Ahi Tuna Salad

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For a super simple, yet fancy, upgrade to your greens, look no further than seared ahi tuna salad! You may have had this fish in a poke bowl recipe or while dining out, but serving ahi tuna on salad is just as flavorful and easy. See how to make it with simple ingredients and prep — it’s a lot different than my avocado tuna salad, but oh-so-delicious!

Why You’ll Love This Ahi Tuna Salad Recipe

  • Rich, almost meaty flavor
  • Tender fish with peppery greens and dressing
  • Simple ingredients
  • Quick to cook
  • Naturally gluten-free and low in carbs
Plates of ahi tuna on salad.

Ingredients & Substitutions

This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for seared ahi tuna salad, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.


  • Ahi Tuna Steaks – Look for one 8-ounce portion of sushi-grade tuna. This may be called yellowfin tuna or bigeye tuna at the store. If frozen, thaw the fish first.
  • Dijon Mustard – This will help the sesame seeds adhere to the raw tuna, plus it adds loads of flavor. You could also try it with spicy brown mustard or other types of mustard, but the flavor will be more intense.
  • Sesame Seeds – Both white and black sesame seeds for a lovelier plate. If you can only find one kind, it will still work fine.
  • Sea Salt
TIP: The tuna must be sushi-grade.

TIP: The tuna must be sushi-grade.

Since it will only be seared on the outside and not cooked in the middle, you need fresh, high-quality fish.


  • Asparagus – Use bright green stalks, trimmed of their woody ends. Smaller asparagus is best for salads, but any size will work.
  • Arugula – The peppery flavor of arugula tastes delicious here, but any greens, such as spinach or romaine lettuce, will work as well.
  • Avocado – Diced or sliced thinly.
VARIATION: Try other veggies!

VARIATION: Try other veggies!

This salad is easy to customize! Consider adding to or replacing some of the arugula with sliced red bell pepper, scallions, red cabbage, carrot, or edamame.

Ahi Tuna Salad Dressing:

  • Coconut Aminos – A gluten-free soy sauce substitute. Conventional soy sauce will also work.
  • Dijon Mustard – Helps the oil and coconut aminos emulsify.
  • Lime Juice – Lemon juice or rice vinegar also works.
  • Sesame Oil – Adds richness to many Asian dishes, and works with the citrus juice to create the dressing. I love the flavor that this oil adds, but you can substitute olive oil if you like.
  • Fresh Ginger – Optional, but adds so much flavor! Use a grater or microplane to grate it fresh. It’s only a small amount, so if you want to substitute ground ginger, just a pinch is plenty.
  • Honey – Also optional, but creates a sweet flavor in this savory dressing. I use Wholesome Yum Keto Honey to keep it sugar-free.
  • Sea Salt – Optional, and added to taste.
Ahi tuna salad ingredients in bowls.

How To Make Ahi Tuna On Salad

This section shows how to make ahi tuna avocado salad, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique. For full instructions, see the recipe card below.

  1. Prep tuna. Spread dijon mustard over tuna steak on all sides. Mix black and white sesame seeds on a separate plate, then transfer tuna into the seeds and coat on all sides.
Tuna steak in pile of mixed sesame seeds with more mustard spread on uncovered side.
Tuna steak fully coated in sesame seeds.
  1. Sear. Place the tuna into a hot pan. Sear tuna on all sides, using tongs as needed to “seal” the edges.
  2. Slice. Transfer tuna to a cutting board. Cut lengthwise, then slice.
TIP: Be careful not to overcook!

TIP: Be careful not to overcook!

Seared ahi tuna should be raw, not cooked, inside. We are just giving it a quick sear to seal the outside. This is why sushi-grade fish is so important to use.

Seared tuna steak in pan.
Tuna steak sliced on cutting board.
  1. Cook asparagus. Add an inch of hot water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the skillet. Add asparagus and cook until bright green. Drain and rinse with cold water. Pat dry and set aside.
  2. Mix dressing. Add all dressing ingredients to a bowl and mix until smooth. Add salt to taste.
Asparagus cooking in pan.
Ahi tuna salad dressing mixed in a bowl.
  1. Serve. In two large salad bowls, arrange arugula and top with asparagus, avocado, and sliced tuna. Finish with dressing.
Ahi tuna salad on plates with dressing on the side.

Storage Instructions

This salad tastes best fresh, but it can be stored if necessary. Keep the tuna, vegetables, and dressing separately in the fridge for up to 3 days. Avocado will go brown during this time, so either squeeze lemon juice over the top or for best results, slice just before serving.

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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.

  1. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat.

  2. Meanwhile, spread Dijon mustard over the tuna steak on all sides.

  3. Combine black and white sesame seeds on a shallow plate, then gently press the tuna steak into seeds to coat it on all sides.

  4. Add the tuna to the hot skillet. Sear for about 1 minute per side. Use tongs to hold the edges to the skillet to “seal” all sides.

  5. Transfer the tuna to a cutting board. Cut the fish lengthwise, then slice.

  6. Add about an inch of hot water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the skillet. Place the asparagus in the water and cook for 3-4 minutes, until bright green. Transfer to a colander and run under cold water to stop the asparagus from cooking further. Pat dry and set aside.

  7. In a small bowl, stir together the dressing ingredients, until smooth. Adjust salt to taste.

  8. Divide the arugula among two serving bowls. Top with asparagus, avocado, and sliced tuna. Drizzle with dressing.

Recipe Notes

Serving size: ~2 cups, or 1/2 recipe

Nutrition Facts

Amount per serving. Serving size in recipe notes above.




Total Carbs

Net Carbs



Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.

© Copyright Maya Krampf for Wholesome Yum. Please DO NOT SCREENSHOT OR COPY/PASTE recipes to social media or websites. We’d LOVE for you to share a link with photo instead. 🙂

Ahi tuna salad recipe.

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