Outback Ahi Tuna Sauce Recipe Steakhouse Copycat

I’ve always been captivated by the bold flavors found at Outback Steakhouse, especially their seared ahi tuna. Known for its simplicity and savory taste, the ahi tuna has a special place on the Outback Steakhouse menu, inviting diners to enjoy a meal of good food that’s both healthy and indulgent. It’s the accompanying sauce, however, that truly elevates the dish, creating an amazing seared ahi tuna experience that’s hard to replicate at home.

A bowl of marinated ahi tuna sits on a wooden cutting board, surrounded by ingredients like soy sauce, ginger, and sesame seeds

Eager to capture the essence of this favorite, I realized that the secret lies within the Outback ahi tuna sauce recipe. This sauce, a fusion of creamy, tangy, and umami flavors, acts as the perfect complement to the delicately seasoned, seared fish. Achieving that restaurant-grade flavor is all about balancing the components of the sauce to complement the tuna’s natural taste and texture without overpowering it.

In my culinary experiments, I’ve found that it’s not just the ingredients, but the method of preparation that makes a difference. Carefully blending the sauce components to achieve the right consistency and allowing the flavors to meld can turn a simple seared ahi tuna into a dish that’s truly reminiscent of the Outback Steakhouse experience. Whether served as an appetizer or a main course, this dish is sure to impress with its harmonious flavors and presentation.

Ingredients and Substitutes

A wooden cutting board with ahi tuna, soy sauce, sesame oil, and other ingredients arranged neatly next to their potential substitutes

Creating the perfect Outback Ahi Tuna Sauce requires a combination of fresh ingredients and clever substitutes to ensure the flavor profile is authentic. I’ll guide you through selecting the best tuna and essential spices, along with suitable alternatives for any adjustments needed in your recipe.

Choosing the Right Tuna

When selecting fresh tuna, it is imperative to choose high-quality pieces of ahi tuna steak. This entails looking for tuna that is bright red in color and without any overpowering fishy odors. The tuna meat should be firm to the touch. If fresh ahi tuna is not available, you can opt for frozen sashimi-grade tuna which can be a good substitute as long as it has been properly thawed in the refrigerator.

Essential Spices and Seasonings

To replicate Outback’s renowned flavor in your own kitchen, make sure to have the following seasonings on hand:

  • Lemon juice: It provides the necessary acidity to balance the flavors. Freshly squeezed is preferred for a vibrant kick.
  • Olive oil: A staple for marinating the tuna and ensuring it sears beautifully. It can be substituted with other neutral oils like canola or vegetable oil.
  • Sesame seeds: Integral for that signature crust, white sesame seeds are used, but black sesame can add visual flair.
  • Black pepper and Garlic Powder: Freshly cracked pepper and garlic powder offers a pungent, spicy element.
  • Kosher salt: Compared to regular table salt, kosher salt has a coarser grain and is ideal for seasoning the tuna before searing.

Other ingredients that are commonly used in cooking this dish are raw sesame oil and rice vinegar.

Soy sauceAdds a savory, umami flavor
WasabiProvides a spicy kick
Sesame oilEnhances nutty, rich undertones
Rice vinegarAdds a tangy, acidic balance
GingerAdds a fresh, zesty flavor
Garlic powderAdds depth and complexity
Green onionsProvides a mild, oniony flavor
SrirachaAdds heat with a hint of sweetness
MirinAdds sweetness and depth of flavor
Toasted sesame seedsAdds crunch and nutty flavor

Remember that the key to an authentic Outback Ahi Tuna Sauce is to not skimp on the quality of these ingredients. However, if necessary, table salt can replace kosher, and powdered garlic or ginger can be used if fresh isn’t available—just use these with a lighter hand to avoid overpowering the dish.

Preparation Techniques

A chef mixes soy sauce, ginger, and sesame oil in a bowl, then brushes it onto a fresh ahi tuna steak

In my approach to crafting the Outback Ahi Tuna sauce, precision in preparation techniques is key to ensuring the flavors meld perfectly while maintaining the integrity of the fish.

Cutting and Marinating the Tuna

I always start with a very sharp knife to cut the tuna, as it has to be sliced cleanly without tearing. I prefer to cut the tuna into steaks of uniform thickness to ensure even cooking. Then, I lay out plastic wrap on my counter, place the tuna fish steak on top, and evenly distribute the marinade over the fish. I ensure each steak is fully coated, wrap it tightly in the plastic, and let it sit in the fridge. This process allows the flavors to penetrate the tuna for a delectably seasoned result.

