you friends!

Seared Ahi Tuna with Asian Avocado Salsa

Yield: serves 2-3

Seared Ahi Tuna with Asian Avocado Salsa


2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 limes, juiced
zest from 2 limes
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 ½ red jalapeño chiles, minced, plus ½ red jalapeño thinly sliced
2 green onions, finely sliced
3 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 8-ounce sushi grade ahi tuna steaks
1 ripe avocado, pitted and diced into 1 inch chunks
¼ cup pea shoots
2 cups steamed green beans
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
cilantro for garnish


  1. Combine the ginger, garlic, lime juice, lime zest, orange juice, cilantro, jalapeno, soy sauce, honey, salt, sesame oil and olive oil in a large bowl. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. Heat a large cast iron skillet on high add the canola oil. Sprinkle the tuna steaks with salt and sear in skillet for 1-2 minutes, depending on thickness, on each side.
  3. Place ⅓ cup or so of sauce on a plate and place the tuna on top of the sauce with the green beans on the side. Add more sauce to the top of the tuna and garnish with avocado, jalapeno slices, cilantro and pea shoots. Dress the green beans with 1 teaspoon or so of the sauce and garnish with more cilantro and sesame seeds.

slightly modified from Simply Recipes

Thanks to those of you who made your opinions known and shared your thoughts on some of the upcoming tweaks to the blog. I really appreciate your input. After all, I’m here because of, and for you.

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Posted in: entrees,meat and seafood,recipes

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat March 5, 2013 at 5:21 am

Oh Heidi, you are speaking my language this morning!! I ADORE tuna and am on a huge avocado kick right now. This is perfect! Regarding Bradley Cooper, I agree whole heartedly about his eyes. Award-worthy indeed!


Liz @ The Lemon Bowl March 5, 2013 at 5:48 am

What a gorgeous recipe!! Loving the chili and cilantro. YUM!


Jenna March 5, 2013 at 6:25 am

This looks light and refreshing! I love a good tuna recipe


Maria March 5, 2013 at 6:51 am

I’m sending Josh over for dinner. He would love this!


Bev @ Bev Cooks March 5, 2013 at 7:48 am

This is like, all wet dreams combined for me. Dear Gawd yes.


Giulia March 5, 2013 at 8:25 am

Amazing! My favourite is tuna sashimi, spicy white tuna rolls and seared tuna steak. I make mine with a mandarin, cilantro salsa.


Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet March 5, 2013 at 8:26 am

This is gorgeous!


Rebecca @ Pavlova's Dog March 5, 2013 at 8:28 am

Reading this post on one of the first beautifully clear days we’ve had this year – I’m dreaming of summer!


Michelle March 5, 2013 at 9:12 am

Love the video and humor today! Needed a good pick me up since kid is sick and we leave for Cali manana!


Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking March 5, 2013 at 9:27 am

That salsa looks amazing! I love tuna. I love most seafood for that matter! I used to work a s a health inspector and there was this fish wholesaler that I had to inspect four times a year. I used to spend hours there just looking at all the beautiful cuts of fish. Clearly, I told my boss I was just working and making sure they were up to code.


Elizabeth @Mango_Queen March 5, 2013 at 9:32 am

Oh this is my kind of meal! Love all the Asian flavors in this. How have I not done this yet? Making this for Friday meatless day! Thanks for sharing the recipe, Foodiecrush!


Laura (Tutti Dolci) March 5, 2013 at 10:17 am

That salsa is the perfect topper!


Lindsey // Cafe Johnsonia March 5, 2013 at 10:20 am

I think I need to take a little jaunt over to Costco in a few minutes here and get me some tuna steaks. This looks FABULOUS.


The Italian Dish March 5, 2013 at 10:25 am

Heidi, this seriously is a stunner!


Wendy@chezchloe March 5, 2013 at 11:39 am

Ditto on the above. I’m always poking around your world here, loving it but rarely leaving a comment. But this just hits the spot and I must tell you that!


Tieghan March 5, 2013 at 8:04 pm

This looks so good, Tuna + avocado is awesome!


Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious March 6, 2013 at 1:43 am

I’ve heard of SM Seafood but I haven’t made a trip over there yet. Some day I will. The prices at Costco can’t be beat. Maybe when Jason finishes school and becomes an architect we can shop there weekly!

And do I see some awesome hand modeling? :)

Love seared ahi, btw. I don’t think I’ve ever prepared ahi myself – I get worried about overcooking it but I think it’s time to tackle this fish soon!


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