Simple Seared Tuna Salad With Miso Dressing Recipe

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by Maggie Turansky

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Living in Australia, I’m blessed to be able to access an abundance of fresh seafood at relatively affordable prices. And one of my absolute favourite meals to make with this gorgeous, fresh fish is this incredible seared tuna salad with miso vinaigrette.

After years of living in land-locked countries & cities, I’ve been incorporating fresh, local fish into meals at least once per week. And this salad has quickly jumped to one of my favourites – especially considering it is super quick to throw together! Along with my clementine salmon, rainbow trout and red snapper, this recipe is very much in my regular meal rotation.

This salad is filling and delicious and packed with wonderful flavours that I promise will make it super craveable. And a pro tip – I make extra dressing and keep it in the fridge! It stays good for several weeks and it can be used on lots of different salads.

Seared Tuna Salad with Miso Dressing
Seared Tuna Salad with Miso Dressing

How to Make a Simple Seared Tuna Salad

The first step of this salad is to make the dressing.

This is very much a no-frills dressing and I simply put all of the ingredients into a jar and shake it until everything is easily combined. There’s no reason to slowly drizzle in oil while constantly whisking here!

Ingredients for this seared tuna salad recipe
Ingredients for this recipe

I combine rice vinegar, caster (superfine) sugar – you can use granulated sugar here, I just like how easily caster sugar dissolves -, miso paste, garlic, a bit of toasted sesame oil and some regular, neutral oil.

The flavours of the miso and sesame oil really are the winners in this dressing – it makes it distinctive and really craveably delicious.

Making the miso dressing
Making the miso dressing

Now, let’s move on to the tuna. First things first, make sure to liberally season your tuna on both sides with salt and pepper.

Because this is seared and not cooked all the way through, make sure you’re using the highest quality and freshest fish you can get your hands on.

After you’ve seasoned the fish, it’s time to coat it with sesame seeds. Sprinkle some sesame seeds over each side and then press them into the flesh to ensure they’re adhered. Do this on both sides of your tuna steak.

Prepping the tuna
Prepping the tuna

Next, add a bit of neutral oil to a large skillet and set it over medium-high heat. Heat the oil until it’s shimmering – make sure you’re patient and the oil is sufficiently hot before you add the tuna. This will ensure that you get the best possible sear on your fish.

Once the oil is hot, add your tuna. I usually cook a steak for about 90 seconds but it depends on the thickness of the steak. I find this works well for a 3cm thick steak, but if it’s thinner, cook for less time. The same goes for thicker.

After you cook the tuna, remove it from the pan and allow it to rest for at least five minutes before slicing. Once it’s ready, slice it into thin strips against the grain to get the most tender slices of fish.

Cooked tuna sliced thinly
Cooked tuna sliced thinly

In the meantime, however, you can assemble the salad.

To a large salad bowl, add some lettuce – I call for little gem lettuce but you can use whatever you’d like – scallions, edamame, cucumber, red chiles, plenty of cilantro, some roughly chopped peanuts (I used unsalted to sub the saltiness of the dish) and a few more sesame seeds.

Tossing the salad together
Tossing the salad together

Pour over the dressing and toss all of the salad to combine. Then, portion the salad into serving dishes.

Then, arrange the fish equally across your salads and serve!

Seared Tuna Salad

Seared Tuna Salad with Miso Dressing

This tuna salad is simple to make – it comes together in under 30 minutes – but is so flavourful and beautiful that it feels like something you'd get from a high-end cafe. Use the freshest, highest-quality tuna that you can find and note that the dressing can be made several days in advance.
5 from 1 vote
Servings 2
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


Miso Dressing

Seared Tuna Salad

  • 300 g (10.5 oz) tuna steak
  • 2 tbsp + 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 2 heads little gem lettuce shredded
  • 3-4 scallions whites and greens thinly sliced
  • 200 g (1 cup) frozen edamame thawed
  • 1/2 cucumber sliced thin
  • 1-2 red chilies sliced thin
  • 2 tbsp cilantro roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp roasted unsalted peanuts roughly chopped


  • First, make the dressing, In a jar or airtight container, add all of the ingredients along with a few grinds of black pepper. Ensure the lid is sealed securely and shake vigorously until the dressing is emulsified and the miso paste is fully incorporated. Set aside, ensure to shake again before dressing the salad.
    Making the miso dressing
  • Next, season both sides of the tuna liberally with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over 2 tbsp of sesame seeds, ensuring each side is completely coated – press the seeds into the fish to adhere them to the flesh. Set aside.
    Prepping the tuna
  • Add 1 tbsp of neutral oil to a large skillet and set it over medium-high heat. Once the oil is simmering, add the tuna to the pan. Cook for 90 seconds on each side. Remove the tuna from the pan and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing into thin strips with a sharp chef's knife.
    Cooked tuna sliced thinly
  • While the tuna is resting, add the lettuce, scallions, edamame, cucumber, chili, cilantro, peanuts and the remaining teaspoon of sesame seeds to a large salad bowl. Pour over the dressing and plenty of freshly ground pepper and toss to combine, Portion the salad into individual dishes.
    Tossing the salad together
  • Arrange the tuna slices equally over the portioned salad. Serve immediately.
    Seared Tuna Salad



Calories: 637kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 50g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 22g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 208mg | Potassium: 1500mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 9151IU | Vitamin C: 45mg | Calcium: 199mg | Iron: 7mg

Disclaimer: Nutritional information is automatically generated and provided as guidance only. Accuracy is not guaranteed.

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And that’s all that is involved with this incredibly impressive salad! Every time I make this, I’m always happy by how little effort is actually involved and just how beautiful this salad is!

Are you looking to make a seared tuna salad? Have any questions about this recipe? Let me know in the comments!

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Maggie is the creator behind No Frills Kitchen. She is a world traveller, home cook and recipe developer who loves to experiment with new cuisines and techniques at every chance she gets. No stranger to improvising and making do with the equipment and ingredients she has available, she is passionate about sharing her knowledge with others. Read More

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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