Easy Japanese Recipes

Seared Tuna Sashimi (Aburi Toro) 炙りとろ

Seared Tuna Sashimi (Aburi Toro) Recipe | JustOneCookbook.com

Have you tried otoro sushi (super fatty tuna belly sushi)? This well-marbled fatty tuna literary melts in your mouth like butter when prepared correctly. My husband and my favorite sushi restaurant always prepares otoro sushi in two ways for us, one regular and one seared and topped with yuzu extract. We had been thinking that we should prepare seared tuna on our own since we bought a culinary torch last year with attempt to make crème brûlée (but haven’t had a chance yet). We finally made it so I want to share how to prepare this super easy seared otoro with you today.

Seared Tuna IIToro refers the lowest section of the tuna belly and there’s only a small portion per tuna so they are usually quite pricey. For this recipe we purchased the otoro from our local Japanese market for $59.99/lb. Typically toro is classified into otoro (super fatty tuna belly) and chutoro (medium fatty tuna belly). Compared to maguro (tuna sashimi), toro is usually much lighter in color due to the high fat content. Not all Japanese restaurants in the US actually offer authentic otoro. Quite a few times I’ve been to Japanese restaurants where they tried passing off albacore tuna as their toro sushi.

I need to emphasize here that this won’t really work with regular tuna sashimi due to the low fat content. Make sure when you are ready to enjoy your otoro, take out from the fridge until it warms up close to room temperature. As it warms up, the fat liquefies and it was interesting see how they catch on fire when searing with the blow torch. Enjoy and have fun searing!

Seared Tuna III

Don’t want to miss a recipe? Sign up for the FREE Just One Cookbook newsletter delivered to your inbox! And stay in touch on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram for all the latest updates. Thank you so much for reading, and till next time!

Seared Tuna Sashimi (Aburi Toro)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: Depends on the amount of sashimi
  • Super Fatty Tuna Belly (Otoro) Sashimi (Purchase here)
  • Finely chopped green onion
  • Yuzu
  • You will also need a culinary torch.
  1. With a very sharp knife, slice sashimi into ⅜ inch slices. You don’t want it too thin or else the torch will cook through the entire slice.
  2. Cover a plate with aluminum foil and place the sashimi slices on top. Start blowing torch until top is lightly brown. The goal is for lightly searing outside but still raw on the inside.
  3. Serve on a plate and sprinkle with green onion. Dip in yuzu to eat.
Posted in: 30 Minutes Or Less, Appetizers, Easy Dinner Ideas, Quick & Easy, Seafood, Sushi

Leave a Comment

+ six = 7

  • Giulietta | Alterkitchen November 16, 2011, 12:31 am

    Very easy to make! I think the difficult part is to find the right otoro!

  • Sawsan@chef in disguise November 16, 2011, 12:39 am

    Hello Nami,
    a torch has been on my list forever! and though I am not a sea food person, your recipes and pictures never fail to make me drool

  • anh November 16, 2011, 1:38 am

    Awesome!! I love tuna prepared like this!

  • Amy Tong November 16, 2011, 1:56 am

    Oh my goodness…I’m drooling over this! I love otoro, especially charred ones with yuzu! You can really taste the sweetness from the fish and they just melt in your mouth! Thanks for sharing the idea of making these at home. :)

  • Alyssa November 16, 2011, 2:39 am

    Wow that looks good! I’m thinking I want sushi for dinner tonight now! I’ve only heard of tuna sashimi for sushi. My husband used to live in Japan for several years before we met, so I’ll have to ask him if he’s had this type of tuna. It kind of sounds like pork belly or bacon, where the fat almost melts in your mouth.
    Oh and I had to laugh about the torch. I few years ago I bought one to make creme brule too. I even bought a creme brule cookbook along with it. I only made it once (but it was good.) I had to get rid of the torch coming here though, as I didn not think it would make it past customs.
    The tuna looks perfectly caramelized!

  • daphne November 16, 2011, 2:49 am

    oh yum!! I love a good tuna sushi for sure! That looks really good with a melt in mouth texture. I want!

