Macadamia Sesame Crusted Tuna: Exclusive recipe from Laura Lea

By Laura Lea on 1st Apr 2020

A recipe with tuna

Macadamia Sesame Crusted Tuna

Hands-on time: 30 minutes

Total time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 2 servings


¼ cup low-sodium tamari

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 packed teaspoon freshly grated ginger (sub ¼ teaspoon ground)

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or lime juice

1 tablespoon maple syrup

2 4 or 5 -ounce sushi-grade wild tuna filets (fresh or thawed-from-frozen)

¾ cup raw macadamia nuts

3 tablespoons sesame seed, plus more for garnish (white or black seeds will work)

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon arrowroot or cornstarch

¼ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon avocado oil, plus more if using not using a nonstick skillet

Note: We use avocado oil in this recipe, even with a nonstick skillet, because it helps create a crispy crust!


In a shallow dish/casserole dish, whisk together tamari, sesame oil, minced garlic, ground ginger, apple cider vinegar or lime juice and maple syrup.

Add tuna filets and coat with marinade. Keep filets side-by-side (instead of overlapping) and refrigerate 30 minutes. Flip after 30 minutes and marinate on the other side another 30 minutes.

While tuna is marinating, add macadamia nuts to a food processor or high-powered blender and pulse until it forms a fine crumble. Don’t let it turn to nut butter! Add macadamia crumble to a bowl and add sesame seeds, 1 tablespoon arrowroot or cornstarch, salt and pepper. Whisk to evenly combine.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Remove tuna filets from the refrigerator and place on a clean plate, saving the leftover marinade. Press one-quarter of your crumble mixture onto each side of the tuna filets (top and bottom, not sides), flipping them gently. It should almost become a paste consistency. Depending on the size of your filets, you may or may not have some crumble leftover. If you do, press it into the sides of the filets.

Heat a cast-iron or other nonstick skillet to medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon avocado oil. (*If you don’t have a nonstick pan, add an extra tablespoon avocado oil). When oil moves quickly around the pan and a splash of water “sizzles” when it hits the pan, it’s ready for searing.

Carefully add filets to the pan, leaving an inch or two between each. Allow tuna to sear for 3-4 minutes. It will be ready to flip when you can easily get a spatula underneath without the flesh sticking to the pan. You’re looking for a golden-brown crust. Flip and sear another two minutes.

If you want to cook the tuna longer, add skillet to the oven for 3-10 minutes, or until it reaches your desired doneness (no oven: bright pink/raw center, 3 mins: medium pink center, 7 minutes: very light pink center, 10 minutes: fully cooked center ). This will depend on the thickness of your filets as well.

Rest filets for 10 minutes before slicing. While filets are resting, strain your leftover marinade through a fine mesh strainer into a small saucepan. Add ½ cup water and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes.

After five minutes, taste marinade. If it seems too salty, add a few more tablespoons water until it reaches your desired flavor. Now combine remaining teaspoon starch with 1 ½ teaspoons water in a small bowl. Stir to incorporate, then add starch liquid to the marinade. Cook another 30 seconds or so, until sauce noticeably thickens.

Slice tuna against the grain (my slices are approximately ½” thick) and serve immediately with marinade and an extra sprinkle of sesame seeds.

‘Simply Laura Lea’ will be published on April 7 2020 and is available to pre-order here.

Related articles: A Lemon Almond Pound Cake recipe from Laura Lea

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