How to Sear Ahi Tuna

If you’ve never had the pleasure of tasting a seared ahi tuna steak, it’s high time you treat yourself to one of the leanest, most flavorful forms of protein on the planet. Ahi is the Hawaiian word for bigeye or yellowfin tuna, which are native to tropical and subtropical oceans.

When searing ahi, you’ll find that there’s generally no need for fancy oils or even aromatics like minced garlic.

To sear ahi tuna, preheat your grill or broiler on high and after coating the protein with seasoning, coat the grill or broiler pan with a light spray of nonstick cooking spray. Gently place the protein on the pan (keep the heat on high) and let it sear for two minutes on each side. When a side is done, use tongs to rotate it to the next side. Make sure not to cook it through. I made that mistake once and ended up with a tough slab of fish.

Once seared, slice the ahi tuna on a bias and place it on a bed of greens for a high-protein meal. You can also fashion it into a sandwich by placing the slices on a rustic roll and top it with Bell Pepper and Cabbage Slaw, or wrap it in a corn tortilla along with some cabbage, avocado, and chopped mango for taco night.

Given its steak-like texture (it’s not flaky like salmon or cod), ahi is often eaten raw or rare. It easily absorbs the flavors of any marinade and is best seasoned with simple ingredients so not to mask its flavor. Searing ahi tuna steak creates a slight crust that contrasts the meaty interior — and in this recipe, we used Chinese five-spice seasoning to further enhance the flavor.

How to Sear Ahi Tuna
5 from 2 votes

How to Sear Ahi Tuna

If you've ever wanted to learn how to sear ahi tuna, these step-by-step instructions will make the process super easy.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword ahi tuna
Prep Time 17 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes
Servings 1 serving
Calories 194 kcal
Author Rebecca Pardess


  • 1 tsp. Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1 pinch sea salt or Himalayan salt
  • 6 oz. raw ahi tuna
  • Nonstick cooking spray


  1. Preheat grill or broiler on high.
  2. Combine five-spice seasoning and salt in a small bowl; mix well.
  3. Coat all sides of ahi with seasoning.
  4. Lightly coat grill or broiler pan with spray.
  5. Sear ahi for 2 minutes on each side, or until desired doneness. Remove from heat.
  6. Slice tuna on an angle.
  7. Serve over mixed greens dressed with extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice.

Recipe Notes

The Nutrition Facts box below provides estimated nutritional information for this recipe.

Nutrition Facts
How to Sear Ahi Tuna
Amount Per Serving (6 oz)
Calories 194 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 2%
Cholesterol 2mg 1%
Sodium 221mg 9%
Total Carbohydrates 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 42g 84%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

How to Sear Ahi Tuna