Light, healthy, and delicious these blackened ahi tuna bowls are perfect for lunch or dinner. Made from simple ingredients, you can feel good making this seared blackened ahi tuna steak recipe for your family. What’s great, is that these ahi tuna blackened bowls are fully customizable so everyone can fix a meal that they’ll love.

Blackened Ahi Tuna Bowls – Healthyish Foods

About this Tuna recipe

For this recipe, I rubbed the ahi tuna with my homemade blackening spice. The blackening spice adds a layer of flavor to the ahi tuna that tastes amazing. The slightly spicy rub, paired with the soft delicate tuna steaks are the perfect combination. You will want to make sure you buy ahi tuna for this recipe.

Sushi-grade ahi tuna can be found fresh or in the freezer section of your local grocer. It is completely safe to eat this fish raw or seared rare, which is how it is prepared for this blackened tuna recipe.

What Does This Tuna Taste Like?

When cooked properly, these blackened ahi tuna steaks – also known as yellowfin tuna – taste like a mouthwateringly moist, refreshing meal that you won’t get anywhere else. Tender, mild, and oily in a way that will melt in your mouth like perfectly rendered, healthy fats should. Overcook it, however, and it can turn out tasting like fishy cardboard. Fortunately for us, it’s unbelievably easy to serve the perfect ahi tuna at home so long as you follow these simple steps.

Because of how delicate fish can be, you might not see this tuna as a typical home-prepped meal. Many people even opt to serve the fish raw for fear of how finicky it could be in a pan. There is so much depth that adding a little cajun seasoning and pan sear can do for the flavor of the fish, though. Once you try it, you’ll never go back.

How to sear tuna steaks

When prepping the ahi tuna, you will want to let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Then, you will pat it dry using a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture. Removing the excess moisture allows you to get a perfect sear on the fish.

Generously rub the blackened tuna with the blackening spice, making sure every side is well coated before searing. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add about 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to prevent the blackened tuna steak from sticking to the pan. I don’t use olive oil because it can impart a strong taste. Once the pan and oil are hot, add the blackened tuna. Sear for 45-60 seconds per side. Flip the fish using tongs so that all four sides get an even sear. This will give you a seared rare temperature. If the blackened tuna steaks are thin you may want to adjust your cooking time.

Allow the seared ahi tuna to cool before slicing it into thin, even slices. Make sure you use a sharp knife so that the slices are neat and clean. No serrated edges. If you do not eat the seared ahi tuna steak right away, be sure to cover and refrigerate it before enjoying.

What Is Blackened Tuna Steak Seasoning?

Blackened seasoning is one of my favorite additions to any kind of seared fish like this ahi tuna steak. The mixture is often available in a pre-made seasoning jar, but you can also make your own. Blackened seasoning consists of a blend of paprika, onion and garlic powder, cayenne, salt, pepper, oregano, and thyme.

The reason it’s called a blackened seasoning is because this mixture of herbs tends to take on a dark brown, coloration when cooked, giving the food a ‘blackened’ look without it being burnt.

If you have a hard time finding blackened seasoning and don’t mind a little extra heat, you can also substitute for cajun seasoning which tends to be a little spicier.

How Should Seared Blackened Ahi Tuna Be Cooked?

The pan should be hot before you add the fish. When you add the tuna to the pan, you should hear it sizzle and pop. The 45-60 second sear is essential to a delicious tuna steak, and you’ll love how mild and supple the flavor comes out once you add it to your bowl.

If you’re not used to cooking blackened tuna, then you may be a little surprised to see that it comes out raw in the center, with only a quarter-inch to inch cooked to a white appearance (depending on the thickness of the tuna.) This is completely normal. Because the tuna is supposed to be served raw, however, it’s important to make sure you use ahi tuna that is considered sushi grade.

Blackened Ahi Tuna Bowls – Healthyish Foods

Prepare the vegetables and garnishes

When prepping the vegetables be sure to cut them into even-sized pieces. Be sure to scrape out the core of the cucumber using a spoon. This takes a few extra minutes to prepare, but it will save the dish by preventing it from getting watery. I like to julienne or thinly slice my cucumber and bell peppers. This makes them easy to pick up and enjoy.

