Toasted sesame coated tuna fillet with soy and ginger glaze

Grilled tuna is a treat by itself, but why not combine it with some roasted sesame seeds and a sweet and savory ginger glaze. Topped on some sauteed julienne veggies, makes a perfect, light, low carb summer dinner dish.

Tuna steaks are easily available, precut and portioned, in supermarkets or even better at the local fish market. It makes for a perfect fish meal with minimal prep time. You will need to roast the sesame seeds first, in a pan with no oil. Do not let them roast for too long as the will turn black and bitter, plus the sesame will finish roasting later when we sear the tuna. As soon as the sesame seeds start to get golden brownish transfer them from the hot pan onto a plate to cool down quickly.

Next, we’ll prepare the glaze. you will need approx. 1 tbsp of ginger juice by grating some fresh ginger and meshing.  Alternatively, powdered ginger could be used for convenience but I recommend using fresh ginger, it’s worth it, the flavor of fresh ginger is amazing and incomparable to dried powder. This is a salty and sweet sauce with added ginger for extra flavor. Start by adding 2 -3 spoons of sugar in a pan on high heat. Do not stir, let it dissolve and caramelize, as soon as the sugar starts getting brown, remove the pan from the heat and add 1 cup of soy sauce. Let the sugar dissolve on low heat and as the mixture start thickening add the ginger juice and transfer to a bowl to cool down.

I suggest coating the tuna steaks with freshly ground black pepper on both sides, but no salt! The tuna is already salty enough and adding more will ruin the taste. Set the fish aside while prepping the veggies.

Any vegetables that are in season will go beautifully with tuna. I decided for some leeks, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, and green bell peppers. Cut the vegetables to a fine julienne size. Get a wide pan on the burner, on high, add some olive oil just enough to coat the pan. When the pan gets very hot pop in the veggies and toss them around, add salt garlic and a pinch of dried thyme.

Do not overcook them, sautee the vegetables for two minutes, then serve them on the plate while you cook the tuna.

In another pan, preferably non-stick, add just as little oil, coat one side of the tuna in the sesame seeds and place them in the pan – coated side down. The heat should be medium to medium-high, as you don’t want the sesame to burn and the tuna to be raw underneath. Look at the sides of the steaks, as soon as the color starts to change to a pale white, 2-3mm from the bottom, flip the steaks and continue searing the other side of the fillet.

Tuna should not be overcooked, a pink center, or dark red (if you prefer it rare) is perfect. Overdone steaks are dry and chewy. Remember when cooking fish 20 seconds is a lifetime (Marco Pierre White). It does take a little bit of practice to get it perfect. It’s always better to undercook than overcook the tuna.

When done set them aside, let rest for a minute, cut in half and serve on top of the julienne sauteed vegetables.

Drizzle some previously prepared so and ginger glaze on the tuna and decorate with some rucola and/or sprouts.


Note: preserve the remaining soy-ginger glaze in the fridge, it makes a great base for teriyaki and other oriental style sauces dishes. I will be posting recipes using this glaze in the future.

Ingredients, for two:

  • two tuna steaks
  • 1 cup sesame seeds
  • 3 cups julienne sliced vegetables (leeks, bell peppers, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, baby carrots) or other as preferred
  • 1 cup of soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp ginger juice
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • salt, pepper
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • fresh or dried thyme
  • arugula and/or fresh sprouts for decoration