Sesame-Crusted Tuna Steaks

Pan-seared tuna steaks crusted with sesame seeds is one restaurant treat that is so simple and fast to make at home you may never order it out again. The only secret to success is top-quality fish. Look for sushi/sashimi-grade tuna steaks (see notes) that are about 1 inch thick, weighing 6 to 7 ounces each.

Sesame-Crusted Tuna Steaks

Sesame-Crusted Tuna Steaks

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Restaurant-style sesame crusted tuna is a quick and easy dish to make at home and requires just a handful of ingredients. Serve with fresh salad greens, steamed rice and soy sauce and wasabi for dipping.


  • 4 tuna steaks (1-inch thick, about 6 ounces each)
  • 1/3 cup white sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup black sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil


  1. Combine the white and black sesame seeds on a plate and spread in a thin layer.
  2. Whisk the sesame oil and soy sauce together in a small bowl. Using a spoon, drizzle a little of the mixture over each tuna steak and rub with the back of a spoon to cover the entire surface. Season with a little black pepper, then turn the steaks and repeat the process.
  3. Dredge the tuna steaks in sesame seeds (sides included), pressing gently to ensure they cover the fish evenly and completely.
  4. Film the bottom of a heavy pan with a small amount of vegetable oil, then heat over medium-high heat until shimmering.
  5. Working in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan, add 2 of the tuna steaks and sear just long enough for the white sesame seeds to develop a little golden color, 1 to 1-1/2 minutes per side. If desired, you can use tongs to gently support the steaks and sear the edges of the steaks all the way around as well, 15 to 20 seconds total should be enough time.
  6. Transfer the tuna to a cutting board and repeat the process with the remaining steaks.
  7. Cut the tuna steaks into thin slices and arrange over fresh greens. Serve with soy sauce and wasabi for dipping, steamed rice on the side and a garnish of sliced scallions.


When purchasing tuna steaks to be served rare or raw in the center, be sure to shop with a reputable vendor and look for the designation of sushi and/or sashimi grade. While there are no actual laws in place that govern this labeling, when shopping with a quality vendor it means that the fish has been frozen according to specific guidelines to ensure that it is safe to be consumed raw.

These guidelines are as follows:
- Frozen for at least 7 days at -20°C (-4°F), or
- Flash frozen at -35°C (-31°F) for a minimum of 15 hours.