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Best Seasoning for Tuna Steak: 15 Truly Flavorful Ideas

Best Seasoning for Tuna Steak: 15 Truly Flavorful Ideas

I think we can all agree that tuna makes for both delicious and nutritious meals. Not to mention, tuna steak seasoning recipes can be super versatile!

From healthy breakfasts to savory dinners to quick snacks, the possibilities are practically endless when you decide to break out of the “norm” for cooking tuna.

This is why it can be overwhelming to figure out what flavors to pair your tuna steak with.

The good news is:

The best seasoning for tuna steak comes in a wide range of tastes, textures, scents, and even looks (the same way that swordfish seasoning ideas do too!)

This means you’re bound to find the best seasoning for tuna steak that fits your preference at any moment!

Today, I’ve put together a list of 15 mouth-watering tuna steak seasoning ideas to help you try different flavor options for your tuna recipes and please the whole family.

1. Lemonize Your Tuna Steak


I love cooking with lemon, and if you’re into sharp and acidic flavors, you’ll appreciate this seared tuna steak seasoning as much as I do!

This recipe calls for lemon juice, lemon zest, and lemon peels. It also uses peppercorns for a touch of spice.

The sourness from the lemon is a lovely way to balance the creaminess of the tuna while adding a sense of freshness to the dish.

With a recipe heavily relying on lemon, I recommend searing or baking the tuna to preserve and highlight the tartness.

2. Grill the Tuna Steak


If you like grilled meat or chicken, I come with good news:

You can get the same nutty, woody, or charcoal flavors and those beautiful grill marks with your tuna steak. All you need is a grill, salt, ground pepper, and some olive oil.

Grilling works great for tuna steak thanks to its tender and juicy texture. The fact that tuna doesn’t taste (or smell!) like fish also helps.

The cooking time here depends on the thickness of your steak and the doneness level you prefer. For 1/2- to 1-inch cuts, I recommend 3 to 4 minutes of grilling on each side. 

3. Top with a Honey Glaze


One of my all-time favorite grilled tuna steak seasoning options is honey. It may sound weird, but here’s the deal:

When it comes to complementing the sweet flavor and buttery texture of tuna and balancing the smokiness of the grill, there’s nothing like a honey glaze to get the job done.

To make it, you need to combine honey along with lime juice, garlic, and olive oil.

Besides using the mixture as a brush for the tuna steak while it’s cooking, it also tastes amazing as a topping once the tuna is done.

4. Air Fry for Expanded Flavor

Air fried tuna steak

Tuna is generally associated with healthy cooking. But what do you do if you’re craving some fried goodness?

You turn to your air fryer of course!

You may not know this, but you can make fried tuna steak without using a ton of oil.

The result is a lovely golden brown surface with the same complex flavor and crispy texture that traditional frying offers.

Once again, the cooking time depends on the steak’s thickness and the doneness level you like. To cook a 1/2-inch tuna steak to medium, 2 minutes per side should do the trick.

5. Maple and Mustard Marinade


One of the best ways to make tuna steak seasoning simple is to marinate it before cooking.

Marinating allows flavors to reach deep into the tissues of the steak so you can taste them with every bite.

Using marinade can also affect the color of the tuna steak. The maple syrup and Dijon mustard featured in this recipe, for example, give the fish a nice golden brown color.

Not to mention, marinating locks the moisture inside the tuna, which results in a more tender and juicy steak.

6. Use Hoisin Sauce with Soy Sauce


Thanks to its savory depth, soy sauce is pretty much a staple seasoning ingredient in fish and seafood recipes. 

This also goes for tuna, which benefits big time from the balanced sweet, salty, and umami flavors of soy sauce. But here’s how you can make it even better:

Add hoisin sauce.

Hoisin sauce usually contains five-spice powder, sugar, and red chili pepper. This combination produces intense saltiness, some heat, and slight sweetness.

These flavors blend together to take your tuna steak to a whole new level of richness.

7. Bake to Maintain Natural Flavors

Baking is a fantastic way to cook a healthy tuna steak meal without losing much of its nutrients or flavors.