  • Charles November 16, 2011, 2:54 am

    Oh God yes – I’ve tried it when I visited Japan some time ago. Sinfully good! You know, it never occurred to me that it was seared with a blow-torch though. That makes me really want to get one now, so I can make crème brûlée as well! Unfortunately, I would have a real hard time finding this in France – that’s for sure. Still, it must exist *somewhere* though!

  • Fern @ To Food with Love November 16, 2011, 3:01 am

    That looks really yummy! I’ve only had seared salmon belly before but not tuna. I don’t think I’ve ever seen otoro being sold before, but I will keep a lookout this weekend. Then I’ll have a valid excuse to buy a blowtorch! :)

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella November 16, 2011, 3:03 am

    I haven’t had it much but I do love it! And you guys must be great to go to Japanese restaurants with, you just know how to order things well! :D

  • kat November 16, 2011, 3:31 am

    love sushi!

  • Sandra November 16, 2011, 4:06 am

    If you hadn’t said so I wouldn’t have thought this was tuna due to the light color. I learn something new from you everytime Nami, you’re priceless!

  • chinmayie @ love food eat November 16, 2011, 4:13 am

    Love these photos Nami! Love the styling in the first photo :)

  • Kate @ Kate from Scratch November 16, 2011, 4:40 am

    This photo is gorgeous. You always impress me with your presentation skills. This looks marvelous!

  • Helene Dsouza November 16, 2011, 4:54 am

    I want a blow torch too. thats such a cool little tool. might get my husband into it. hehe
    Your Aburi Toro looks wonderful, ready to melt in my mouth. *dream*

  • Mandy - The Complete Cook Book November 16, 2011, 5:25 am

    Nami, I would love to try this!
    :-) Mandy

  • Sissi November 16, 2011, 5:53 am

    Nami, sadly I have never tasted this part of tuna. Some restaurants here offer it, but it’s very expensive and I have doubts about the quality… I prefer to wait for my trip to Japan :-)
    Searing tuna with a blowtorch sounds like an excellent idea. It looks luscious and so elegant with your presentation!
    You should make crème brûlée one day. It’s very easy. I make it very often and thanks to my light recipe (from a famous French chef, not my idea), I even don’t have remorses ;-)

  • Mr. Three-Cookies November 16, 2011, 6:23 am

    This makes me salivate. I heard that its best to use fresh fish for sashimi/seared sushi and to avoid frozen/defrosted fish due to health (safety?) reasons. I suppose what I heard is not correct.

  • Ashley November 16, 2011, 6:41 am

    I love this post. O-toro is a favorite of mine. You had asked me about if I had tried omakase and I have several times the best being at Miyake in Portland, ME. Check out their website if you have not heard of him. The chef has been featured on the food network several times and he is famous for incorporating local ingredients into Japanese food. The O-toro he served us was a transcendent experience. I have tried it at home but I can’t way to try it this way! I have had people try to pass off other cuts to me as toro as well and it is disappointing they would do that.

  • Mi Vida en un Dulce November 16, 2011, 7:03 am

    I never tried otoro, I like tuna sashimi, but you are right, we always get the one that is with a dark color and melted in our mouth. Not sure if the Japanese restaurants here in Peru work with otoro, but next time I will take a look into the menu and will ask for it.

  • Ann@Anncoo Journal November 16, 2011, 7:05 am

    Looks so perfect! My hubby loves Otoro very much and it is a must order when we visit the Japanese restaurant. Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe, Nami :)

  • Belinda @zomppa November 16, 2011, 8:08 am

    That is PERFECTLY seared! Nicely done.

  • Terris-Free Eats Food November 16, 2011, 8:24 am

    This is such an interesting post Nami. I just read an article about how rampant seafood “fraud” is (cheaper fish being sold to diners as another more expensive fish)! It’s fascinating to hear that you have experienced that before. The article said that sometimes the actual restaurant doesn’t know, because they are deceived by their suppliers. I could definitely see this happening with a fish that is $59.99 a pound! Wow. I guess for now I will have to be satisfied with living vicariously through your photos. Looks absolutely gorgeous!

