The Absolute Best Way To Add A Little Zing To Your Ahi Tuna

Ahi tuna is a chef's delight. The versatile seafood is equally great served raw in a traditional Hawaiian poke bowl or seared with a delicious sesame crust. According to the USDA's FoodData Central, a 6-ounce serving of fresh, raw tuna contains more than 40 grams of protein and less than one gram of fat, making it an ideal source of lean protein. We know it's delicious and nutritious... but what exactly is ahi?

Tamari producer San-J explains that ahi is a category of widely available tuna that can come from one of two tuna species (bigeye and yellowfin), though Chef's Resources notes that ahi is most often understood as referring specifically to yellowfin. NOAA's FishWatch indicates that both the Atlantic and Pacific yellowfin tuna are sustainable seafood choices because their populations are over target and their fishing rates are at recommended levels. So you've procured your high-protein, sustainable ahi, and you're wondering how to make its flavors sing. Luckily for you, San-J doesn't only make tasty sauces — they have expert advice for how you can create your next ahi masterpiece.

Harness the power of citrus

San-J points out that serving ahi tuna alongside sliced citrus creates a powerful contrast between the more acidic fruit and the milder fish. If you peruse enough recipes for ahi tuna, you'll notice many of them include a citrus component, like citrus juice or zest, and sometimes both! This tuna tartare recipe, for example, balances the meaty richness of ahi tuna with a delightful crunch from watermelon radishes and the zingy lift of lemon zest and juice. Another delightfully simple option is making tuna tartare with lime and shallots, which brightens tuna with lime zest and juice, adding Champagne vinegar for a little more acid and balancing it with the complexity of fresh basil and a little kick from pink peppercorns.

While the acidity of citrus juice can certainly add brightness to your ahi tuna, it's important not to marinate your ahi for too long. Leaving your lovely ahi tuna steak in an acidic marinade will make it tough and less appetizing. A brief citrus marinade can be exactly what you need to add a delightful punch to your ahi tuna.