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Seared Tuna Squares Recipe

Seared tuna is a great upscale dish for parties since it's easy to prep and finishing it off is very quick. These tuna squares can even be served room temperature if it's an extra busy party.

I serve the tuna squares with a pickled pear relish and an Asian accent sauce. The combination of sweet, sour, and salty really complements the tuna and adds many layers of flavor. The relish can be made several days ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. If you don't have a whipping siphon you can let the pears soak for several days in the pickling brine. The end quality of this dish directly relates to the quality of tuna you use so don't skimp.

Seared tuna with pickled pear relish and asian accent sauce side

Modernist Tools, Ingredients, and Techniques Used

If you would like more information about the modernist techniques, ingredients, and equipment used in the seared tuna squares recipe you can check out the following.

If you like this recipe you can get it and more than 100 other recipes that will help you create remarkable cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and small plates that will amaze your friends. It's all in my book Modernist Cooking Made Easy: Party Foods - Get Your Copy Today!

Also, if you are just getting started experimenting with molecular gastronomy and modernist cuisine then I highly recommend one of these molecular gastronomy kits. They have everything you need to do many different dishes.

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Seared Tuna Squares Recipe

  • Published: November 27, 2014
  • By Jason Logsdon
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Total Time: 60 Minutes
  • Makes: 10-20 servings
Seared tuna with pickled pear relish and asian accent sauce party

Seared Tuna Squares Ingredients


For the Pickling Liquid

140g rice wine vinegar
130g water
40g sugar
1.5g cardamon
1.5g cloves
2g coriander
2.5g peppercorns
1 bay leaf

For the Pickled Pears

250g pears, quartered and cut into slices, about 2 pears
8g jalapeño, sliced
15g ginger, peeled, cut into strips

For the Pickled Pear Relish

150g pickled pears and liquid
30g water
0.6g xanthan gum, 0.2%
150g pickled pears without liquid, diced

For the Asian Accent Sauce

150g soy sauce
30g vinegar
20g mirin
5g fish sauce
5g sriracha or other hot sauce
2g xanthan gum, 1.0%

For the Seared Tuna

2g ground coriander
1g ground cumin
0.5g ground cinnamon
0.25g ground cloves
Salt and pepper
450g fresh tuna steak, about 25mm (1") thick

To Assemble

Basil leaves

Seared Tuna Squares Instructions

For the Pickling Liquid

Combine all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Stir well. Let simmer for 5 minutes.

For the Pickled Pears

Add the pears, jalapeño, and ginger to the whipping siphon. Strain in the pickling liquid. Seal the siphon and charge. Let the siphon sit for 20 to 30 minutes then vent and remove the pears and pickling liquid from it.

The pickled pears can be stored in the pickling liquid in the refrigerator for several weeks.

For the Pickled Pear Relish

Place 150g of pickled pears and pickling liquid into a container. Add water and blend until smooth. If it is not thin enough, add some more water. Add the xanthan gum and blend well.

Add the remaining 150 grams of just pears and blend lightly, leaving some chunks in the relish.

For the Asian Accent Sauce

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and blend well. The Asian accent sauce will keep in an airtight container placed in the refrigerator for several weeks.

For the Seared Tuna

Mix the spices together in a small bowl.

Cut the tuna into 25mm (1") wide rectangles that are as long as the tuna steak. Salt and pepper the tuna rectangles then coat with the spice mix.

Heat oil in a pan over medium to medium-high heat. Sear the tuna on each side until just browned, about 30 to 60 seconds per side, then remove from the heat.

To Assemble

Cut each tuna rectangle crosswise into pieces 12mm to 19mm (0.5" to 0.75") long. Place a piece on a serving dish, top with some pickled pear relish, a dot of the Asian accent sauce, and some basil leaves.

Want a Create More Great Dishes?

If you like this recipe you can get it and more than 100 other recipes that will help you create remarkable cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and small plates that will amaze your friends. It's all in my book Modernist Cooking Made Easy: Party Foods! Get your copy today
and get ready to amaze your friends!
Help me improve my content, let me know what you thought of this recipe! Just click on a star below to rate it.
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Seared Tuna Squares Recipe

PT60M Ingredients: 140g rice wine vinegar 130g water 40g sugar 1.5g cardamon 1.5g cloves 2g coriander 2.5g peppercorns 1 bay leaf 250g pears quartered and cut into slices about 2 pears 8g jalapeño sliced 15g ginger peeled cut into strips 150g pickled pears and liquid 30g water 0.6g xanthan gum 0.2% 150g pickled pears without liquid diced 150g soy sauce 30g vinegar 20g mirin 5g fish sauce 5g sriracha or other hot sauce 2g xanthan gum 1.0% 2g ground coriander 1g ground cumin 0.5g ground cinnamon 0.25g ground cloves Salt and pepper 450g fresh tuna steak about 25mm (1\) thick To Assemble Basil leaves
4.3529 stars - based on 17 reviews
This modernist upscale seared tuna squares recipe uses xanthan gum to thicken the pickled pear relish and Asian accent sauce garnishes. A whipping siphon will make the pickled pears quick and easy!
1 Serving