  • Cindy @ Week Nite Meals November 16, 2011, 8:29 am

    Hey Nami this looks like fun! Too bad we don’t have a culinary torch… When will you make the crème brûlée? That’s my all time favorite dessert!!!

  • The Elegant Eggplant November 16, 2011, 8:46 am

    Looks so delicious. I loooove toro.. yum yum!

  • Biana @ TastyGalaxy.com November 16, 2011, 9:03 am

    Nami, I like sushi and this looks great! I like how you use the torch to sear tuna, great idea.

  • Delishhh November 16, 2011, 9:41 am

    Yes yes yes – some of my favorite stuff – we have a fabulous Japanese reastaurant here that i unfortunatly have had to stay away from for another few months since i will eat everything there :) Also i have been to Japan many times but not in a few years now.

  • Hiragana Mama November 16, 2011, 10:29 am

    OH MY! That dish looks like my dream come true. Otoro is my FAVORITE sushi. So, so good. I’ve never thought to dip it in yuzu, but that sounds like an awesome combo. You are making me hungry!

  • Andrea November 16, 2011, 10:57 am

    looks simple and yummy.

  • Divya November 16, 2011, 11:12 am

    Such an elegant dish. I haven’t tried making any tuna dishes at home before, but this sounds like a pretty good way to experiment. I love how it’s so simple to make!

  • Gourmantine November 16, 2011, 11:14 am

    Nami, this looks wonderful! A beautiful dish to celebrate tuna! :)

  • Martyna@WholesomeCook November 16, 2011, 11:48 am

    Great post nami! I wish I had the culinary expertise to distinguish between what may be passed off as “fake” belly tuna, but looking at both the raw and cooked fish, you can see it’s much lighter and fatty than say tuna steak sashimi… I adore aburi salmon, so this is right up my alley!

  • torviewtoronto November 16, 2011, 12:38 pm

    this tuna is deliciously done

  • Cassie November 16, 2011, 1:01 pm

    Seared tuna, yum! I would love to have some for dinner tonight. It looks magnificent!

  • Nicole @ Bake Me Blush November 16, 2011, 1:43 pm

    I haven’t seen otoro for sale in any markets near where I live, which is really unfortunate because it looks amazing. Next time I eat out at a Japanese restaurant I’ll be on the lookout for this — and I’ll be making sure it’s not just albacore tuna masquerading as otoro!

  • Cooking Rookie November 16, 2011, 2:12 pm

    Hi Nami,
    Thanks for stopping by my blog. Yes, that cheese bread is highly recommended – it was so easy to make, and we almost finished the whole loaf in one dinner just the two of us :-).
    By the way, I opened a pinboard on pinterest with my favorite food blogs, and yours was the first pin :-). I tried to send you a message on Pinterest, but it did not seem to go through (looks like they still have too many bugs), so I am writing here.
    Have a nice afternoon! I hope in the Bay Area it’s not grey and raining like it is here in Vancouver..

  • Biren @ Roti n Rice November 16, 2011, 3:02 pm

    That’s a cool way of preparing the otoro! Looks very easy and delicious with the yuzu sauce.

  • ちびか〜ちゃん November 16, 2011, 3:51 pm



  • Mikaela Cowles November 16, 2011, 4:04 pm

    Wow! That’s expensive! But it sounds amazing. I love tuna, so I can only imagine how good it is with a little extra fat. Perhaps one day I’ll have the chance to give it a try.

  • Caroline November 16, 2011, 4:13 pm

    I’ve actually never tasted otoro sushi before, but it’s absolutely gorgeous! I’m sure this was delicious, Nami. You do such a wonderful job with presentation. I’m sure I’d devour that plate within minutes. ;)

  • Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover November 16, 2011, 5:02 pm

    Nami, I’m drool at your pictures, this must be super fresh and sweet! YUM!

