Seared Tuna with Jalapeno Maple Glaze

Seared tuna is so fancy looking but yet so simple to make.  This is the perfect quick meal, entertaining wowza dinner or just for a little nibble appetizer.  Above you see how I serve this as part of a buffet but I also love it on a crisp wonton or thick crisp tortilla with the slice of jalapeno right on top.  It makes for a one-bite appetizer that can easily be passed around or left out for grabs.

The tuna that I love is albacore tuna, also called blond tuna.  It has a light flesh and a mild flavour.  It has significantly less mercury than yellowfin tuna and an all-around good choice!  I buy it in a long triangular loin that is vacuum packed and frozen from my local fishmonger.  I defrost it in the fridge overnight, unwrap it, pat it dry with a paper towel and continue with the recipe.  If you can not find albacore tuna, feel free to use a yellowfin tuna loin.

Seared Tuna with Jalapeno Maple Glaze

Serves 4 as a main course and 8-10 as an appetizer 


  • 1 lb sushi grade tuna.  I like when the fish is in a rectangular log shape
  • 1-2 tbs sesame oil (or grapeseed)
  • 1 1/2 – 2 tsp Smoked Maldon Sea Salt, or another coarse sea salt, such as Fleur de Sel, Maldon, Celtic Sea Salt
  • Coarsely ground fresh pepper to coat the fish
  • 2-3 tbs toasted sesame seeds, black or white or a combination
  • 2 tsp sesame oil if you are cooking on a pan in the house
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, sliced in very thin rounds

The Glaze

  • 1/2 tbs sesame oil
  • 1 tbs light soy sauce or light tamari
  • 2 1/2 tbs mirin
  • 1/2 tbs maple syrup


  • Heat the grill or a heavy bottomed fry pan to high heat.  If I am not grilling the fish, I prefer to use a cast iron pan; it heats higher, and a better crust will develop on the fish.
  • Coat the fish in sesame oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and press the sesame seeds onto the fish.
  • Add the remaining oil to the pan or brush the grill with the oil.
  • Add the fish to the pan or grill, cook for 30 sec – 1 minute, repeat with all four sides.  If the fish does not have four sides, cook each side slightly longer (1-2 min).  You want to cook this fish rare.  Simply sear the fish, do not cook it through.
  • Allow fish to rest for at least five minutes or until it reaches room temperature.
  • Using a very sharp knife, slice into ¼-½ inch slices. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, mix together The Glaze Ingredients, pour onto a serving dish.
  • Lay the tuna slices on top of The Glaze and top each tuna slice with a slice of Jalapeno.