This Seared Ahi Tuna with Orange Avocado Salsa is easy to make, and has tons of flavor. It’s a delicious dinner fit for company or a special occasion!

Even though ahi tuna is often thought of as fancy restaurant food, it’s shockingly easy to make at home.

Seared Ahi Tuna Sliced Thinly On a Plate with Orange Salad

This is true of most seafood in general, and most people find they can make Pan Seared Salmon or Seared Scallops just as well as the restaurants but at a fraction of the cost.

Since most of the enjoyment of the fish is all about cooking it properly and not overpowering the flavor, you don’t want the preparation to be overly complicated anyway.

For this recipe, we make a simple 2-ingredient marinade for the fish, and in the meantime make a simple orange avocado salsa with flavors like mint and jalapeno.

It’s really refreshing and light, and much cheaper than what you’d pay at a restaurant!

Step by Step Overview:

This dish is simple, and involves marinating tuna, searing it, then serving it with a simple salsa.

Marinate the fish

To marinate the tuna steaks, we’ll be using fresh orange juice and soy sauce:

Ahi Tuna - Raw on Parchment Paper with Orange Juice and Soy Sauce in Background

It’s very simple, but gives a great balance of umami, savory, sweet, and bright.

Combine the steaks and marinade ingredients in a bag, then place back into the fridge:

Ahi Tuna Marinade - In a Plastic Bag with Two Tuna Steaks

Make the salsa

While that marinates, combine fresh orange segments, minced jalapeno, fresh mint leaves, shallot, salt, and olive oil in a bowl:

Orange Segments, Jalapeno, Herbs, and Shallot in a Glass Bowl

Here’s a quick guide for How to Segment an Orange if you’re not sure how to do it.

Mix that all together to combine, then add diced avocado and a pinch more of salt, at the end:

Orange Segments, Jalapeno, Herbs, and Shallot in a Glass Bowl with Avocado Chunks Added

That way you don’t accidentally overmash the avocado while stirring.

Toss to coat the avocado in all the flavors, and the salsa is ready:

Orange Segments, Jalapeno, Herbs, and Shallot, Avocado Salad in Glass Bowl

Now it’s time to put it all together!

Sear the fish

Preheat a cast iron skillet over high heat, and add about a tablespoon of high heat oil, such as avocado oil, followed by the ahi tuna steaks:

Pan Seared Ahi Tuna - In Cast Iron Skillet Partially Cooked

I like to keep the interior as rare as possible, only searing the outsides until golden, about 1-2 minutes on each side:

Seared Ahi Tuna Recipe - Shown in a Cast Iron Skillet with Brown Exterior

Then I make sure to rub any pink spots on the sides against the hot skillet as well, to kill any bacteria on the outside.

Plate it

To serve, carefully slice the fish very thinly with a sharp knife, and serve with the orange avocado salsa:

Seared Tuna Recipe - Sliced and Presented on a Multicolor Plate with Orange Salad

I like to eat it all together, with bites of orange and avocado with each bite of tuna. Enjoy!

FAQ and Tips:

Is seared ahi tuna safe?

Generally no food is completely guaranteed to be safe to eat, because you’re relying on the grocery store to have properly handled everything and humans make mistakes. You just don’t know. If you can, try to find sashimi grade tuna, but know that it’s not actually regulated.

Can you store seared ahi tuna leftovers?

Yes, for up to 1 day in the fridge in an airtight container.

What are some good side dishes to serve with seared ahi tuna?

I like Rice Pilaf, Shaved Fennel, Orange & Beet Salad, and Broccoli Salad.

More Fish and Seafood Recipes:

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Seared Ahi Tuna Sliced Thinly On a Plate with Orange Salad

Seared Ahi Tuna with Orange Mint Avocado Salsa

This Seared Ahi Tuna has tons of flavor, paired with an Orange Avocado Salsa on the side. It’s a delicious dinner fit for company or a special occasion!

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For the Tuna:

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp orange juice
  • 2 6-ounce ahi tuna steaks
  • 1 tbsp high heat cooking oil such as avocado oil

For the Orange Avocado Salsa:

  • 3 navel oranges
  • 1 jalapeno finely minced (2 tbsp)
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped shallot
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt divided
  • 1 avocado diced


  • Place the soy sauce, orange juice, and tuna steaks into a bag, and let marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • In the meantime, prepare the salsa. Cut the oranges into segments (see How to Segment an Orange if you don’t know how), and place into a bowl.
  • Add the jalapeno, mint, shallot, oil, and 1/8 tsp salt, and stir to combine. 
  • Add the avocado and remaining 1/8 tsp salt, and toss gently, just enough to coat the avocado with the other ingredients.
  • Preheat a skillet, preferably cast iron, over high heat, until the pan starts to smoke.
  • Add the high heat cooking oil, then sear the tuna on each side for about 60-90 seconds, until browned. The pan should be hot enough that it sizzles loudly when you add the tuna.
  • Once the bottom and top are seared and golden, rub any leftover exposed pink surfaces on the sides against the pan, to cook all exterior parts of the fish.
  • Thinly slice the fish, then arrange on a plate with the orange avocado salsa on the side. Enjoy!


Storage: you can keep leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 1 day.


Calories: 507kcal, Carbohydrates: 48g, Protein: 47g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 66mg, Sodium: 965mg, Fiber: 12g, Sugar: 32g

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

Post updated October 2018. Originally published December 2010.