Your choice of sauces: From Soy Mustard Sauce to Wasabi

As far as garnishes and sauces go, get creative. I used a tbsp of soy mixed with wasabi along with a homemade peanut sauce as a dip. However, for a delicious Asian inspired flare, spicy mayo or ponzu would also taste amazing with these blackened ahi tuna bowls. Additional options are sliced avocado, fresh lime wedges, crushed peanuts, scallions, or furikake. You can never go wrong with a little bit of ground white pepper, either. Feel free to add whatever toppings you like to these soy-mustard sauce blackened tuna bowls.

This recipe makes four light dinner servings or two hearty servings. Please see below for nutritional information. The nutritional information reflects the peanut sauce as well.

Blackened Ahi Tuna Bowls – Healthyish Foods


Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Store the peanut sauce in a separate airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. Because the fish is raw, it’s not advisable to keep leftovers in the freezer, and you should take care to ensure any additional peanut sauce does not come in contact with the raw fish before storing it, else it should be tossed and made new. Be sure not to store the fish at room temperature for any length of time unless it is being served.

Looking for more tuna recipes? Try my tuna poke lettuce cups or my sesame encrusted tuna tostadas with mango salsa.

Blackened Ahi Tuna Bowls – Healthyish Foods

Blackened Ahi Tuna Bowls

Light, healthy and delicious these blackened ahi tuna bowls are perfect for lunch or dinner. Made from simple ingredients, you can feel good making this ahi tuna steak recipe for your family.
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Tuna, Rice, and Garnishes

  • 12 ounces sushi grade ahi tuna, 1.5 inch thick, see above from prepping info
  • ½ cup uncooked white rice, cook according to the package, about 1.5 cups cooked
  • 1 large avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced
  • 1 large red bell pepper , julienne or slice thin
  • 1 cup English cucumber, remove core, julienne or slice thin
  • 1 jalapeno, remove seeds and veins, dice small
  • ¼ cup scallions, sliced
  • ¼ cup crushed peanuts, crush in a ziplock bag using a mallet
  • 2 tablespoons furikake, or toasted sesame seeds

Blackening spice

  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon mustard powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cracked black pepper

Peanut sauce

  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice, fresh squeezed
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon warm water


  • 9-inch non-stick skillet
  • 2 small mixing bowls


Prepare the rice:

  • Cook the rice according to the package. Set cooked rice aside.

Prepare the blackening spice:

  • In a small bowl, combine dried oregano, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, dried mustard, ginger powder, cayenne pepper and stir well. Set aside.

Prepare the ahi tuna:

  • Gently pat the tuna steak dry using a paper towel. You want to absorb as much excess moisture as possible.
  • Gently rub the entire tuna steak with the blackening spice. You’ll want it to be well coated.
  • Heat a 9-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil.
  • Sear the 1.5-inch-thick tuna for 45-60 seconds on each side, using tongs to turn it. This will give you a seared-rare tuna steak.
  • Remove the tuna from the pan and set it aside to cool.

Prepare the peanut sauce:

  • In a small bowl combine, peanut butter, soy sauce, honey, sriracha, lime juice and water. Mix until well combined and smooth.

Assemble the dish:

  • Grab a bowl and line the bottom with rice.
  • Add the sliced tuna on top of the rice. Neatly tuck all of the veggies around the tuna.
  • Top with crushed peanuts, sesame seeds or furikake.
  • Serve with your peanut sauce and a side of soy sauce and wasabi.


Serving: 1serving, Calories: 484kcal, Carbohydrates: 38g, Protein: 31g, Fat: 25g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Monounsaturated Fat: 12g, Cholesterol: 32mg, Sodium: 998mg, Potassium: 870mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 3441IU, Vitamin C: 68mg, Calcium: 74mg, Iron: 3mg