Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon

Asian Tuna Tacos (Tacos de Atún Estilo Japones)

Romulo Yanes

Yield: Makes 8-12

Servings: 4

This is a nod to the popularity of Japanese food, in particular sushi, in Mexico City. Here, tuna steaks are seared with a sesame seed crust and served with a wasabi mayonnaise, chopped scallions, and cilantro or the more exotic radish sprouts. Flour tortillas are used because they are a more neutral background to the tuna.

This recipe is excerpted from Just Tacos: 100 Delicious Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.


For the wasabi mayonnaise

  • 1⁄2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbs. prepared wasabi or 2 Tbs. powdered wasabi mixed with 1 tsp. water
  • 2 tsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. lime juice
  • 1⁄2 tsp. sugar

For the tuna

  • 1 pound tuna steaks, about 1-inch thick
  • 1⁄2 tsp. salt
  • 1⁄2 cup unhulled sesame seeds
  • 3 Tbs. mild olive oil

To finish the tacos

  • 8 to 12 6-inch flour tortillas, warmed
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and cut into thin slices
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • Radish sprouts or chopped cilantro, for garnish


Make the mayonnaise

  • Stir together all ingredients and taste to check seasoning.

Prepare the tuna

  • Pat the tuna dry with paper towels and season with the salt.
  • Put the sesame seeds on a plate and press both flat sides of the tuna steaks onto seeds to coat.
  • Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat until hot, about 2 minutes. Add the oil and swirl the pan to distribute, then add the tuna steaks, in batches if necessary, and sear for about 2 minutes a side, until just the outside 1⁄4 inch is cooked but the center is still translucent.
  • Transfer the tuna steaks to a cutting board and slice. Make the tacos with the wasabi mayonnaise, avocado, scallions and sprouts


Unhulled sesame seeds are tan rather than pearly white, and can be bought in any market that carries Mexican ingredients.


Rate or Review

Reviews (2 reviews)

  • FoodmyLovely | 08/24/2013

    Ludicrously delicious and simple. Loved the wasabi mayo. The tacos are really simple, which made me wonder if they would be too light, but between the tuna and the avocado, they were actually pretty filling. Don't skip the sesame seeds! They added great flavor.

  • suesailor | 12/12/2012

    This was a nice change from our favorite Mexican style fish taco. I did use corn tortillas because I had them on hand. Also added a little finely shredded cabbage. Loved the wasabi mayo.

Rate this Recipe

Write a Review

Delicious Dish

Find the inspiration you crave for your love of cooking

Fine Cooking Magazine

Subscribe today
and save up to 44%

Already a subscriber? Log in.


View All


Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks

We hope you’ve enjoyed your free articles. To keep reading, subscribe today.

Get the print magazine, 25 years of back issues online, over 7,000 recipes, and more.

Start your FREE trial