Blackened Ahi Tuna

done1Blackened food is often thought to be something you can only get in a restaurant.  The mysterious nature of how it can be blackened yet not burned perplexes many.  I am here to take some of that mystery away.  It’s not all that hard if you follow a few very easy steps.

A traditional blackening mixture involves mayonnaise with spices slathered on and grilled. This is a Greek style Blackening mixture.  I have lightened things up a bit by switching out the mayonnaise for Greek yogurt which also adds a nice tang that when paired with the tuna and combined with a bit of lemon really makes this dish special.

Because of the switch from mayonnaise to yogurt, I find it best to use a stove top grill pan.  If you don’t have one of these handy dandy pans, just use a non-stick pan… the only difference will be that you won’t get those pretty grill marks… the flavor profile will remain, yum.

tuna steak

Start with a good quality, wild caught, Ahi Tuna steak. Season with kosher salt.


Dish out about a cup of Greek yogurt.


Zest a whole lemon.


These are coriander seeds. If you only have ground coriander, that’s o.k., just rub between your fingers as you add in to release some of the oils.

crushed corriander

Since I do have the whole seeds, I crush them up a bit with my mortar and pestle.


Add in coriander, lemon zest and fresh cracked black pepper.


Chop up some fresh thyme and add to the mixture.

add thyme

Add in the thyme along with about a teaspoon of kosher salt.

cut lemons

Add in the juice of half a lemon.

slathered tuna2

Set aside about 1/4 cup of yogurt mixture, then slather about 2 Tbs. onto one side of the steak.  (If you wanted to marinade this for about an hour before cooking in the fridge, that would work nicely too… just be sure to remove from fridge about 20 minutes before cook time)

tuna grill

Heat up a grill pan (or a regular non-stick pan or cast iron skillet) with a couple tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and place the steak yogurt side down.

flip side

Before you flip the steak, season with kosher salt and slather with yogurt mixture.


This steak is cut to about an inch and a half to two inches thick. Allow steak to cook on each side around 5 mins for a well done steak. If you know and trust your fish monger and you know the fish is fresh, you could go more rare here and do 3-4 mins on each side. The more well done the fish gets, the more “fishy” it will taste.


Top with reserved yogurt and serve. Enjoy! (shown here with brown rice and quinoa and Greek cucumber, tomato salad with feta)

Blackened Ahi Tuna Recipe:

(serves 2)

2 Ahi Tuna steaks

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 lemon, zested and juiced

1 tsp. thyme, chopped

1 tsp. coriander, crushed

1 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste

Extra Virgin Olive Oil


Prepare tuna steak by lightly salting.  Then mix together yogurt, corriander, lemon zest, 1/2 lemon juice, salt, fresh cracked pepper and thyme.  Reserve about 1/4 c. mixture.  Slather 2-3 T. yogurt onto one side of fish. In a very hot grill pan with a few tablespoons of olive oil, place tuna steak, slather side down. Repeat process of salting and slathering.  Cook 5 mins. on each side for well done steak.  Allow to rest and top with some of the reserved yogurt sauce.