Seared Tuna with Avocado

Recipe and photo updated July 25th, 2011

One of the benefits of having your own cooking website is that your friends and relatives start sending you recipes to try. The basis for this recipe comes by way of my cousin Laurie in Maryland (thanks Laurie!) and we’ve played with it a little. It’s hard to go wrong when the ingredients include cilantro, avocado, jalapeños, lime, garlic, and sushi-grade tuna. The recipe calls for lightly searing raw tuna on each side and then serving. I love tuna done this way, but the tuna has to be very high quality. My parents, on the other hand, have no intention of ever eating raw fish, sushi-grade or not. They cook their fish all the way through, so it is a little translucent in the middle, but definitely cooked. They loved it.

Seared Tuna with Avocado Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 6 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4.


  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 jalapeño chiles, seeded, de-ribbed, minced (if very hot, use only 1 chile)
  • 2 tablespoons of peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice (from 2 to 4 limes, depending on how juicy your limes are)
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce (use gluten-free soy sauce if you need to avoid gluten)
  • 1-2 tablespoons sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
  • 4 (6 ounce) blocks sashimi-quality tuna
  • 2 ripe avocados, halved, pitted, peeled and sliced


1 In a bowl, combine the cilantro, jalapeno, ginger, garlic, lime juice, soy sauce, sugar, salt, sesame oil and olive oil. If you want, you can purée the sauce in a blender or food processor.

tuna-avocado-2.jpg tuna-avocado-3.jpg

2 Heat a large skillet on high heat for one minute. Coat the pan with the grapeseed or canola oil and let heat up for 30 to 45 seconds. Sprinkle the tuna pieces with salt. Sear the tuna for a minute on each side.

3 Transfer the seared tuna to a bowl and coat with some of the sauce. Pour some sauce on the plates, top with the tuna and serve with the sliced avocado and a wedge of lime.

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to the source recipe here on Simply Recipes. Thank you!


Never miss a recipe!

Subscribe to Simply Recipes free via email:

Showing 4 of 40 Comments

  • Cera

    I’ve always used high heat for searing tuna and I’m intrigued by your direction to use medium high heat. My seared tuna comes out tasty, but ends up having charred bits on the outside. I’m going to try your recipe with the direction of medium high heat and see how that goes. probably having this tonight!

  • Faisal

    I decided to try this recipe out tonight, but I didn’t have any tuna. After searching in vain for some at the local supermarket, I decided to try it out with the salmon I had instead. To my surprise, it turned out amazing! I wish I had taken a picture, because it looked as great as it tasted. Thanks!

  • Ladd

    Alton Brown had a show about seering tuna. Off the top of my head, he created a marinade with half part honey, half part soy sauce, with a little wasabi tossed in. After marinating the the tuna chunk (it was large, like a big rectangle), he rolled the tuna in sesame seeds. On a grill using very high heat (actually , it was cooked on charcoal chimney) , he cooked each side of the rectangle for approx 90 seconds per side. The high heat causes the sesame seeds to burst, thus releasing even more flavor into the fish. After cooking, using the same recipe for the marinade, the sauce was used as a dipping sauce. It was Good Eats for sure when I tried it at home. I cooked it with asparagus (grilled, in a pan). Check the foodnetwork website for the actual recipe.

  • beckiwithani

    My husband had bought haddock, not tuna. So we got rid of the soy sauce in the recipe and added some pureed roasted tomatillos instead, then used it as a sauce for fish tacos. We also replaced the jalepenos with serranos because I prefer their flavor. We put the avocado slices right into the tacos. They were absolutely AMAZING. Thanks for the inspiration!

View More Comments / Leave a Comment