  • tigerfish November 16, 2011, 5:15 pm

    The super fatty “fats” that melts under the torch must be giving lots of good flavor. Definitely an easier (first) use of the culinary torch to make this than creme brulee…:P

  • Elizabeth @Mango_Queen November 16, 2011, 5:33 pm

    I love this seared tuna! Looks so healthy, but I’m sure it’s so delish. Thanks for sharing. I love your daily recipes!

  • Sharon - ChineseSoupPot.com November 16, 2011, 6:08 pm

    Thanks for explaining the difference btwn otoro and chutoro. You learn something new everyday. =)

  • Lindsey@Lindselicious November 16, 2011, 6:15 pm

    Yum, yuzu green onion and a little bit of that pink salt? I can’t believe you own a torch! Ive always wanted one but thought I would only make smores and creme brulee with it. Hmm another couple things and I think I can find a good excuse to buy one for my tiny kitchen. :)

  • Nic@diningwithastud November 16, 2011, 6:16 pm

    Oh I love it! So simple yet super delicious :)

  • wok with ray November 16, 2011, 6:37 pm

    I love it when you talk about Sushi — it is with authority and conviction! :) You really captured the beauty of the fish, Nami! I love the close up shot that shows the details. Good, good, good job, my friend. I hope you and your family are enjoying the week!

    ~ ray ~

  • Reem | Simply Reem November 16, 2011, 6:50 pm

    It so nice to learn so much from you Nami,
    This dish is so simple but it needs the right fatty belly…
    Beautiful as always, also I love the pictures specially the last one. You can see the juicy rich tuna…. so pretty…

  • Ann November 16, 2011, 7:52 pm

    Oh, Nami – this is AMAZING! I had no idea there were so many grades of tuna! I just thought there was regular and sashimi grade. I’m allergic to tuna and I am SO jealous that others get to have this…I love the stuff and I’m drooling all over my keyboard!

    Brilliantly done! BRAVO!

  • Elies_Lie November 16, 2011, 8:16 pm

    As you know dear, I don’t eat “uncook” sushi/ fish, but WHY the pic u post makes me mouthwatering?? *Sigh* Unfair! :P
    Tq fr sharing recipe & about the knowledge nami, as always… well done! ;)

  • Katherine Martinelli November 17, 2011, 1:01 am

    Oh goodness me! I absolutely love toro, tuna belly, all of that but have never made it at home! This looks divine Nami. I would love to come to your house for dinner some day. What a treat that would be!

  • Nash at Plateful November 17, 2011, 1:33 am

    First photo is totally awesome. So is this recipe!

  • Jenny November 17, 2011, 3:33 am

    hi Nami! that looks delicious and so informative. thanks!

  • Liz November 17, 2011, 4:19 am

    Oh, Nami, this looks fabulous!!! Only you could recreate a restaurant recipe so perfectly!!! Just beautiful~

  • Ellena November 17, 2011, 4:45 am

    Gosh!!! This is Awesome!!!!! Love this quick and easy dish but sad to say it’s not easy to find fresh and good toro here.

  • Xiaolu/6Bittersweets November 17, 2011, 7:27 am

    This looks delicious! Reminds me I’ve been meaning to cook fish more. My boyfriend would love this!

  • lena November 17, 2011, 7:37 am

    hi nami, this seared tuna looks great..the kind of melt in your mouth texture that you described here sounds delicious to me.. i hope i’m able to try this at our local jap restaurants here..

  • Cristina - Teenie Cakes November 17, 2011, 8:46 am

    What an informative and gorgeous post with all the well laid-out method images. My mouth is watering at the marbled fatty tuna melting in my mouth – YUM! I’ll have to look for that. As usual, I’ve learned something new from you again – thank you! :)

    Have a good rest of the week, Nami!

  • Lyn November 17, 2011, 8:54 am

    I LOVE SASHIMI!! I’m the only person who loves sashimi in my family bcoz all of them don’t like the idea of eating raw meats. But so far, I’d only tried the salmon, tuna and yellow tail sashimi. I prefer salmon sashimi most.
    I’m already drooping while reading this post! :P

  • Julie at Burnt Carrots November 17, 2011, 9:03 am

    I’m not a huge sushi fan, but will eat otoro any day of the week! I just had it for the first time in Hawaii about a month ago. Super jealous that you can find it at a local store. We are land locked (in Colorado) and don’t have access to any good fish!

