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Sesame Crusted Seared Ahi Tuna with Cilantro Lime Aioli Recipe

  • Author: Shawn Williams
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Asian


Sesame crusted yellowfin tuna that is pan-seared and served rare over a bed of rice. Garnished with a homemade spicy cilantr0-lime aioli and soy sauce.


  • 2 6-8 ounce yellowfin or bigeye tuna filets (roughly 3/41 inch thick)
  • Jasmine or brown rice (2 servings or 3/4 cup dry)
  • 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Canola oil, for cooking
  • Low sodium soy sauce, for serving
  • Sliced jalapeno, for serving
  • Lime wedges, for serving

Cilantro Lime Aioli

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 lime, juice squeezed and zested
  • half a jalapeno, cored and seeds removed (optional)
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Combine all aioli ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Let rest in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving. Aioli can be made ahead of time. Prepare rice according to the instructions on the package.
  2. Season tuna all over with salt and pepper. Place sesame seeds on a plate and mix to combine. Press filets into the seeds until completely covered. If it’s easier, you can also sprinkle filets all over with sesame seeds. I like to liberally cover.
  3. Heat oil in a cast-iron skillet or pan over medium-high heat. Let pan become hot before proceeding. Place filets face down and sear for 90 seconds. Flip and sear for an additional 90 seconds. Remove from the heat and set on a cutting board to rest for 3 minutes before slicing.
  4. Slice filets against the natural grain and serve over rice drizzled with soy sauce and aioli. Garnish with jalapeno slices and lime wedges.


Tuna will be very rare/raw in the middle if prepared as outlined above. If you prefer a slightly pink center, sear for 2-3 minutes per side.


  • Serving Size: 1 filet with aioli, no rice
  • Calories: 529
  • Sugar: 2.1g
  • Sodium: 885mg
  • Fat: 27.9g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.8g
  • Carbohydrates: 12g
  • Fiber: 2.2g
  • Protein: 57g
  • Cholesterol: 110mg

Keywords: yellowfin tuna recipe, pan seared tuna, sesame crusted tuna


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