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posted May 26, 2021

Sesame Crusted Grilled Tuna Steak

A tuna steak is absolutely delicious when lightly marinated and then grilled. The taste and texture is even better when the grilled tuna steak is sesame crusted and cooked perfectly rare made easier with Reynolds Wrap® Non-Stick Foil, our sponsor for this recipe.

Grilled and sliced tuna steak on a wooden cutting board with text overlay - Sesame Crusted Grilled Tuna Steaks.

What Tuna is Best for Grilling?

When buying tuna steaks for grilling, it is super important to purchase the right quality and type of tuna. This recipe calls for grilling tuna steaks to a rare doneness, so having a sushi-grade cut of tuna is very important. Sushi-grade fish have to pass specific safety standards to be consumed rare or raw. Be sure to check with your fish provider to be sure your tasty tuna is good to cook and consume rare!

The most common types of tuna steaks to acquire are ahi or yellowfin. Both are meaty and mild and firm enough to stand up to a high temperature grill. You want to make sure your tuna filets are at least 1 inch thick. They generally weigh in between 4 and 6 oz. A thick tuna steak means you can get that nice, toasty grilled exterior and beautifully rare interior.

Marinated tuna steak on a plate of sesame seeds.

Grilled Tuna Steak Marinade

The marinade for these tuna steaks serves two purposes. The first is to add flavor and seasoning to the exterior of our tuna steaks. The steaks aren’t in the marinade for a super long time, so the marinade won’t be soaking through the meat, but it will add amazing flavor across the surface area of our tuna steaks.

Secondary benefits to the marinade come during the cooking process. The liquid marinade on the surface of the meat acts as a binder for the sesame seeds. The small amount of honey in the marinade will help those sesame seeds adhere nicely to the tuna steaks and create a slight toasted/caramelized crunch on the edges of every bite.

Sesame crusted grilled tuna steak on a sheet of aluminum foil.

Grilled Tuna Steak

Grilling tuna steaks on a high heat grill like gas or charcoal is notoriously difficult. With tender, flaky fish that wants to stick and adhere right to the grill grates, getting an even cook without the fish falling apart can be quite the task.

When I’m grilling tuna steaks on a gas or charcoal grill, I turn to using Reynolds Wrap® Non-Stick Foil. Using this foil ensures that the tuna steak won’t stick and will get all the heat it needs to cook perfectly while saving me clean up time, and I won’t lose any of my sesame seeds or steak to sticky grill grates. 

Grilled and sliced tuna steak on a wooden cutting board.

How to Grill Tuna (on a Gas Grill or Charcoal Grill)

Here’s my cooking process for these grilled tuna steaks (full ingredient amounts and instructions can be found in the recipe card below):

  1. Make the Marinade. Combine soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine, honey, lime zest and juice, and cayenne pepper in a gallon reusable bag.
  2. Marinate the Tuna Steaks. Place your tuna steaks in the bag with the marinade and massage gently to coat all the steaks with the marinade. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours.
  3. Preheat the Grill. Get your grill up and running at a very high temperature. You want to grill your tuna steaks at approximately 500 degrees F.
  4. Crust the Tuna Steaks. On a flat plate, mix together the white and black sesame seeds. Carefully remove one tuna steak from the marinade, allowing excess marinade to drip away back into the bag. Place the steak onto the sesame seeds and press down. Flip the steak gently to coat the other side. Use your hands to press sesame seeds onto the sides of the steak.  Repeat with remaining steaks until they are all coated in sesame seeds.
  5. Grill the Tuna Steaks. Tear off an 18-inch long piece of Reynolds Wrap® Non-Stick Foil and set directly on the grill grates, place the non-stick side (the dull side) facing up so the steaks don’t stick. Carefully place each crusted tuna steak onto the non-stick foil. Close the lid and grill the tuna steaks for about 2.5 minutes. Use a thin metal spatula to gently flip the steaks on the foil. Close the lid and grill for an additional 2.5 minutes per side.
  6. Slice and Enjoy! Remove your grilled tuna steaks to a serving platter and discard the foil. Slice the tuna steaks into ¼ inch thick slices, garnish with sliced scallions and enjoy! This dish is delicious when served with rice or on top of a green salad.

How Long to Grill Tuna Steaks

Tuna steaks are best cooked rare, like sushi in the center. This takes only 5 minutes total on a 500-degree grill. I plan for 2.5 minutes per side.

Grilled Tuna Steak Recipe

Grilled and sliced tuna steak on a wooden cutting board.

Sesame Crusted Grilled Tuna Steak

Susie Bulloch (heygrillhey.com)
This grilled tuna steak is absolutely delicious! It's lightly marinated, sesame crusted, and then grilled to a perfect rare doneness.
Prep Time : 5 mins
Cook Time : 5 mins
Marinade Time : 4 hrs
Total Time : 4 hrs 10 mins
Servings : 4 people
Calories : 393kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 4 tuna steaks (1-inch thick, 4-6 ounces each)
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce

Grilled Tuna Steak Marinade

  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon rice wine (mirin)
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 lime (zest and juice)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Sesame Crust

  • ¼ cup white sesame seeds
  • ¼ cup black sesame seeds

Instructions

  • Make the marinade. Combine soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine, honey, lime zest and juice, and cayenne pepper in a gallon resealable bag.
  • Marinate the tuna steaks. Place your tuna steaks in the bag with the marinade and massage gently to coat all the steaks with the marinade. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours.
  • Preheat the grill. Get your grill up and running at a very high temperature. You want to grill your tuna steaks at approximately 500 degrees F.
  • Crust the tuna steaks. On a flat plate, mix together the white and black sesame seeds. Carefully remove one tuna steak from the marinade, allowing excess marinade to drip away back into the bag. Place the steak onto the sesame seeds and press down. Flip the steak gently to coat the other side. Use your hands to press sesame seeds onto the sides of the steak.  Repeat with remaining steaks until they are all coated in sesame seeds.
  • Grill the steaks. Tear off an 18 inch long piece of Reynolds Wrap® Non-Stick Foil and set directly on the grill grates, place the non-stick side (the dull side) facing up. Carefully placeeach crusted tuna steak onto the non-stick foil. Close the lid and grill the tuna steaks for about 2-3 minutes. Use a thin metal spatula to gently flip the steaks on the foil. Close the lid and grill for an additional 2-3 minutes per side.
  • Slice and enjoy! Remove your grilled tuna steaks to a serving platter and discard the foil. Slice the tuna steaks into ¼ inch thick slices, garnish with sliced scallions and enjoy! Delicious served with rice or on top of a green salad.

Nutrition

Calories: 393kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 572mg | Potassium: 561mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 3825IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 205mg | Iron: 5mg
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