The great, thick crust of crunchy sesame seeds—fragrant and spicy with lemongrass, lime zest and hot pepper—makes this tuna a hearty main course.
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3 tablespoons white sesame seeds
3 tablespoons black sesame seeds
1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest
1 tablespoon minced lemongrass (tender inner part only)
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper flakes or 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Six 10-ounce tuna steaks, cut 1/2 inch thick
1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus more for brushing
Lime wedges and mayonnaise, for serving
How to Make It
In a small bowl, combine the white and black sesame seeds with the lime zest, lemongrass, paprika, Aleppo pepper, black pepper and salt. Lightly brush the tuna with oil and sprinkle the sesame mixture all over it, pressing to help the crust adhere.
Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in each of 2 large nonstick skillets until the oil is almost smoking. Add the crusted tuna steaks and cook them over moderately high heat until they are slightly pink in the center, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the crusted tuna steaks to plates and serve them with lime wedges and mayonnaise.
An assertive Sauvignon Blanc from California will contrast with the richness of the sesame-crusted tuna steaks in this recipe in the same way that the spicy, citrusy ingredients do.
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