Apr 18, 2024

Tuna Tataki Coated with Double Roasted White Sesame Seeds

Tuna tataki is like a bit fancy way to enjoy sashimi-grade fish. You take a whole log of sashi-grade tuna, give it a light seasoning then roll in toasted sesame seeds. To further bring out the flavors, a quick sear all around to get a cooked aroma on the outside paired with rare meat in the center.

After slicing and plating, some like to serve it with Japanese seasonings with sliced aromatics on top. To save some troubles, simply use store-bough ponzu sauce to complete the dish. Tuna tataki also goes hand in hand with Japanese sake (don't drink and drive), perhaps one can think of it as Japanese style tapas.

Tuna tataki coated with double roasted white sesame seeds - 

Tuna tataki coated with double roasted white sesame seeds


  • 1 log/about 180 grams sushi-grade tuna
  • Some olive oil
  • Some salt
  • 2 tablespoons toasted white sesame seeds
  • Some chives (optional)


  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons mirin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger


Pour some toasted white sesame seeds to a plate. I used double roasted white sesame seeds, which has a hand-ground texture like using mortar and pestle. The aroma is quite robust, so I chose to use the white sesame seeds only. If using regular toasted sesame seeds, you can mix in some black sesame seeds too if preferred. 

Sushi-grade tuna rolled in toasted white sesame seeds

Rub the sashimi-grade tuna with olive oil then roll onto the sesame seeds to get an even coating on all sides, except for both ends. 

Sushi-grade tuna rolled in toasted white sesame seeds

Use a non-stick pan and drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Switch to medium heat and wait till the oil gets hot. Not warm, we need it hot. 

It's easier to maneuver the fish with your hands, just be careful not to get burned. Transfer the fish to the pan and give it a nice sear all around, except for the ends. It happens really quickly, probably 10 seconds depending on how thick the log you're using.

What I do is by rolling and changing sides for the fish log using my hands, but again, be careful not to get burned. The tuna is ready when the outside turns cooked white color and the center still remains raw or semi-raw. 

Seared tuna coated with toasted white sesame seeds

Transfer the fish to a plate and into the freezer while we work on the sauce. It'll help firming up the meat and will be easier to slice without breaking the edges later on.

Take a chunk of the ginger and scrape the skin. Grate the ginger to get 1/2 teaspoon of it. Add that along with all other ingredients listed under the "sauce" section to a bowl. Whisk till the sugar has been fully dissolved. Taste and adjust to your liking if needed.

Take the tuna out. Use a sharp knife and slice to single-bite size pieces, like what you get for sashimi. Plate and wait a few more minutes, till the tuna has come back to room temperature, on a slightly colder side is fine.

Plating tuna tataki

Pour over the sauce. If using chives, give it a fine chop and garnish on top.

Tuna tataki coated with double roasted white sesame seeds

As good as the tuna tataki works with Japanese sake, I actually finished the dish as it is, no drinks involved. Turned out the whole plate became me and Mister's weekend morning snack. A little energy boost before we head out and grab a full late lunch couple hours after.

Tuna tataki coated with double roasted white sesame seeds

Wait, I suddenly realized that was one hella expensive "snack" and was gone in like 10 minutes.

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