Tuna Tataki Recipe キハダ鮪のたたき

Print RecipeJump To Recipe

Tuna Tataki | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

Tuna Tataki (キハダ鮪のたたき) is a yellowfin/ahi tuna lightly seared and serve rare with citrus base soy sauce. It’s very easy and quick to prepare, and it is a light yet flavorful appetizer to start a meal.

You may wonder what “tataki (たたき)” means. Literal translation of tataki is “pounded” in Japanese which doesn’t really anything have to do with searing. There are a few theories for the origin of name based on different ways of preparing fish (or meat) in Japanese cuisine.

The first one is when you lightly sear the fish over a hot flame or in a pan and briefly marinate in the citrus based sauce, you would gently “pound” the fish with fingers with marinade.

The other theory says the word comes from the pounding of the fish with knife when you sprinkle salt on the fish prior to cooking, or pounding the fish with grated ginger or green onions to enhance the flavor.

Tuna Tataki | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

For the sauce, there are several variations for tuna tataki recipe. The most common sauce is simple citrus base soy sauce with choices of shiso leaves, green onion and grated ginger/garlic/daikon.

Tuna Tataki | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

I used yellowfin (ahi) tuna prepared tataki block from my online store, FishforSushi.com. Since “I” am the one who defrosts the super frozen sashimi, the quality of sashimi is actually better than Japanese grocery stores or sometimes sushi restaurants because their sashimi may be at the counter for several hours or days after they defrost sashimi. If you live in an area where you can’t get high quality sashimi, consider buying online! Besides enjoying the tuna tataki steak by itself, you can also enjoy it over a salad for a fabulous low carb meal.

Here’s the video to show you how easy tuna tataki recipe is. We actually shot this video clip last summer (8 months ago) and it was one of the first videos we shot. We realized there are a lot of missing shots in the clip and definitely not our finest work, but hopefully you think our more recent videos are more entertaining. I hope you enjoy making Tuna Tataki!

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!

Tuna Tataki
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2
  • ½ lb. sashimi grade yellowfin/ahi tuna (buy from FishforSushi.com)
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
Tataki Sauce
  1. Grate ginger and slice green onion thinly.
    Tuna Tataki 1
  2. Combine the Tataki sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
    Tuna Tataki 2
  3. Heat olive oil in a non-stick frying pan. When the oil is hot, sear the tuna 30 seconds on each side.
    Tuna Tataki 3
  4. When all sides are seared, remove from the heat and let it cool. Slice the tuna into ¼ inch pieces. Pour the sauce and serve.
Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

Enjoy It? Share it!

Never miss another new recipe!

Sign up and receive the Just One Cookbook email newsletter.

Disclosure: Just One Cookbook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Leave a Comment

+ 6 = fourteen

Your email address will not be published - required fields are marked *

  1. You always make Japanese cooking seem so easy. I love this type of tuna when we eat out. But now I can make it at home, thanks to your video and blog post. Thanks for sharing and all the blog-love, Nami! Hope your week is going great.

  2. Oh YUM. I’m so happy to have this recipe now. I love ahi tataki. I had it for the first time at Ethel’s Grill, a little hole-in-the-wall local place in Honolulu. It looks like they make it pretty much like you do, but add daikon sprouts! I’ll definitely be making this for myself. Thanks!

  3. My mouth is watering so much right now, and I just ate dinner too. I am really loving your videos Nami & Mr. JOC! They make me feel like I can take on Japanese food and be successful.:)

  4. Seriously the picture can actually makes you drool…. and yes, me too, going back again and again looking at that delicious piece of tuna! It is kind of cruel….can see but cannot eat!

  5. This has to be the easisest recipe for tuna tataki ever! But is one of the most stunning I have seen. I love your videos! It means I cook along with you and make it so much easier for incapable cooks like me. So going to fish market this week to make this!

  6. Wow Nami, this piece of tuna just got my eyes…it still early morning and I am craving for this…love the citrus sauce…this is one of my favorite…
    Thanks for the recipe…hope you are having a fabulous week 😀

  7. This is beautiful, Nami! I love sashimi and tuna definitely is on top of my favorite sashimi list. I love how you presented with searing the outside and with lemon slices. The sauce looks like the prefect match, too. What an elegant dish it is!

  8. Christina

    I’ve always been nervous about serving raw fish even though I eat it all the time when I dine out, but you make this look so easy!

  9. Tuna is such an amazing fish and the sauce sounds so delicious! I think I could have this dish several times a week without being fed up. Unfortunately I never see such beautiful tuna pieces here…

  10. Wow Nami the Tuna Tataki looks mouth watering. I can’t wait to try this and the korean chili threads need to be in my life asap. What a gorgeous way to garnish this! Thx for the recipe.

  11. 新鮮なキハダ鮪のたたきのごちそう! 自分の魚を調整できることは幸いですね。男の日で作る魚かもしりませんがやはり毎週食べられる食事ですね。 =)

  12. Nami-san, I love your attention to detail. Gorgeous tuna tataki. I love your sauce poured on top and your perfectly square piece of tuna. Don’t forget to enjoy some of your weekend with the kids. Take care, BAM

  13. This really seems easy but leave it to me to mess up somehow. I always appreciate you sharing stories behind the recipes. I feel like I could just drink the sauce!

  14. Wha a beautiful and elegant presentation Nami! Have to admit that I have never made tuna Tataki at home before. You make it look so easy on your video that I’m inspired and will try it soon. Hope you are having a lovely weekend with your Family :)

  15. Nami I’ve never seen tuna come in a square. Do they just carve it that way prior to sending? I love this recipe. My husband and I order this almost every time we go out. Great recipe and so simple. Thanks for sharing.

    I saw on someone’s site through comment Luv that you had DSLR video tips but couldn’t find that link. I’d love to read it since I stink at all that. Can you send me that link, it doesn’t connect through her site?

  16. Oh how we love seared tuna!! I love this recipe! It different from what we usually do and would be a nice change. Thanks for the recipe and the video (which is quite good by the way. :) )

  17. Oh my goodness, I’ve been so dumb… all my life I assumed that the fish was cut FIRST, and then fried on each side and I always figured it must be so annoying, trying to fry the outside of a tiny square of fish. Haha! Ok, doing it this way makes so much more sense! Thanks for sharing it Nami – it looks so good.

  18. This looks so classy and effortless, and I imagine it tastes wonderful too. Great use of chilli strips for garnish, as well, I better go hunt some down haha. Do you think this dish would taste okay with salmon as well?

    • Hi Jina! Actually, I’ve never had Salmon Tataki before but it does exist. Instead of ponzu in the sauce, I’d make sauce based on soy sauce though. :)

  19. I just cannot tell you enough how much I love all your recipes, pictures, and the way you show the steps to make them simple enough. I also like the way you place your food beautifully in the plates! Thanks for posting!

    • Thank you so much for your kind words, Tomomi! I just checked your site – you have beautiful tableware from Japan! What a wonderful shop you have. :)

  20. Pete

    This tuna tataki recipe is brilliant, along with so many of your recipes. Your background music for your videos is also great, and I am wondering if you could share the title and artist of the Gypsy Jazz music you used in the tuna tataki video. My son is a Gypsy Jazz guitarist and is really enjoyed the music… and the tataki! Thanks!