Seared Tuna with Avocado

Quick and EasyGluten-FreeLow CarbAhi Tuna

Sushi-grade tuna steaks, pan seared, served with slices of avocado and a ginger, soy, cilantro, lime, garlic sauce.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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 canola oil or other high smoke-point oil
  • 4 (6 ounce) blocks sashimi-quality tuna
  • 2 ripe avocados, halved, pitted, peeled and sliced


1 In a bowl, combine the cilantro, jalapeño, 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.

2 Heat a large skillet on high heat for one minute. Coat the pan with the 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.

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

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.

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Seared Tuna with Avocado

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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42 Comments / Reviews

No ImageSeared Tuna with Avocado

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Richard

    Left off the jalepinos b/c a bit more heat than I wanted.
    The tuna didn’t sear as well, but next time we will see about it.


  2. Randi

    This is an amazing array of ingredients! I didn’t read the recipe thoroughly and ended up putting the avocado in the sauce. I mashed it and served it over the fish (the sauce texture didn’t lend itself to coating…). DELICIOUS!


  3. r.a.

    We had this for dinner last night and I just realized that I had misread the recipe and left out the soy sauce. It was great even that way and we plan on having this again. I might even add the soy sauce next time….I’ll let my husband make the call on that one.

  4. Carolyn Crowder

    This dish is wonderful. I don’t care for rare tuna so I seared the tuna and finished cooking the tuna in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes. The tuna was not dry at all. The sauce is very flavorful. This is a very easy and quick recipe to make. Will be making this again.

  5. Ron

    I made this last night for my lady friend and it was a huge success. A high end restaurant style meal that came together quick and easy. I substituted honey for sugar, paired it with stir fry vegetables and topped it with sesame seeds as well as the avocado. This one is a keeper, thanks for the great recipe.


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