I love Seared Tuna Tataki and am actually surprised I haven’t done this recipe yet. Inspired by all the Japanese cuisine that I have been eating lately, I wanted to make this dish over the fire. We’ll start by searing the tuna over a hot flame, then splash it with a citrus and soy sauce blend for the perfect dinner!

Seared Tuna Tataki


Tataki is when something is quickly seared on a hot surface to caramelize the outside but leave the inside raw. This cooking method is mainly used for fish, particularly tuna. 

Why you’ll love this recipe

This recipe is perfect for those who aren’t afraid of a little raw fish. Fresh ingredients like sushi-grade ahi tuna and a citrus-based sauce produce the perfect balance of salty, sweet goodness you won’t be able to get enough of. If you want to impress your friends and family with your newfound culinary skills, this tuna tataki recipe is the way to go!



  • Fresh Tuna Steaks
  • Korean Chili Flakes
  • Scallions, aka green onions 

Tuna Tataki SEASONING:

  • Flakey Salt
  • Black Sesame Seeds
  • White Sesame Seeds
  • Dried Minced Garlic
  • Dried Minced Onion
  • Poppy Seeds


  • Soy Sauce
  • Ponzu Sauce
  • Spicy Honey
  • Ginger Paste
  • Lemon
Seared Tuna Tataki On Fire

How to Make Tuna Tataki

Prep the Tuna Steaks

We start this Seared Tuna Tataki recipe with three sashimi-grade tuna filets. Set them on a plate and then gather all the ingredients for the tuna seasoning. 

Mix those ingredients together in a small bowl and then lather the three filets with it. For this seasoning, I used black and white sesame seeds, dried minced garlic, dried minced onion, poppy seeds, and coarse salt. 

I love this mix-up because it brings some color and texture to the tuna. The poppy and sesame seeds have a great, almost nutty flavor that pairs perfectly with the citrus/soy sauce mix we use to finish the dish. 

Make the Sauce

Speaking of sauce, let’s get to work on it. Since the Seared Tuna Tataki will cook so quickly, it’s nice to already have the sauce prepared. The sauce itself is pretty simple to make. The most difficult part is probably grating the ginger.

Pro Tip

Start by peeling your ginger with a spoon. Using a spoon makes it so easy to peel ginger and doesn’t leave you cutting away more ginger than needed (like you would with a small knife). 

I peeled the ginger and grated it really fast. Then I tossed it into the bowl along with the other sauce ingredients. Whisk everything together, and set in the fridge until your tuna is ready for it.


The dish seasoned and searing on the plancha.

Prep the Grill

Before placing the tuna on the grill, it’s important to ensure that the grill and the frying pan are properly heated. The tataki style of cooking uses a really hot grill to sear the outside of the protein because we want the inside of the meat to stay rare or raw. 

Basically, it’s a flash sear, which you won’t be able to achieve if the grill, skillet, plancha, or whatever you’re using to cook isn’t very hot. I used my plancha for this Seared Tuna Tataki and also poured a bit of oil down to ensure the tuna didn’t stick. 

Sear the Tuna Tataki

Have your spatula close by as you set the tuna on the grill for their initial sear because this cooking process happens fast. As you see the first millimeter or so of meat become cooked, flip the tuna and watch for the same to happen on the other side. 

Once that happens, you can quickly sear the sides of the tuna steaks and then remove it from the grill. Just like that, your Seared Tuna Tataki is ready for slicing.

Flipping the meat to sear the other side.

Garnish and Serve Tuna Tataki

Using a sharp knife, cut the Seared Tuna Tataki into thin slices. Then, transfer over to a serving dish. Now, the garnish. This is where the recipe comes to life. 

I started by using a spoon to spread our homemade sauce all across each sliced filet. I kept adding the sauce until there was a very shallow lining of it across the bottom of the dish. 

Then, I sprinkled on chopped scallions for a bit of crunch and some Korean chili flakes for a slight kick of heat. 

Now, grab your chopsticks because here comes the best part: time to dig in!

Best enjoyed with friends and family. Cheers!

