Pepper Crusted Tuna With Wasabi Cream Sauce is a simple, elegant tuna dish, and the most popular recipe here! Easy to make, sure to impress.
Originally posted April 16, 2013. Updated 1/13/2021
Pepper Crusted Tuna with Wasabi Cream Sauce is such a simple recipe, but such an elegant taste and presentation. It's also one of the most popular recipes on this blog!
We first had Pepper Crusted Tuna with Wasabi Cream Sauce at a now-defunct Minneapolis restaurant.
We loved the idea, but the wasabi cream sauce had very little complexity to it, and almost no actual wasabi flavor.
Of course, that just meant that we'd have to play with the idea, ourselves!
This is the resulting recipe, which we love. Truth be told, we use a bit more wasabi than listed here... but this is a good amount for *most* people.
Raw Tuna Food Safety
You will need to use sashimi grade tuna for this, which means it’s been commercially frozen before use.
Fresh fish - no matter how fresh and high quality - is a high risk for parasites, and the commercial - “flash” - freezing kills that all off.
No one wants raw fish related food poisoning, trust me on this. (Related: I’ll never buy sushi from a grocery store again. TWICE I got sick from sushi made in a high end grocery chain in Minneapolis!)
To thaw frozen sashimi grade fish, place it in the fridge overnight, and use it the next day. When using it, it should LOOK fresh - and smell like the ocean. If it has a heavy fishy smell, don't use it.
How to Make Pepper Crusted Tuna
In a spice grinder or with a mortar & pestle, grind peppercorns, sesame seeds, and salt together until it becomes a relatively fine powder. Spread mixture on a plate.
One at a time, press tuna steaks into the spice mixture, coating all surfaces. Use hands to press additional spice mixture into any areas missed.
Set tuna steaks aside, while you make your sauce. You’ll want the tuna to come up to room temp, for best results.
How to Make Wasabi Cream Sauce
In a saucepan (NOT over heat!), whisk together wasabi powder and water until smooth, allow to sit for 5 minutes.*
When 5 minutes have passed, whisk in rice vinegar, soy sauce, and heavy cream.
Turn burner heat on to medium, heat sauce just to a simmer. Allow to simmer gently for 5 minutes, mostly just keeping it warm as you cook the tuna steaks.
*Note: If you don't have wasabi powder, use ~ 1 tablespoon prepared wasabi, omitting the water. Skip right to whisking in the other ingredients.
If you are sensitive to wasabi - or you have a very strong brand of wasabi - you can start with less and adjust up, if needed.
How to Cook Tuna Steaks
Tuna steak is best when cooked just long enough to sear the outside, and warm it through. Rare or - at most - medium rare makes for the best flavour and texture.
So, when cooking your tuna steaks, be sure to not overcook them!
Heat your olive oil in a nonstick fry pan or skillet. For a bit of extra flavour, you can add some sesame oil with / instead of the olive oil, if you'd like.
Gently transfer tuna steaks to the pan, leaving at least 1" space between each.
Cook for a minute and a half on the first side, then flip and cook a minute and a half on the second side.
This will give you a nice rare tuna steak - cook for a little longer if you prefer it to be a little more cooked.
Slice tuna steaks...
... fan them out on the plate, and serve with wasabi cream sauce.
More Fancy Recipes
Planning for a special dinner, whether Valentine’s Day, a special date, or a fancy dinner party? Here are a few recipes to consider!
Balsamic Mushroom Baked Brie
Boozy Crème Brûlée
Chocolate Dessert Ravioli
Clementine Mousse with Champagne
Creamy Vanilla 6" Cheesecake
Easy Kahlua Panna Cotta
Fancy Tea Sandwiches
How to Make Cream Puffs & Croquembouche
Mushroom Brie Turnovers
Mushroom & Goat Cheese Braid with Balsamic Glaze
Phyllo Crab Triangles
Savory Tomato Shortcake
Shrimp & Artichoke Stuffed Mushrooms
Traditional Raspberry Mousse
White Chocolate Almond Amaretto Truffles
Wild Rice Stuffed Chicken Breast with Dijon Chive Cream Sauce
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Pepper Crusted Tuna Steak with Wasabi Cream Sauce
- 2 tablespoon Black Peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon White Peppercorns Optional
- 2 tablespoon Sesame Seeds
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 4 Sashimi Grade Tuna Steaks
- 1+ tablespoon Wasabi Powder*
- 2 tablespoon Water*
- 2 teaspoon Rice Vinegar
- ½ teaspoon Soy Sauce
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream
- 2 tablespoon Olive Oil
- In a spice grinder or with a mortar & pestle, grind peppercorns, sesame seeds, and salt together until it becomes a relatively fine powder. Spread mixture on a plate.
- One at a time, press tuna steaks into the spice mixture, coating both sides. Use hands to press additional spice mixture into any areas missed, Set tuna steaks aside.
- In a saucepan (NOT over heat!), whisk together wasabi powder and water until smooth, allow to sit for 5 minutes.
- When 5 minutes have passed, whisk in rice vinegar, soy sauce, and heavy cream. Turn burner heat on to medium, heat sauce just to a simmer. Allow to simmer gently for 5 minutes, as you prepare the tuna steaks.
- Heat olive oil in a nonstick fry pan or skillet. Gently transfer tuna steaks to the pan, leaving at least 1″ space between each. Cook for a minute and a half on the first side, then flip and cook a minute and a half on the second side. This will give you a nice rare tuna steak – cook for longer if you prefer it to be more cooked.
- Slice tuna steaks, fan them out, and serve with wasabi cream sauce.
More Fish & Seafood Recipes
Fan of fish and seafood recipes? Here are a few more for you!
Almond Crusted Halibut with Lemon Dill Sauce
Basic Seafood Risotto
Cashew Crusted Halibut with Mango Salsa and Coconut Rice
Crab Rangoon Pizza
Gluten Free Fish & Chips
Marie's Low Country Boil
Phyllo Crab Triangles
Smoked Salmon Pizza
Tuna Mango Poke