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Sesame-Crusted Tuna Teriyaki with Cucumber & Carrot Relish

Given sushi's popularity, this is a great starter dish to have to wow your guests at a dinner party. The crunchy crust and the melt-in-your-mouth tuna is just so unforgettable. You probably won't believe how easy and quick it is to make this!

I wished I had wider access to tuna though, it took a while to find good quality ones. Alternatively, this recipe works well with salmon too, cooked at the same temperature for a rare finish, without the sesame crust. Just chill it immediate after cooking prior to slicing - you get cleaner cuts that way, as salmon is velvety soft and fragile when warm.

Recipe: Sesame-Crusted Tuna Teriyaki with Cucumber & Carrot Relish

Serves 2 (4 as starters)
Active time: 10 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes


2 tuna steaks

1 cucumber
1 carrot
10g (2 tsp) of sugar
5g (1 tsp) of salt

Teriyaki Sauce
50ml (3 tbsp) light soy sauce
50ml (3 tbsp) mirin
14g (1 tbsp) sugar

Sesame Crust
90g (3 oz) white sesame seeds
60g (2 oz) black sesame seeds
30ml (2 tbsp) sunflower oil


30 minutes before
Set Codlo to preheat water bath to 43°C (109°F) with 15 minutes cooking time.

Once target temperature is reached, seal the tuna in a bag and submerge it in the water bath.

Peel long, wide strips of cucumber and carrots with a peeler. Place them in a bowl and toss with sugar and salt. Refrigerate until use.

10 minutes before
Make the teriyaki sauce: bring soy sauce, mirin and sugar mixture to boil. Reduce heat to medium, simmer for 2 minutes until reduced. Remove from heat, set aside.

Once the tuna is ready, carefully remove it from bag and pat dry with kitchen towels. Mix both the sesame seeds on a separate plate. Coat the tuna with sesame seeds on all sides.

Heat up a pan with some oil on medium heat, gently toast the sesame-crusted tuna for 30 seconds a side until aromatic. Set aside.

To plate
Slice the tuna against the grain into bite-size portions. Brush some teriyaki sauce in the middle of the plate at an angle. Arrange the tuna slices perpendicular to the sauce. Mold the carrot and cucumber relish into a tall tower with your hand and place it behind the tuna slices. Serve immediately with extra sauce on the side.

Notes & Tips

Tuna’s great on the rarer side, so 47°C (117°F) is about as high as I’d go to enjoy it in its full glory.

Cutting the cooked tuna requires some practice as it’s fragile. Use a sharp knife and cut against the grain in one smooth motion.