Pro Tips

  • The purpose of the tataki method is to get a QUICK sear because you want to make sure you aren’t letting the tuna cook too much, or it won’t be true tuna tataki.
  • Dry the tuna off with a paper towel before searing. This helps the tuna get that beautiful sear when you cook it. 

More Delicious Seafood Recipes

How to Store Leftovers & Reheat

Store leftover tuna tataki in an airtight container in the fridge for only 2 days. The meat is basically raw and can grow bacteria very quickly, so it’s best to eat this as soon as possible. But I’m sure you won’t have that problem!

Now, here’s where things can get tricky. When you reheat the tuna, you want to make sure that you don’t cook it any further. So, the trick is to place a saute pan on the stovetop on medium heat and lightly sear the outside. You don’t want the pan to be super hot as it can overcook the tuna. 

Alternatively, you can eat leftover tuna tataki cold and throw it on top of a salad for a light lunch. 

Seared Tuna Tataki

What to serve with tuna tataki

Place your tuna tataki slices over a bed of white rice and drizzle some of that freakin’ delicious sauce. You could also place your tuna atop a bed of fresh greens or serve with a side of green beans or edamame. 

If you’re having a bunch of people over, you can serve your tuna tataki alongside other seafood dishes like this Honey Tequila Lime Shrimp, Green Chili Salmon Pinwheels, and Smoked Lobster Tails with Parmesan Butter!

Recipe Faqs


Yes! As long as the tuna is sushi/sashimi grade, it’s perfectly fine to eat it raw. 


Absolutely! If you don’t want the spicy honey, you could also use regular honey or brown sugar. In addition, if you don’t have fresh ginger, you can use ginger paste as a quick substitute. 


Use any kind of oil you like! Some great options are sesame oil, olive oil, peanut oil, and canola oil!

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Seared Tuna Tataki

Tuna Tataki Recipe

Seared Tuna Tataki swimming it’s way onto our feed today! Finished with a citrus and soy sauce blend for the perfect dinner!
Author:Derek Wolf
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Servings: 4 People



  • 3-4 Fresh Tuna Steaks
  • Korean Chili Flakes for garnish
  • Sliced Scallions for garnish


  • 1.5 tsp of Flakey Salt
  • 1.5 tsp of Black Sesame Seeds
  • 1.5 tsp of White Sesame Seeds
  • 1 tsp of Dried Minced Garlic
  • 1 tsp of Dried Minced Onion
  • 1/2 tsp of Poppy’s Seeds


  • 1/4 cup of Soy Sauce
  • 1/8 cup of Ponzu Sauce
  • 1.5 tbsp of Spicy Honey
  • 2 tsp of Ginger Paste
  • 1 Lemon juiced


  • In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the seasoning. Pat your tuna steaks dry then season generously on all sides. Set the tuna aside.
  • In a bowl, mix all the ingredients for the Tataki Sauce. Set aside.
  • Preheat a high heat fire with a skillet/plancha to 400F. Add a little canola oil to the skillet too.
  • Add the tuna to the skillet and sear both sides for only 30 seconds. Once done, pull off the grill.
  • Slice your turn against the grain, spoon the Tataki sauce over top of each sliced tuna and garnish with scallions and Korean Chili Flakes. Serve and enjoy!

Derek Wolf

Derek is the driving force behind Over the Fire Cooking. He started cooking with live fire in 2016 and decided to start a social media page so his friends and family could follow the journey. Fast forward to today and Over the Fire Cooking has spread across multiple platforms with millions now following Derek's fire cooking journey. He's a southern fellow who enjoys everything from classic BBQ to Central and South American inspired dishes. Whatever he's cooking up, it's guaranteed to be so freakin' delicious!

5 from 2 votes (1 rating without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Totally awesome 🔥🔥🔥 made on the grill & it was absolute perfection. Highly recommendable – easy to prepare & ingredients ratio was perfect. I threw my scallions into the sauce & used cilantro as garnish. I don’t usually cook with salt so I’ll probably leave it out next time but it was still fantastic ❤️ I’d post the pic if I could 😃😃😃