  • Mary November 17, 2011, 10:02 am

    This looks absolutely amazing. Everything you post looks restaurant quality, Nami!

  • claire @ the realistic nutritionist November 17, 2011, 1:13 pm

    I love seared tuna!!! I eat so much of it over the summer I am sick of it by winter, haha! but I may have to break that and try this recipe! Looks DIVINE!

  • Lyndsey@TheTinySkillet November 17, 2011, 1:56 pm

    Oh my gosh this looks amazing! I can just imagine how good it is. I have made sesame crsted seared tuna, but have never tried seared otoro before…I’ll have to save up for it! I am always so impressed by your cooking.

  • Cucina49 November 17, 2011, 2:50 pm

    That is seriously stunning–and I love the addition of the yuzu!

  • Russell at Chasing Delicious November 17, 2011, 6:07 pm

    Yum. Seared tuna has got to be one of my favs! I am definitely going to have to try this recipe soon.

  • Carolyn Jung November 17, 2011, 6:09 pm

    That’s what I love most about the way the Japanese prepare fish. They do the simplest thing to it to let its quality and flavor shine through without any impediment.

  • Janice November 17, 2011, 10:16 pm

    Hi Nami,
    You mention that you and your hubby are able to get tuna belly prepared two ways at your favorite sushi restaurant. I too live in the bay area and have to ask, what restaurant is this? I would love to perhaps go there sometime. Thanks!

  • Evelyne@cheapethniceatz November 18, 2011, 1:35 pm

    I have not heard of this part of the tuna but I am very curious now to try it, sounds wonderful with he melt in your mouth taste. Yeah I keep putting off buying the torch

  • Kita November 18, 2011, 3:12 pm

    We love going out for sushi and sashimi but being able to make it at home would be awesome! Beautiful!

  • Yuri November 19, 2011, 12:16 am

    Hello, Nami san.

    I am so glad to find your blog through Anh’s blog. I used to live in San Francisco and am Japanese. These coincidences make me feel like you are not a stranger to me!

    Your blog has full of useful and great information on Japanese cooking which I, as a Japanese, can learn from. Gorgeous pictures and kind recipes!

    Aburi Toro is the one I always order at Sushi restaurant. I will stop by here regularly. Thank you!

  • Smoky Wok (Jen) November 19, 2011, 10:03 am

    Love love seared tuna !! YUM, your tuna looks sooo delicious and succulent :) Oooh, I have that same black plate hah

  • Roxana GreenGirl {A little bit of everything} November 19, 2011, 7:11 pm

    I’ll have to email this post to one of my friends. They came over the other night fr dinner and since we served fish the talk of the evening was : sushi and seared tuna. They love eating fish!
    Thanks for the info, I know they’ll appreciate it!

  • Raymund November 19, 2011, 11:21 pm

    I love tuna belly, I like its texture. How about you have you tried tuna jaws, for me that’s the best part of the tuna. Love the simplicity of this recipe!

  • Tiffany November 20, 2011, 9:14 am

    When I worked in a sushi restaurant, we sold our otoro sushi for $32 (two pieces!)… It was so good and folks didn’t mind paying for it! Your seared tuna looks fantastic!

  • Melanie @ Melanie Cooks November 20, 2011, 11:01 am

    I love sashimi! This seared tuna looks so good!

  • mycookinghut November 20, 2011, 1:33 pm

    Looks simple but yummy!!

  • PolaM November 20, 2011, 8:14 pm

    What a great idea! Those look delicious!

  • Sylvia@PeachesandDOnuts November 23, 2011, 5:48 am

    Simple yet elegant! Absolute Perfection!

  • k December 1, 2011, 3:13 pm

    Wow, such a pretty little artwork! Looks amazingly good! :)