Grilled Tuna Steaks With Asian Sesame Crust

Grilled tuna steaks with Asian sesame crust recipe

The Spruce / Victoria Heydt

  • Total: 16 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 6 mins
  • Marinate: 20 mins
  • Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
396 Calories
17g Fat
7g Carbs
52g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 396
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 22%
Saturated Fat 3g 17%
Cholesterol 77mg 26%
Sodium 2237mg 97%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 3%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Protein 52g
Calcium 132mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

These marinated and grilled tuna steaks cook up quickly on an indoor grill; either an electric model or a grill pan will work well. They're quick and easy enough for a weeknight but special enough for company. They're also healthy, with lots of omega-3 fatty acids and protein.

Marinated in a soy-ginger sauce, these tuna steaks have lots of flavor. The meaty, tender fish pairs perfectly with the salty, tangy sauce. And since they only marinate for 20 minutes before being quickly grilled, they are ready in about half an hour.

Tuna steaks pair well with perfectly cooked rice and a green vegetable like sugar snap peas or asparagus.


  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup scallions (chopped, white and light green parts)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger (grated)
  • 4 (6-ounce) tuna steaks
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds (white and black combined or white only)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for grilled tuna steaks
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  2. In a large zip-top bag, combine the soy sauce, chopped scallions, lemon juice, sesame oil, and fresh ginger. Swish everything around in the bag until it's well combined.

    Marinade mixed in a zip-top bag
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  3. Add the tuna steaks, turning within the bag to coat them completely with the marinade. Press the excess air out of the bag, seal, and marinate in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.

    Preheat a countertop contact grill to "sear" or the highest temperature setting, or preheat an open grill pan over high heat.

    Tuna steaks added to the marinade in zip-top bag
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  4. Place the sesame seeds on a plate or a shallow dish. Remove the tuna steaks from the marinade bag, brushing the scallions off the steaks and reserving the marinade. One at a time, coat the steaks in sesame seeds on all sides, pressing the seeds into the steak so they'll stick.

    Tuna covered in sesame seeds
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt 
  5. Spray the grill plates lightly with nonstick spray and place the steaks on the grill, closing the cover so the top grill rests evenly on the steaks. Do not press down. Grill for about 3 minutes for a rare, pink interior. Grill longer if you prefer your tuna cooked through. Remove from the grill and keep warm.

    Tuna on the grill
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  6. If you are using an open grilling surface, carefully flip the tuna steaks with a pair of tongs after 3 minutes and cook for 3 minutes on the other side.

    Tuna steaks on the grill
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  7. While the tuna cooks, pour the marinade into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the cornstarch, stirring with a whisk. Simmer for about 3 to 4 minutes, until the sauce thickens.

    Heating marinade to serve with the tuna steaks
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  8. To serve, slice the tuna steaks on the diagonal into thin slices. Fan the slices on a plate and drizzle with the sauce.

    Grilled tuna steaks fanned on a plate

    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt


  • Rare tuna is safe to eat if you buy it fresh from a reputable fishmonger and use it as soon as possible. Note that mercury levels can be high in tuna, so don't eat it more than a few times a week.
  • If you don't like rare fish, you can grill the tuna a little longer until it is opaque throughout. The tuna will not be as tender, more like a well-done steak but will still taste good. Don't overcook or it will become tough.
  • To easily prepare the fresh ginger, use the edge of a spoon to scrape the peel off a knob of ginger and grate it with a Microplane grater or the fine grating blades of a box grater. Another option is to buy jarred grated ginger. It's often sold in supermarkets in the Asian food section.

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