This is my twist on a dish from the River Palm Terrace Restaurant in Edgewater, N.J. They’ve offered a version of it on their menu as a permanent “special” for nearly 2 decades. It looks complicated based on the number of steps, but it really is a simple recipe, and a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

I like to serve it with brown or basmati rice drizzled with toasted sesame oil & tossed with sautéed shiitakes & sesame seeds, and steamed or stir-fried spinach or baby bok choy.

Note: This has a real wasabi kick; for less heat, use 1 cup each wasabi paste and flour.

  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Total: 15 min-4 hr. marinating time, 35-45 min prep & cooking time.

Ingredients (16)

For Marinade

  • 4 cups reduced-sodium soy or tamari sauce
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup diced scallion, white and green parts
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh garlic [about 3 cloves]
  • 1 cup cold water
  • Splash of sherry
  • Splash of sesame oil

For Crust

  • 1 1/4 cups freshly mixed wasabi paste
  • 3/4 cup fine rice flour
  • 3/4 – 1 cup water [or more if necessary]
  • 1/2 cup each black & white sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 tuna steaks, 6 oz each, 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick


  1. In a large bowl, combine soy or tamari, ginger, black pepper, scallion, garlic, cold water, sherry, and sesame oil. Pour half of mixture into shallow dish; cover remaining half and refrigerate.
  2. Place tuna steaks in bowl [or transfer to a ziploc bag] with marinade and allow to sit for 15 minutes, or up to 4 hours in the refrigerator, turning occasionally.
  3. Add wasabi paste, flour, and 3/4 cup water to a mixing bowl or food processor. Mix or process to combine, and continue adding water, 1-2 Tablespoons at a time, until it becomes a smooth paste that has the consistency of mayonnaise.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  5. Combine black and white sesame seeds in a shallow dish.
  6. Remove tuna steaks from marinade, gently wipe off excess, and coat both sides of each steak with a thin layer [1 to 2 mm thick] of the wasabi-flour mixture.
  7. Press each tuna steak into sesame seeds, coating the top and bottom surfaces completely. Use a piece of waxed paper or parchment to press the seeds into the paste securely. Discard used marinade.
  8. Heat olive oil in an oven-safe skillet or sauté pan over high heat. Gently transfer tuna to the pan, being careful to keep the paste & seeds intact. Sear tuna on both sides–about 1 to 2 minutes per side.
  9. Transfer pan to oven and roast for 8-10 minutes, or to desired degree of doneness.
  10. Serve with reserved marinade on the side,