Recipe: Sesame-Wasabi Grilled Tuna on Arugula

Tuna is a fantastic choice for the grill. It’s a meaty, oily fish that stays together well, as long as you don’t overcook it. It’s versatile. And it’s satisfying in a way that some lighter fish just can’t be without a lot of gussying up.

I was ready for a change of pace, especially since we’d just returned from 3 days on the coast. I needed something healthy tasting to help me forget about a few cheats we had on the road (fish n’ chips, marionberry cobbler). This fit the bill perfectly. My husband noted that this is a company-worthy meal as well.

If you’re feeling like a high roller and want to do this with sashimi-grade ahi tuna, be sure and only sear it on both sides until grillmarks appear. Definitely don’t overcook! For all other tunas, I’d aim for more medium doneness than medium-rare. On this occasion, I went for the humbler Tombo tuna which is less pricey but just as tasty.

Sesame-Wasabi Grilled Tuna on Arugula


1 Tbsp. sesame seeds

2 Tbsp. sesame oil

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 Tbsp. rice vinegar

2 Tbsp. wheat-free tamari

1/2 Tbsp. prepared wasabi sauce

1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbsp. ginger, freshly grated

Tuna and Salad

4 tuna steaks, about 1/2 – 1 lb. each

kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

sesame oil, for brushing on tuna

1 bag baby arugula or 1 bunch arugula, tough stems removed

1) Make dressing: In small pan over medium-high heat, toast sesame seeds. Do not walk away! Keep an eye on them and when they begin to brown, shake the pan around to prevent scorching. When nice and golden, remove from pan to a plate and let cool. Add the sesame seeds and the rest of the dressing ingredients to a jar or container with a lid and shake to combine. Set aside.

2) Preheat grill (if gas, turn on high for 10 minutes; if charcoal, light and wait until coals are white and hot). Sprinkle S&P over both sides of tuna steaks and brush with sesame oil. Grill steaks until grillmarks appear, about 3 minutes (less for medium-rare ahi). Flip and grill another 3 minutes, or when desired doneness is reached.

3) Plate arugula and top with a tuna steak. Pour dressing over tuna and greens.

Serves 4.

NOTES: As you can see, I added a few veggies. The turnip, radish, and sweet green onion went really well with it. Feel free to toss in whatever you’ve got on hand, finely shredded red cabbage and carrot would also be nice.

If you don’t have wasabi handy, a Chinese hot mustard would also work. Look through all those take-out packets you’ve been saving!


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