Martha Stewart Living March 2019

Sesame-Crusted Tuna Tataki

Course Appetizer, Main Dish
Cuisine Asian, Seafood
Servings 4 servings


  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil plus more for frying
  • 2 medium shallots thinly sliced into rounds (2/3 cup)
  • Kosher salt and coarsely ground pepper
  • 1 pound yellowfin-tuna or bluefin steak about 1 inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger from a 1/2-inch piece
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced shiso leaves available at Asian groceries and some farmers' markets
  • Bonito flakes optional
  • Flaky sea salt


  • For the fried shallots: Heat 1/2 inch oil in a small skillet over medium; attach a deep-fat thermometer to skillet. When oil shimmers and reaches 320 degrees, carefully add half of shallots. Cook, stirring occasionally with a fork, until shallots are just golden and bubbles stop forming rapidly around them, 2 to 3 minutes. (They will darken and crisp as they cool; do not let darken in oil, or they will taste bitter.) Transfer to paper towels, season with salt, and let stand until cool and crisp. Repeat with remaining shallots.
  • For the tuna: Pat fish dry. In a small bowl, combine 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and sesame seeds. Sprinkle mixture evenly over fish, patting with fingers to adhere; let stand 5 minutes.
  • Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-high until very hot and wisps of smoke are visible, 2 to 3 minutes. Add tuna and cook, undisturbed, until bottom is golden brown and releases easily from skillet and fish is opaque about 1/4 inch up sides, about 1 minute. Flip fish and cook on second side about 1 minute more. Transfer to a cutting board; let stand a few minutes.
  • Meanwhile, whisk together soy sauce, vinegar, oil, and ginger for vinaigrette. Slice fish into scant 1/4-inch-thick pieces. Arrange on a platter for sharing or on 4 individual salad plates if appetizer or 2 for main course. To serve, drizzle vinaigrette evenly over fish and sprinkle with shiso, shallots, bonito, and flaky salt.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!