To do this right, here are a couple of tips:

  • Make sure you preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Always grease the baking pan before placing the tuna steak.
  • Determine the cooking times based on the thickness of the steak and the doneness level you want. For cooking a 1/2-inch tuna steak to medium, 4 to 6 minutes should be enough.

8. Make a Coconut Crust


I love me some crunchy fish, so when I came across the idea of tuna steak with a coconut crust, I just knew I had to share it!

The toasted coconut crust doesn’t just bring a bold texture and a pretty color to the dish, but it also adds a mild sweetness that goes great with the creaminess of the tuna.

Not to mention, when you add some lemon or orange zest to the mixture, the citrusy flavor perfectly balances out the coconut.

One thing you should remember to get the best results is to refrigerate your tuna steaks for at least half an hour once coated. This helps the crust stay intact.

9. Pair with Pineapple Salsa

Pineapple Salsa Tuna 

Speaking of unconventional seasoning, how about tuna steak pineapple salsa?

I know it sounds fishy (see what I did there?), but just hear me out.

This pineapple salsa will give your dish an awesome shot of sweet, savory, and spicy all at once. Besides pineapple, it also uses tomatoes, onions, and cilantro for extra flavors.

Not to mention, it’ll introduce some bright colors and chunky texture to your tuna steak that’ll never bore you.

10. Couple with Wasabi-Avocado Puree


There’s just something about the heat of wasabi and the buttery-ness of avocado that clicks.

The pungency of the wasabi is balanced by the earthy freshness of the avocado. Together, they make a yummy combo that goes so well with tuna that’ll have you licking your plate!

Want to know the best part? You can store this puree for days in the fridge or months in the freezer.

11. Sear for a Savory Punch

Searing will forever be one of my favorite ways to cook tuna steak.

It creates a delicious crispy, savory, and salty layer on the outside while keeping the inside juicy and supple. The rich flavor and contrasting textures make the experience so much better.

Make sure the oil is very hot before you place your tuna in the pan.

12. Cook with Sesame Seeds


If you’re going to try searing your tuna, I highly recommend you do it with some toasted sesame seeds pressed to the steak.

Sesame seeds have a unique nutty flavor and aroma that pairs heavenly with the creaminess of tuna. It also adds a nice crunch to the dish.

13. Prepare with Teriyaki Sauce


If you’re looking for simple but tasty tuna steak seasoning, then teriyaki sauce is the answer.

Teriyaki sauce is typically made of soy sauce, mirin, and sugar to create a unique rich yet sharp taste with both salty and sweet edges.

Use teriyaki sauce to marinate, baste, or glaze your tuna steaks.

This is one of our family’s favorite recipes to use with our Kikkoman teriyaki sauce.

14. Braise the Tuna Steak for Tender Flavor


Braising is an excellent way to get the best of both the frying and simmering world.

When you braise a tuna steak, you’ll get the crispy, savory exterior while allowing the flavors to penetrate and tenderize the interior. 

15. Cover with Volcano Sauce


If you want to spice up your tuna steak dinner, try adding some volcano sauce.

Besides the mild heat, volcano sauce also introduces a sweet creaminess that flawlessly complements the buttery texture and mild sweetness of the fish.

There you have it, 15 new ideas covering the best seasoning for tuna steak

And while you’re it be sure to cook up some delicious tuna steak sides to complete your meal or up your game with your extras in our list of leftover ideas!

tuna steak seasoning hdr

Best Seasoning for Tuna Steak: 15 Flavorful Ideas

Ideas and recipes for tuna steak seasonings


  • Highlight with Lemon and Pepper
  • Grill for Nutty and Woody Flavors
  • Honey Glaze
  • Air Fry to Expand Tastes
  • Marinate for Tender Juiciness
  • Hoisin Sauce
  • Bake for Natural Flavors
  • Sweeten with a Coconut Crust
  • Pineapple Salsa
  • Wasabi-Avocado Puree
  • Sear for Savory Punch
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Teriyaki Sauce
  • Braise for Super Tender Flavor
  • Volcano Sauce


  • Choose your desired seasoning for a delicious Tuna Steak dinner.
  • Gather and organize needed ingredients.
  • Season your tuna steak, cook, and enjoy!

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