The Best Tuna Loin Recipe

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The Best Tuna Loins RecipeIf you’re looking to switch over to healthy eating, you’ll love these quick and easy marinated tuna steaks that have been gently soaked in olive oil, soy, lime juice, and seasonings. Because tuna is completely mild-flavored, it’s the ideal kind of fish to soak up all the flavors of this marinade. While it’s perfectly fine to season fresh tuna with salt, pepper, and olive oil, this 15-minute marinade can help you make the best tuna loin recipe!   

Ingredients and Alternatives 

This tuna steak marinade uses an Asian-inspired marinade that features simple ingredients like a mixture of soy sauce, olive oil, and lime. If you’re a fan of spicy food, you can add in chopped jalapeno for an extra kick but this can be completely omitted if you’re not into spices. Below are the ingredients you’ll need along with alternatives you can try if they’re unavailable.

  • Tuna Steaks: You can choose from fresh or frozen tuna steaks, but never work with canned tuna with this recipe. Any kind of high-quality tuna will work, including yellowfin tuna, bigeye tuna, and bluefin tuna, all of which you can find in your local grocery store. Moreover, you can also work with different types of tuna, such as tuna fillets, sushi-grade tuna, albacore tuna loins, and more.
  • Olive Oil: You can use vegetable oil or sesame oil as a substitute. 
  • Lime Juice: Lemon juice and orange juice are good substitutes, but you can also use rice vinegar, although this will lack the acidity you would get from citrus juices.       
  • Soy Sauce: While this is great for people who don’t mind salt, you can substitute it for low-sodium soy sauce if you have salt sensitivities.
  • Jalapeno Pepper: A great substitute for this is Thai pepper, some crushed red pepper flakes, or even cayenne pepper if you want something milder. 
  • Fresh garlic cloves
  • Fresh Cilantro or Parsley
  • White Sugar
  • Sesame seeds

How to Marinade Your Tuna 

Now that you’ve chosen your preferred type of tuna, and know which ingredients you’ll need to get started, it’s time to get a small bowl and combine the lime juice, olive oil, jalapeno, cilantro, garlic, and sugar. Place tuna steaks inside an airtight container and pour your marinade mix (save one tablespoon of it), ensuring that your seafood is fully marinated. It shouldn’t take long for raw tuna to soak in the flavors of this marinade. 

You can aim for anywhere between 15 minutes to hours, but the sweet spot will be around 30 minutes to 1 hour. Make sure that you don’t marinate your tuna for too long, they shouldn’t sit in this mixture for too long since the fatty acids in it can ruin the buttery texture of your fish and may instead become like a ceviche.   

Cooking Your Tuna Steaks 

There’s nothing better than rare tuna when you want to serve it for all to enjoy. Ideally, you’ll want to achieve a seared Ahi Tuna, leaving the middle completely pink; overcooking this gorgeous piece of fish will leave it flavorless and dry. To achieve this, work using a nonstick skillet; your hot pan is important when you want to sear both sides of the steak before the inside of the fish gets too hot. 

For most stoves, using medium-high heat should be enough but don’t hesitate to go higher if needed — make sure to start with a generous serving of oil straight into the pan to help it brown. Cooking tuna steak should only take a few minutes on the first side and even less on the second side to get a good sear. A thinner tuna steak will cook faster compared to thicker cuts, and you may also be interested to know that you can do this using an outdoor grill.  


  • Cast iron skillet


  • 1-lb. Tuna steaks
  • 2 tbsp. Cooking oil
  • 1 tsp. Sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove (minced)
  • ½ jalapeno pepper (diced)
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro


  1. Combine all of your marinade ingredients inside a small bowl and whisk everything together using a fork. 
  2. Place your tuna steaks inside an airtight container and add your marinade, saving 1 tablespoon for later. Allow it to marinade for an hour. 
  3. Add your cooking oil to a heated skillet over medium heat. 
  4. When the oil is hot, add your tuna steaks and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side, while aiming to keep the interior of your steak pink. The total cooking time will depend on how thick your steak is. 
  5. Remove your seared tuna steak from the skillet and allow it to rest for 5 minutes. Spoon over the rest of your marinade if you need it, then sprinkle it with some sesame seeds and serve.  

The Best Tuna Loin Recipe

While there are many tuna recipes you can try, this one offers the best way for your family to enjoy this perfectly seared albacore tuna recipe. To get the best results, be sure to keep an eye on how long your tuna is marinated and use a lower sodium version of soy sauce if you want to cut back on the saltiness. Your tuna should also hold its firm texture to guarantee that you serve up the best tuna loins for any special occasion.