Tuna Tataki

You’ve heard of seared ahi tuna steaks, right? Well that’s essentially tataki. The flesh is flash-seared so it’s crispy on the outside but still rare inside, resulting in a delicious contrast of textures and temperatures. Thinly sliced and arranged on a platter, it makes for an elegant first course, especially when topped with crunchy toasted sesame seeds and tahini vinaigrette. The rich, nutty flavor of the sesame seeds is a perfect match for the rare tuna.

Image - Tuna Tataki
Tuna Tataki
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
10 mins
Course: Appetizer
Servings: 4 people
Tahini, lemon, and honey vinaigrette
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 Tbsp tahini
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 1/2 lb albacore tuna loin see Note on page xx [78]
  • 1 to 2 radishes thinly sliced, for garnish
  • Radish sprouts for garnish
  • Toasted sesame seeds to sprinkle
  • Flaked sea salt to sprinkle
Tahini, lemon, and honey vinaigrette
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl, whisking until well blended and emulsified. 

  2. Taste and adjust seasoning with more lemon and salt if desired. 

  3. Can be made ahead of time; will keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks (although the lemon flavor will start to weaken after a few days).

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat until almost smoking. 

  2. Add the tuna loin, and sear each side for 20 seconds or until golden but still rare to medium-rare on the inside.

  3. Immediately transfer the tuna to a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices. 

  4. Arrange the slices on a serving platter, garnish with the radishes and sprouts, and sprinkle with the sesame seeds and salt. Spoon over the vinaigrette and serve immediately.