Seared Tuna with Soy and Red Chiles


Soy sauce, sesame oil, scallion, garlic, and dried chiles are combined with chicken stock to make an intense and delicious sauce for the seared tuna. Sautéed spinach or broccoli rabe tossed with a touch of soy sauce and a sprinkling of sesame seeds would be a delicious accompaniment.

Korean-Style Seared Tuna
Photo: Photo by Morgan Hunt Glaze / Food Styling by Ruth Blackburn / Prop Styling by Christina Daley
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
25 mins
4 servings


  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1/8 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

  • 1/2 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock

  • 4 tuna steaks, about 1-inch thick (about 2 pounds in all)

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil

  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

  • 1 scallion including green top, chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced


  1. In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, sugar, red pepper flakes, and broth. Sprinkle fish with salt and black pepper. Heat cooking oil in a large frying pan over moderately high heat. Add tuna and cook until brown, about 3 minutes. Turn and cook fish until done to your taste, 3 to 4 minutes longer for medium rare.

  2. Reduce heat to moderately low and add sesame oil to pan. Stir in scallions and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant; about 1 minute. Add soy sauce mixture to pan and simmer until reduced to approximately 1/3 cup, about 2 minutes. Cut tuna into slices and serve with sauce.


Fish alternatives: Salmon fillets or steaks will also go well with this highly seasoned sauce.

Test kitchen tip: We like fresh tuna cooked to a succulent medium rare. If you prefer your tuna cooked through, just add a few more minutes to the cooking time. Be careful not to overcook it, though, or it will most assuredly be dry.

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