Mixing the Sauce Components

I use a mixing bowl for combining the sauce ingredients, as it provides ample space for thorough mixing. For the creamy ginger soy dressing, I typically start by blending the aromatics and liquids in a small bowl or blender until they form a smooth base. Then, I fold in the mayonnaise, carefully mixing to a consistent creaminess. As part of happy cooking, checking for balance in taste is critical—it might need a touch more soy for saltiness or ginger for a zesty kick, to suit my palate.

Cooking Process

A chef grills ahi tuna on a barbecue, while simultaneously preparing a flavorful sauce with fresh ingredients

Preparing the Outback’s style ahi tuna involves two main steps: pan-frying the tuna steaks to perfection and simmering the signature sauce to accompany them. I’ll guide you through each stage, ensuring you achieve that distinct flavor and texture.

Pan-Frying the Tuna Steaks

Before I start, I ensure my tuna steaks are well-seasoned with the spice mix that gives them their unique flavor. I heat my frying pan to medium-high and add a bit of oil, just enough to cover the bottom. It’s important to let the pan get sufficiently hot – a moderate yet steady medium heat ensures the steaks are seared and not steamed.

For pan-frying, I place the tuna steaks gently into the frying pan. They should sizzle on contact if my pan is properly heated. I sear the steaks for just about 1-2 minutes on each side, maintaining that crucial medium-high heat. This method gives the tuna a delightful crust while the interior remains tender and rare, which is traditional for ahi tuna.

Sauce Simmering Tips

For the sauce, I start with the foundational ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. This allows the flavors to meld without any risk of burning delicate herbs or garlic. I gradually bring the sauce to a low simmer, never letting it boil vigorously, as a consistent medium heat helps all the elements infuse perfectly.

While the sauce simmers, I regularly whisk it to ensure all components combine smoothly and to avoid any sticking at the bottom of the pan. If the sauce appears too thick, a slight adjustment to a medium-low heat can prevent it from reducing too quickly.

By carefully controlling the temperature and taking my time, I can create a sauce with a balanced and rich flavor that mirrors the Outback’s signature taste. Cooking at the correct heat, both when pan-frying the tuna and while simmering the sauce, is crucial for the results to be as expected.

Serving Recommendations

When I serve Outback’s Ahi Tuna with the dipping sauce, I focus on two main areas for an outstanding experience: the accompaniments that complement the flavors, and the presentation aspects that enhance the visual appeal of the dish.


The perfect sides can elevate the Ahi Tuna’s taste. I typically choose cooked rice, which acts as a neutral base, absorbing the sauce and balancing the rich flavors of the fish. Among the sides of the steak, a light vegetable medley or a simple salad can add freshness and texture to the dish, providing a contrast to the tenderness of the fresh fish.

Presentation and Garnishing

For presentation, I’m meticulous about the garnishing details. Chopped green onion and toasted sesame seeds are my go-tos for adding both flair and flavor. I scatter them thoughtfully over the Ahi Tuna and around the plate, which not only looks professional but also enhances each bite. The dipping sauce for Ahi Tuna should be served in a small bowl, allowing diners to dip at their leisure and control the sauce’s intensity.

Storage and Reuse

When I prepare the Outback Ahi Tuna sauce recipe, ensuring its freshness for later use is crucial. For storage, I transfer the sauce into an airtight container. This helps maintain the flavor and prevents any contaminants from spoiling the sauce. I make sure the container is sealed tightly and place it in the refrigerator. The sauce generally stays fresh when stored like this and is often satisfactory for consumption the next day.

Here’s how I categorize the storage timeline:

  • Immediate Use: Serve fresh.
  • Short Term (1-3 days): Refrigerated in an airtight container.
  • Long Term (Unadvised): Not recommended, as the sauce’s quality degrades.

For reuse, I always check the sauce before serving. If it passes the smell and appearance test, it’s typically good to go. The best part of the Outback Ahi Tuna sauce recipe is its versatility. I often find that the flavors meld and enhance after being refrigerated overnight, which adds an extra kick to the meal.

