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Sesame crusted tuna & Pickled cucumbers no scallions

Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna Steaks with Pickled Cucumbers

This dish features sushi grade ahi tuna that is seared lightly after being coated with two colors of sesame seeds. The pickled cucumbers on the side are more than a fresh, crunchy condiment - they are a mini salad that cuts through the richness of the tuna.

Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Asian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Makes: 4 Servings
Calories: 293 kcal
Author: Dédé Wilson


Pickled Cucumbers:

  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 (Heaping) teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 (Scant) teaspoon chilli powder, ground red serrano chile
  • 2 medium sized Persian cucumbers or 1 English hothouse cucumber

Dipping Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) low sodium soy sauce, (use gluten-free if following a gluten-free diet)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger root
  • 2 tablespoons finely sliced scallions, green parts only

Ahi Tuna:

  • 4, 4-ounce (115 g) fresh ahi tuna steaks, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick, skin removed
  • 3 tablespoons black sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons hulled sesame seeds
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Low FODMAP Garlic-Infused Oil, made with vegetable oil or purchased equivalent


  1. For the Cucumbers: Whisk together the vinegar, sugar, water, chilli and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and stir until sugar dissolves, just a minute or two. Remove from heat and pour into a non-reactive airtight storage container. Wash and dry cucumbers then slice very thinly crosswise. If using the long English cucumber, you will need about 9 inches (23 cm) of it. (Save the rest for salad or snacking). Add cucumbers to the warm pickling mixture. Allow to cool, then cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
  2. For the Sauce: Whisk together the soy sauce, lime juice, sugar and ginger in a small bowl. Sprinkle scallions on top and let sit while you prep and cook the tuna.
  3. For the Tuna: Remove fish from refrigerator and set aside. Place both kinds of sesame seeds in a wide bowl and season with salt and pepper, tossing all ingredients together. Place the tuna steaks, once at a time, in the bowl and use fingers to press sesame mixture onto both broad sides of the fish filets.
  4. Heat oil in a large nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add tuna steaks and sear for a minute or two or just until the sesame seeds begin to smell fragrant and take on a bit of color. Flip filets over and cook second side as for the first. You can use tongs to help sear the tuna steak’s sides, if you like. The fish will remain rare and pink in the center. Remove to a cutting board and allow to sit for a minute. Slice tuna against the grain about 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick into slabs. Fan slabs of fish out on plates, arrange a mound of pickled cucumbers alongside and drizzle with sauce. Offer extra dipping sauce in small bowls. Serve immediately.



  • It must be stated again that you have to buy tuna that is meant for raw eating. The FDA does not have any guidelines that cover "sushi grade" fish, which means that you are at the mercy of your fish monger. Know them well and buy accordingly. The vast majority of tuna that is "sushi grade" in the U.S. has been frozen - and that is not only OK, it is best for health reasons. If it has been properly frozen and handled, the texture and flavor will be great.
Nutrition Facts
Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna Steaks with Pickled Cucumbers
Amount Per Serving
Calories 293 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Sodium 543mg23%
Potassium 55mg2%
Carbohydrates 19g6%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 13g14%
Protein 30g60%
Calcium 61mg6%
Iron 1.2mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.