This easy blackened seared tuna is loaded with delicious blackened spice flavor that is seared on to the tuna steaks until blackened perfection. We love slicing up blackened seared tuna for tacos but you can serve it just as is. This blackened tuna recipe makes juicy and delicious blackened ahi tuna steaks and the best fish tacos around.
About this blackened tuna steak
The deliciousness of this blackened tuna recipe all starts off with an amazing blackened seasoning that is seared on to the ahi tuna steaks making it taste so amazing. The best part is it only takes minutes to make.
We love slicing up our seared tuna steaks and making them into tacos because we love tacos AND it is a great way to stretch the budget when buying a premium cut of fish when you are feeding a family .
Once cooked, the blackened ahi tuna is placed into tortillas and topped with the easiest cumin lime coleslaw that is out of this world delicious. The recipe for this coleslaw is included below.
If you do not make the tacos, I suggest making this cumin lime slaw as a side!
Ingredients you will need:
- Ahi tuna steaks. I will explain the different types of tuna below in case you cannot find these.
- Flour tortillas.
- Cumin and lime slaw (shredded cabbage, mayonnaise, sour cream, cumin, lime, kosher salt).
- Blackened spice seasoning (chili powder, paprika, kosher salt, cayenne pepper).
- Limes or lemons for serving. I love a fresh squeeze of lemon or lime on my fish tacos. This is optional.
The ingredients are so simple and the spices you probably already have in your pantry. For the cumin and lime coleslaw topping I use when I make this into tacos, I buy coleslaw mix to make it easy.
You can shred your own cabbage if you prefer. This is totally up to you!
How to make this blackened tuna:
- Make your blackened spice seasoning. This is the same one I use on my blackened chicken and it is so good!
- Press tuna steaks into the spice seasoning on a plate and make sure to coat all sides.
- Cook tuna steak in pan (sear the tuna steaks) making sure to cook all sides.
- Make the cumin and lime coleslaw.
- Slice up the tuna into thin strips and place in warmed tortillas.
- Top with cumin and lime slaw
Making these blackened tuna steaks take no time at all. You just want to make sure you have a nice hot pan to give a good sear to the tuna. Tuna does not need long to cook.
Each side will take about a couple minutes to cook. This makes a great quick meal even though it looks like it came from a restaurant.
How to cook tuna steak in a pan:
To make delicious seared tuna steaks, you want to make sure you have a nice hot pan that is pre-heated and waiting for you. Once the tuna is placed in the pre-heated pan it will sear, forming a delicious blackened crust on the outside.
The inside will stay nice and pink and juicy. This is what you want when working with ahi tuna.
Sauce for Blackened Tuna
This blackened tuna recipe uses a creamy coleslaw in place of a sauce with the tuna. If you prefer a sauce instead of the coleslaw, here are some suggestions for sauce that goes well with blackened tuna.
- Creamy sriracha sauce. This sauce will add a little more heat to the blackened tuna but it is really delicious and creamy.
- Italian basil mayonnaise. This sauce is a creamy garlicky sauce made with. mayonnaise, basil, lemon and garlic.
- Creamy cilantro dressing. Cilantro and blackened seasoning are delicious together. This cilantro sauce is creamy and the perfect pair with the tuna.
- Poblano cream sauce. This is a roasted poblano sauce that is creamy and does not add any heat to the recipe.
- You can also use a gochujang mayo. It adds a nice light heat much like the sriracha sauce.
Any of these sauces work great. It just depends on what what you prefer and what you have on hand.
You can also serve it as is with no sauce or topping and it will be just as delicious.
Variations and Types of Tuna for searing:
These blackened tuna tacos use ahi tuna as the fish because it is firm and holds up to a nice sear, making it a fast cooking fish. Ahi tuna is also called yellowfin or bigeye tuna.
This type of tuna is found in steak form which means it is a thick cut that is cooked to medium rare in the center and seared on the outside. If you cannot find ahi tuna then bluefin or yellowfin tuna will work great.
All of these types of tuna are perfect for searing and can be served with a pink center.
More tuna recipes
If you like blackened tuna, you may like:
- Blackened Chicken
- Easy Sausage Jambalaya
- Sausage and Chicken Gumbo
- Real Texas Chili
- Miso Rubbed Salmon
- Sheet Pan Salmon and Veggies
- Oven Baked Cast Iron Salmon
- Tuna Ceviche
Blackened Seared Tuna
Tried the Recipe? We Would Love To Hear From You In The Comments Below!
- 2 Ahi tuna steaks
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil for pan
- 6 flour tortillas warmed
- 4 tablespoon Sweet paprika
- 2 tablespoon Chili powder
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon Cayenne pepper use ¼ teaspoon if you like really spicy
Cumin Lime Coleslaw
- 8-10 oz of green and purple cabbage mixed Bagged shredded cabbage works great.
- 1 lime
- 1 teaspoon of cumin plus more to taste
- 2 tablespoon of chopped fresh cilantro
- ¼ cup green onions thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoon of sour cream for a healthier coleslaw you can use greek yogurt.
- 2 tablespoon of mayonnaise
- kosher salt and pepper to taste I use about ½ teaspoon of each
Warming tortillas (if making tacos)
- Place tortillas in aluminum foil and wrap tightly then place in a pre-heated oven at 270 degrees.6 flour tortillas
Cumin Lime Coleslaw
- In a large bowl add your mayonnaise, sour cream, cumin, cilantro and shallot if your are using it. .1 teaspoon of cumin, 2 tablespoon of chopped fresh cilantro, 2 tablespoon of sour cream, 2 tablespoon of mayonnaise, ¼ cup green onions
- Next add your cabbage mix8-10 oz of green and purple cabbage mixed
- Now squeeze the fresh lime over top and add your salt and pepper. Mix well so all of the ingredients come together. It may look a little dry but once it sits it will come together and moisten.1 lime, kosher salt and pepper to taste
- Taste for any additional cumin. I like lots so I usually add a little more at this point.
- Let sit while you prepare the tuna.
Making the blackened seasoning
- Mix together all the spices in a small bowl.4 tablespoon Sweet paprika, 2 tablespoon Chili powder, 1 tablespoon Kosher salt, ⅛ teaspoon Cayenne pepper
Searing the blackened tuna
- Pre-heat a large flat bottom pan over medium high heat then add oil.
- Pour blackened seasoning on to a plate.1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Pat tuna steaks with a paper towel to dry them off.
- Press tuna steaks into seasoning making sure to coat all sides (even the edges).2 Ahi tuna steaks
- Place tuna steaks in the pre-heated pan and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Flip the tuna steaks and cook for another 1 minute. This will yield a rare to medium rare tuna steak.
- Remove from the pan and serve as is or slice into thin strips and place into warmed tortillas and top with cumin and lime slaw.
Nutrition Values are estimates only.See full nutrition disclaimer here
These tuna steaks were really good.
Love hearing that!
Made this last night and it was amazing!
Hi Mike. I am glad you enjoyed it 🙂
Made the tuna on its own and loved it, can’t wait to try it in taco form next!