Smoked Pan Seared Ahi Tuna

Hi folks, Shane here.
Welcome back to the “How To Smoke Meats” Video Tutorial Series.

Smoked pan seared Ahi Tuna is one of my favorite tutorials because you will learn how versatile this dish is, in fact, I am going to show you a few different ways you can prepare this delicious, buttery smooth fish.

If you have never prepared Ahi Tuna before, I encourage you to practice a few times preparing Pan Seared Ahi Tuna without the added smoked version.

There are several individual steps you will need to prepare in advance and be ready to implement immediately.

Pan Seared Ahi Tuna is usually served rare. Smoked pan seared Ahi Tuna is usually served medium rare, so be sure to follow all food safety precautions.

All ingredients must be fresh. If you do not know how old the spices are, they are too old, replace with fresh spices.

  • Pepper or Peppercorns
  • Coriander Seeds
  • Fennel Seeds
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds
  • Raw Black Sesame Seeds
  • (2) 5-6 ounce Ahi Tuna Steaks
  • Kikkoman Teriyaki Baste and Glaze
  • Sweet Chili Sauce
  • Mayonnaise
  • Tri-color cabbage blend

Pour contents of Teriyaki Baste and Glaze into squeeze bottle and place in refrigerator.

Mix and blend thoroughly ½ cup of mayonnaise with ¼ cup of sweet chilli sauce, then pour into squeeze bottle. Cut top portion of squeeze bottle so opening is about ¼ inch wide, then place in refrigerator.

Place desired amount of tri-color cabbage blend on plate, cover, then place in refrigerator.

Remove Ahi Tuna Steaks from packaging. Rinse, pat dry, cover, then place in refrigerator.

In separate containers, place about ½-1 teaspoon of each spice and set aside.

Cover prep area with wax paper.

Pour peppercorns, coriander seeds, and fennel seeds or your seasoning selection into spice grinder.

Cover wax paper evenly with fresh ground spices.

Lightly cover all surfaces of Ahi Tuna steaks with high smoke point oil like safflower, then transfer ground spices to all surfaces of steaks as shown.

Transfer sesame seeds to stainless steel shaker and apply to both sides as shown, then pat with hand. Cover and return to refrigerator.

We are using an induction cooktop and cast iron grill pan to sear the ahi tuna steaks. Following the cast iron grill pan manufacturer’s instructions, the grill pan is lightly coated with oil and preheated for five minutes on low heat before increasing temperature to approximately 450 degrees F.

Place Ahi Tuna steaks onto grill pan as shown. Sear each side for approximately one and a half minutes, however do not exceed two minutes each side. Typically, the pale white portion of each seared side should be about one quarter of an inch.

Remove from grill pan and let rest for about three minutes before slicing into one quarter inch portions.

Apply sweet chili pepper sauce dressing to center of tri-color cabbage bed as shown.

Arrange sliced Ahi Tuna portions on top of sweet chili pepper dressing as shown.

Apply teriyaki glaze to plate and Ahi Tuna portions as shown then serve immediately while ahi tuna is still warm.

Once you are comfortable and efficient in preparation of pan seared Ahi Tuna, the smoked version is achieved through reverse searing after the Ahi Tuna is smoked.

The challenge to smoking Ahi Tuna prior to pan searing is not cooking beyond medium rare during the smoking process and being completely prepared in advance as if you were only serving pan seared Ahi Tuna.

Once the Ahi Tuna is removed from the smoker, there is no time to grind spices, prepare sauces, cabbage, or the grill pan. You will need to be ready to move from step to step as if you were a professional chef.

Depending on your specific smoker, bring the smoker temperature to about 200-225 degrees F.

Place Ahi Tuna steaks into smoker for about five to ten minutes. The microscopic smoke particles are attracted to moist meat so the Ahi Tuna will be lightly smoked as desired.

Remove the Ahi Tuna steaks from smoker, then immediately coat with spices, pan sear, slice, arrange on plate, and serve in the same process as previously shown.

Well, there you have it folks. Whether you are serving pan seared Ahi Tuna rare or smoked pan seared Ahi Tuna medium rare, try different seasoning profiles and smoking times to suit personal tastes. And don’t forget to keep detailed notes in your Smoker Log. I have included links to the equipment and accessories discussed so you can order or learn more about them. Bon Appetit.