Seared Ahi Tuna on Thai Risotto8
Asian,  Main Course,  Seafood

Seared Ahi Tuna with Thai Risotto

Seared Ahi Tuna on Thai Risotto3

I’m not sure how it happened.  Ahi Tuna on sale for $6.99 a pound.  Text message…go there.  Do not pass go, do not collect $200 dollars…just bring home Tuna.  I have to say, I was a bit skeptical.  This was not Sushi grade tuna, for which we will pay up for.  But it was fresh and thick and begging for a swim in marinade.

Seared Ahi Tuna {with Thai Risotto}.

Seared Ahi Tuna on Thai Risotto6

We marinated this gorgeous slab of tuna in a sweet & spicy marinade.  Soy (but not much), ginger, honey, rice wine vinegar, Serrano pepper, sesame oil, cilantro.

Seared Ahi Tuna on Thai Risotto5

If I were a dude I would be quite proud of these grill marks.  Leaving it at that!

There was a debate over what side-dish to serve with, or as a bed for, our Seared Ahi Tuna.  At the suggestion of risotto, I crinkled up my nose…not sure creamy cheesy works here.

YOU are Lemony Thyme.  Change it and make it work.  Yes! I love that vote of confidence.  Thai Risotto with red curry paste and coconut milk it is.

Seared Ahi Tuna on Thai Risotto4

Risotto is a process, one that is well worth each step.  I took my Basic Risotto Recipe with step-by-step how-to’s and subbed in coconut milk and Thai red curry paste for the liquid and aromatics.

The result was glorious.  Fabulous.  And all the other adjectives for delicious.  The tuna paired perfectly.  We reduced the remaining marinade and drizzled it over the dish.  Please make this.

Seared Ahi Tuna on Thai Risotto7
Seared Ahi Tuna on Thai Risotto3

Seared Ahi Tuna with Thai Risotto

Libby with Lemony Thyme
4.75 from 4 votes
Prep Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings 2 -3


For tuna & marinade…

  • 3/4 lb. Ahi tuna
  • 3 Tbl. rice wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbl. sesame oil
  • 2 Tbl. peanut oil
  • 2 Tbl. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbl. honey
  • 2 Tbl. fresh ginger grated
  • 2 Tbl. cilantro chopped
  • 1 Serrano pepper thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbl. peanut or other high-heat oil for searing

For Thai risotto…

  • 2 Tbl. butter
  • 1 cup fine diced onion
  • 1/2 cup Arborio rice
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 Tbl. red curry paste
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine optional
  • 1 14- ounce can light coconut milk
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • salt & pepper to taste


For the tuna & marinade…

  • Combine marinade ingredients in a zipper top bag. Add tuna and marinate for 1 hour. Meanwhile, prepare your Thai risotto.
  • When the risotto is ready, heat your grill or grill pan to medium high. Coat with high-heat oil. Sear tuna for 1-2 minutes, then quarter-turn it on the same side for criss-cross grill marks, for another 1-2 minutes. Flip and repeat on other side, depending on thickness. Remove from heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Slice on the diagonal and serve on a bed of Thai risotto.

For the risotto…

  • In a 2-quart saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion and sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes.
  • Add rice and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until rice is opaque. Add the garlic and red curry paste, stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add the white wine and cook, stirring, until absorbed.
  • Add 1/2 cup of coconut milk to rice and stir continuously until absorbed. Continue adding 1/2 cup coconut milk at a time, stirring continuously until absorbed after each addition. Continue until all milk has been added, about 20 minutes. Test rice for tenderness. If additional liquid is needed add broth in 1/2 cup increments. Season with salt & pepper to taste.


  • Lisa Gruen

    5 stars
    Amazing fusion dish! Well done! Kudos and thanks to you! I followed your directions exactly but used gluten-free Tamari to make the dish gluten-free. I also used “Better than Boullion Vegetable broth” to get the consistency of the risotto perfect. It was absolutely delicious. The sweet and salty…OMG! My only suggestion is to double the risotto recipe.

  • Debra Q Markowitz

    5 stars
    So, I’m staring at a pound of gorgeous ahi tuna and strolling through my brain, trying to think of something fabulous and interesting to do with it. I wondered….. seared tuna risotto? Hmmmm… I wonder if anyone has ever done anything like that….. I knew I could figure out something along those lines, but I googled it to see if anyone had any ideas. And there you were! I had everything in your recipe in stock, except for fresh ginger. I thought about using powdered ginger, but we both know that it’s just not the same. So, I decided that rather than using inferior ginger, I’d change it up a bit. I substituted fresh garlic, and thought that Thai basil, rather than the cilantro (I had both), would marry well with it. After marinating, I coated the tuna in black and white sesame seeds and pan seared it, which was my original plan.
    I followed your risotto recipe exactly (this is rare for me, as I almost always change things up to my tastes and my methodology) because I couldn’t think of a thing to change.
    I added some chopped cilantro over the top of the dish for garnish.
    Languishing in the back of the fridge, I had a couple of artichokes that were begging to be used, so I steamed them and served them with a simple dip of lime and garlic aioli, with a bit of siracha for kick.
    What a wonderful, middle of the week dinner!
    Thanks for this great recipe. Next time I’ll plan ahead and make it with the ginger.

  • Lukas

    4 stars
    Loved it, it tasted great, but your recipe is missing when to add the curry paste. No where in the cut out does it mention when to add it. Just thought I’d let you know.

  • Beverley

    5 stars
    oh Libby you make my heart flutter wit yumminess….I’m a huge fan of tuna and never thought of marrying it up with risotto. Now I am completely converted. Thank you

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