Quick Tip: To rejuvenate the sauce’s consistency, if it has thickened upon refrigerating, I whisk in a little bit of water or any original liquid ingredient used in the sauce recipe. Taste to adjust seasoning before serving again.

Remember, food safety is paramount, so if there’s any doubt about the sauce’s quality, it’s better to err on the side of caution and dispose of it.

Variations and Related Dishes

Experimenting with variations of the Outback Ahi Tuna sauce recipe allows you to personalize your dish to suit your taste. In my kitchen, I like to incorporate regional twists and experiment with different sauce variations to keep the flavors exciting and diverse.

Regional Twists

Regional adaptations of the classic Ahi Tuna recipe reflect local flavors and ingredients. For instance, in Hawaii, where Ahi Tuna is a staple, I often see the addition of tropical fruits like mango or papaya in salsas, complementing the robust flavor of the fish. A Mediterranean twist might include capers and lemon, while a Japanese version would likely feature stronger notes of wasabi and pickled ginger.

Sauce Variations

Sauce variations can greatly enhance the Ahi Tuna experience. One of my favorites is a Spicy Mayo sauce, which incorporates mayonnaise with sriracha or chili paste, adding a creamy yet fiery kick to the dish. Alternatively, I might prepare a Cilantro Lime Sauce, blending the bright flavors of cilantro and lime for a zesty finish. For those who enjoy making and sharing their cooking process, many similar recipes and short video tutorials are available on platforms like TikTok, guiding you to make these sauces at home.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, I address some common inquiries about the Outback ahi tuna sauce, providing guidance for creating a homemade version of this favorite accompaniment. I’ve included practical tips for each question, focusing on the ingredients and preparation methods that echo Outback’s signature flavors.

What ingredients are in the Outback Steakhouse ahi tuna sauce?

The Outback Steakhouse ahi tuna sauce features a harmonious blend of tamari sauce, fresh ginger, lemon juice, and maple syrup, with a drizzle of sesame oil to round out the flavors. These ingredients combine to create a distinct, tangy dipping sauce. For an authentic taste, choose quality ingredients and measure them carefully.

How do you make a creamy ginger soy sauce like the one served at Outback?

To craft a creamy ginger soy sauce similar to Outback’s, start with a soy sauce base and integrate finely grated ginger. Adding a small amount of mayonnaise or Greek yogurt provides the creaminess, and a splash of lemon juice gives a bright accent. Adjust the ginger to suit your preferred spice level.

What are some recommended sides to serve with seared ahi tuna?

Complement seared ahi tuna with sides that offer contrasting, yet harmonious, flavors and textures. I suggest a crisp garden salad, steamed jasmine rice, or a vegetable medley. These sides, particularly the coolness of the salad, balance the richness of the seared ahi tuna perfectly.

Is it necessary to rinse ahi tuna before searing it?

Rinsing ahi tuna before searing isn’t required. For the best results, ensure the tuna is pat dry with paper towels. This helps achieve that desirable sear without steaming the fish. Dry surfaces contact the heat directly, creating a flavorful crust.

How does one replicate the wasabi sauce served with ahi tuna at Outback Steakhouse?

To mimic Outback Steakhouse’s wasabi sauce, combine wasabi paste with mayonnaise for creaminess and a little lemon juice or vinegar for acidity. Adjust the wasabi paste according to how spicy you want the sauce. The key is to start with less wasabi and add more as needed to find the right heat level.

What are the steps to prepare a dipping sauce similar to the Outback ahi tuna ginger sauce?

A dipping sauce akin to the Outback’s version involves whisking together tamari sauce, grated ginger, lemon juice, maple syrup, and sesame oil, creating a complex flavor profile that accents the ahi tuna. Simple yet sophisticated, this dipping sauce enhances the overall experience of enjoying seared ahi tuna at home.

Outback Ahi Tuna Sauce copycat

Recipe by kitcheneasylifeCourse: Dinner


Prep time



This sauce pairs beautifully with seared ahi tuna steaks!


  • 1/4 cup soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • 2 green onions, finely chopped

  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds


  • In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, mustard, rice vinegar, sesame oil, honey, ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes until well combined.
  • Stir in the green onions and sesame seeds.
  • Refrigerate the sauce for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together before serving.


  • For a creamier sauce, add a tablespoon of mayonnaise.

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