Thursday, December 1, 2011

Panko & Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna with Dijon-Soy Aioli


When visiting the fish counter I always check to see if the Ahi Tuna is on sale.  It can get pretty pricey.  Tonight, thankfully, not only was the sushi grade tuna on sale, but it was also wild caught, a distinction that is becoming exceedingly important to consider these days.  Purchasing wild caught fish is not only better for the environment but it is also healthier for you.  It typically comes with a hefty price-tag though, so I was very excited to purchase these filets for $9.99/lb.  Rare tuna is delicious but can get a little boring.  I have played around with it and really like this light and crunchy crust.  It adds a little flavor but still allows the tuna to shine through.  The creamy aioli is a tangy finish with a nice hint of heat against the cool Ahi.  A refreshing and healthy meal you can feel good about serving - in more ways than one!




To start, make the aioli.  The flavors will continue to meld while you cook the rest of the meal.  Simply whisk together one half cup mayonnaise, one tbs. low-sodium soy sauce, one tbs. extra virgin olive oil, one tbs. dijon mustard, one clove minced garlic, four or five dashes of hot sauce and a light squeeze of fresh lime juice.  Combine until smooth and taste to make sure all of the flavors are balanced.  Adjust to your liking.


Pat the tuna steaks dry and set aside on the counter, not back in the fridge.  You want to take some of the chill off.



For the crust, combine two palmfuls of panko (Japanese breadcrumbs - super light and airy), one tbs of sesame seeds, one tsp of garlic powder, a pinch of red pepper flakes and a sprinkling of kosher salt.  Spread out on a plate.


Gently press the breadcrumb mixture onto either side of the tuna, leaving the sides bare.  You will have to use your hands for this in order to make sure the crust is even and spread out.  I always end up sprinkling some on top and pressing down.


Heat some olive oil in a saute pan on medium high heat.  Once very hot but not smoking (the oil will be forming wide rings), carefully add the tuna to the pan.  I have to use my hands for this as it is delicate and the crust will want to fall off.  The tuna will only need to cook for one and a half minutes per side, allowing for a nice crust but for the center to remain raw.  Be careful when flipping as well - you may have to use your fingers to stabilize the crust as you turn the fish over.  Just don't burn yourself!


Remove the fish and place on a cutting board.  Allow to cool for one minute and then slice thinly.


Drizzle the aioli over the tuna and you are all set!  I added white basmati rice and roasted asparagus to complete the meal this evening.  With a little extra aioli on the side it was wonderful.  Definitely a keeper!


Continue reading for the ingredient list and step-by-step directions!

Serves Two
  • one half cup mayonnaise
  • one tbs low-sodium soy sauce
  • one tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • one tbs dijon mustard
  • one clove minced garlic
  • four or five dashes hot sauce
  • light squeeze of fresh lime juice
  • two filets wild caught ahi tuna, five-six ounces each
  • two palmfuls of panko breadcrumbs 
  • one tbs of sesame seeds
  • one tsp of garlic powder
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes
  • a sprinkling of kosher salt
  • one tbs olive oil
Begin by making the aioli.  Whisk together the first seven ingredients until smooth.  Taste to make sure all of the flavors are balanced.  Adjust to your liking.  Set aside.  
Pat the tuna steaks dry.  Combine the panko, sesame seeds, garlic powder, red pepper flakes and kosher salt on a plate.  Place the tuna filets on top of the breadcrumbs and gently press the mixture onto either side of the fish, leaving the sides bare.  You will have to use your hands for this in order to make sure the crust is even and spread out.
Heat one tbs olive oil in a saute pan on medium high heat.  Once very hot but not smoking (the oil will be forming wide rings), carefully add the tuna to the pan.  I have to use my hands for this as it is delicate and the crust will want to fall off.  The tuna will only need to cook for one and a half minutes per side, allowing for a nice crust but for the center to remain raw.  Be careful when flipping as well - you may have to use your fingers to stabilize the crust as you turn the fish over.  Once the tuna has been seared, remove from the pan and place on a cutting board.  Allow to cool for one minute and then slice thinly.  
Drizzle the aioli over the slices of tuna and serve immediately.

11 comments:

  1. Outstanding! I got some fresh tuna today and for once did not overcook it. The breading helps keep it from overcooking, but I still need to be careful. The aioli was nice too. Bookmarking this one

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  2. Thank you so much! I am so happy to hear you enjoyed this recipe... it is one of my favorites :)

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  3. Just made this and served it with Soba noodles! It was awesome! Thanks!

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  4. I've made this 3x now. Love it!

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  5. Very good! I left the sesame seeds out since I didn't have any. Just make sure to slice and enjoy a minute or two after cooking so it will still be warm. I accompanied with sautéed kale! Greatness

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  6. Great recipe! The sauce was excellent. I was not sure about how it would taste because I have not experimented with anything like it, but I loved it. I think it made the dish. Appreciate you sharing.

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    1. Thanks Dave! I'm so glad you liked it :) I also think the sauce really pulls the dish together. I'm so glad you stopped by foodie-girl!

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  7. That aioli is amazing! I already had my tuna marinating when I read this but I'm adding the panko and sesame seeds along with the aioli. Deelish!

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  8. Always enjoy this out at restaurants, and decided to venture "in". What a fabulous recipe! The aioli was awesome. We added a side of wasabi that comes in a tube. Will definitely make this again!

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  9. Thank you for you for wonderful recipe Ben robin and I loved it!!!

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