Blackened Ahi Hawaiian Recipe

Ahi is Hawaii's prized fish - yellow fin tuna caught in deep Pacific waters. People in the Islands love it raw as sashimi, seared on the edges, blackened, or cut into bite size pieces and seasoned in a famous local dish known as poke. Fresh ahi should have a deep red color, firm texture and a glistening surface that indicates high fat content.


  • Cilantro-ginger oil (see recipe below)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • ½ cup blackening mix (see recipe below)
  • 2 lb shashimi grade ahi, cut into 8 steaks
  • ¼ cup scallions, cut diagonally for garnish


Place blackening spice mix in a shallow plate. Coat the ahi well with the spices. In a cast iron skillet over high heat, add 2 tablespoons of oil. Sear the ahi very quickly on all sides. The spices will turn black as you do this. Do not overcook the fish. Transfer the fish to a cutting board and slice into 1/2 inch slices.

To serve, place the ahi slices on a platter, drizzle with cilantro-ginger oil and garnish with green onions.

Blackening spices


  • 2 cups paprika
  • 8 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 4 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons dry basil
  • 2 tablespoons dry oregano
  • 2 tablespoons dry dill weed

Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix very well. Store in an airtight container. This should make approximately 3 cups of spice mix.

Cilantro-Ginger Oil

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped ginger
  • 2 fresh garlic cloves (minced)

Place oil in a small saucepan over medium heat until warm. Add the cilantro, ginger and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Cover and let steep 24 hours. Strain the oil through a fine mesh strainer into an airtight container. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.