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Blackened Tuna Steak Recipe

Blackened Tuna Steak is coated with a spicy dry rub, seared and briefly cooked in a skillet – resulting in a beautiful blackened tuna steak that is medium-rare on the inside. Top with my Tropical Salsa for a “cool” contrast to the “spicy” seasonings on the blackened tuna steak. 


ahi Tuna Steak

Now that is a beautiful tuna steak.  We spend the winters in Florida, and one of the local fishermen sets up a roadside seafood stand on the weekends.  We visit it nearly every weekend for stone crab, grouper, and tuna.  They are all fresh off the boat.  When I got this steak home, I vacuum packed it and froze it.  It looks and tastes like a freshly caught piece of ahi tuna. 

SIS (simple is smart) recipe for a dry rub for Blackened Tuna Steaks.  

To make a quick and straightforward rub. Mix together a tablespoon each of paprika and Old Bay seasoning, plus 1/2 tsp each of ground ginger, oregano, and mustard, and lastly, 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper. This amount of cayenne pepper makes the fish fairly spicy; decrease the cayenne if you like a mild, non-spicy piece of fish. Generously coat the fish with the rub and let it rest for several minutes while you heat a grill pan or skillet. (You could also use pre-mixed spices like Bearded Butcher Blend Seasoning Cajun.)

Cooking the Blackened Tuna Steak

A hot grill pan or skillet is essential for cooking the blackened tuna steak. You want to sear the fish when you put it into the pan. This gives the fish that nice blackened appearance and locks in all of the flavors. If you like your steaks rare, cook the tuna for 1 1/2 minute on each side. Cook 2 minutes for a medium-rare steak, and 2 1/2 – 3 minutes for medium-well. I cooked this steak to a medium done. Farmer Fred likes his blackened tuna steaks cooked very rare. I tell him they look like a big piece of sashimi, not a tuna steak.  Oh, now don’t forget to make my yummy tropical salsa to serve with the steak.

blackened tuna steak

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blackened Tuna Steak

Blackened Tuna Steak

Blackened Tuna Steak is coated with a spicy dry rub, seared and briefly cooked in a skillet - resulting in a beautiful blackened tuna steak that is medium-rare on the inside.
Tried this recipe?Mention @WPRecipeMaker or tag #wprecipemaker!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: blackened tuna steak, tuna steak
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 183kcal


  • 8 ounces two 4 ounce tuna steaks


  • 1 Tbsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tbsp old bay seasoning
  • ½ tsp ground dried ginger
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder


Make the Blackening Dry Rub

  • Mix together all of the blackening/rub ingredients. Note you will have rub left over for more steaks.
  • Coat each tuna steak with the dry rub
  • Preheat a skillet until it is hot. Add about a tsp of oil to the bottom of the skillet.
  • Put the steaks into the hot pan.
  • Cook the steak for 1 1/2 minutes on each side for a rare steak
    2 minutes on each side for a medium-rare steak and 2 1/2 to 3 minutes on each side for a medium to medium-well done steak.



Serve the Blackened Tuna Steak with tropical salsa.  


Serving: 4ounces | Calories: 183kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 47mg | Potassium: 366mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 4356IU | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 3mg

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    5 stars
    Excellent recipe.Made this tonight for dinner. Even my picky husband enjoyed it. Thank You

    1. growwithdoctorjo

      This is also a favorite of Farmer Fred. Thank you for your comment.

      1. Anonymous

        4 stars

  2. Anonymous

    5 stars
    Loved this rub! Best recipe I have found.

  3. Anonymous

    5 stars
    Use this recipe to make blackened ahi tuna BLT’s fabulous!

    1. Doctor Jo

      Wow that sounds amazing.

  4. Anonymous

    The tuna is 45mg of salt but adding all that seasoning is adding hundreds of MG of sodium

    1. Doctor Jo

      Thank you for pointing that out. Yes, the old bay will add a lot of extra sodium. If you are on a sodium-restricted diet leave the old bay out of the seasoning.

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