Black Sesame Seared Tuna

seared-tuna_8835My daughter is visiting again, and she loves tuna, so of course I had to make this unique seared tuna for her. There are hundreds of recipes for seared tuna, ample evidence how popular Japanese food is in the U.S. But this recipe is special because it uses crushed black sesame seeds. The fish is marinated and coated with black sesame seeds, then flour, and finally quickly deep-fried. The black and pink make a striking appearance, and the deep fried crisp coating makes a lovely contrast with the succulent tuna.


Note that I made this recipe only a few months ago, but my photos did not do justice to the wonderful meal.

Black Sesame Seared Tuna
Maguro no Goma-age
serves 4

page 378
  • 1 pound sashimi-quality tuna
  • 2 Tablespoons black sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1/2 cup shoyu (soy sauce)
  • 1/2 cup mirin (sweet rice wine)
  • For the salad dressing:
  • 1 teaspoon smooth French-style mustard
  • 1 teaspoon shoyu
  • 1 Tablespoon komezu (rice vinegar)
  • 1/4 teaspoon peeled, grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 to 2 tablespoonsvirgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup alll-purpose flour
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • a mixture of salad leaves and sliced cherry tomatoes
Cut away any deep red part of the tuna, and cut the rest of the fish into four 1-inch thick pieces. In a suribachi or other mortar, grind the sesame seeds until they are just broken.
In a pan large enough to hold the steaks in one layer, combine 1/2 cup shoyu, the mirin, and sesame seeds. Place the tuna in a pan, and marinate it for 15 minutes.
For the salad dressing: In a large bowl, combine the mustard, 1 teaspoon shoyu, the komezu, grated ginger, sugar, sesame oil, and olive oil, and whisk until smooth.
To cook the fish: In a large deep skillet, heat 1 inch vegetable oil over medium heat to 360°F.
While the oil heats, drain the tuna, discarding the marinade but reserving the sesame seeds. Coat the tuna with the sesame seeds, and then the flour.
Add the tuna to the skillet, and cook the tuna, turning it with tongs and a spatula, until both sides are golden. The center of the fish should be rare and pink, but cook it longer if you like.
Remove the fish from the oil, and drain it on a rack for 10 minutes. With a very sharp knife, cut the tuna diagonally to produce slices 14-inch thick.
Toss the salad greens with the dressing, and serve the tuna on the of greens, garnished with tomatoes.



3 thoughts on “Black Sesame Seared Tuna

  1. I think your photos absolutely do justice to the recipe. I love the idea of black sesame seeds. I have some in the freezer — I use them on a few breads — but will have to try using them this way.

    • If you serve this for company, use a salad that is all green: mine had some red leaves and it didn’t add to the dramatic colors of this recipe. Red, black, green…

  2. Pingback: Kangaroo for dinner « Tess's Japanese Kitchen

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