Love and Olive Oil

Niçoise Salad with Seared Black Sesame Tuna

Asian Niçoise Salad with Seared Black Sesame Tuna

How many times, in the midst of the endless food of the holidays, have you wished for a simple salad? After a second helping of turkey, bowls of creamy mashed potatoes piled high with rich gravy, and a larger-than-you-really-needed slice of decadent pumpkin pie for dessert (and then another slice for breakfast), sometimes a salad sounds downright divine.

For those momentary healthful cravings, this salad is perfection. It’s not just an ordinary Niçoise salad (which usually contains canned tuna fish), but instead features slices of black-sesame-crusted tuna atop a bed of bright baby greens and tossed with a Japanese-style wasabi vinaigrette.

This salad is just one of the recipes we’ve created for the Spice Islands® Flavor Explorer blog, this one showcasing the unique black sesame seeds and potent wasabi powder. I can tell you that we loved cooking our way through the Spice Islands® library, playing with flavors and combinations that we’d never used before.

Spice Islands Flavor Explorer Recipes

Hungry for more? Hop on over to the Spice Islands blog, where you’ll also find our recipes for Sicilian pan pizza with sun-dried tomato pesto and coconut beef stir fry rice bowls. And there’s way more to come!

Niçoise Salad with Seared Black Sesame Tuna

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For dressing:
1 teaspoon Spice Islands® Wasabi Powder or other instant wasabi powder
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/8 teaspoon Spice Islands® Ground Coriander
2 tablespoons canola oil

For tuna:
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 (8 ounce) sushi-grade ahi tuna steaks
Spice Islands® Fine Sea Salt and Spice Islands® Fine Grind Black Pepper, to taste
1/4 cup Spice Islands® Black Sesame Seeds

For salad:
6 ounces haricot verts (French green beans) or green beans, trimmed
6 ounces mixed baby greens
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered


In a small bowl, whisk together wasabi powder and rice vinegar. Let sit 5 minutes to allow the flavors to fully develop. Whisk in soy sauce, sesame oil and coriander. Drizzle in canola oil, whisking vigorously until emulsified and combined.

Preheat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.

Season all sides of tuna steaks with salt and pepper. Pour sesame seeds onto a small rimmed plate. Lay tuna steaks into sesame seeds, coating all sides with an even layer. Add tuna to hot skillet and sear for about 1 to 2 minutes per side. You can choose to cook the tuna for slightly more or less time depending on desired doneness. Cooking for 30 seconds per side will give you the smallest opaque border with a bright pink, raw center. Slightly longer, more like 2 minutes, will give you a barely pink center.

Transfer tuna to a cutting board and, with a sharp knife, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices.

Meanwhile, place green beans in a lidded, microwave safe dish with about 1 cup of water. Microwave on high for about 2 minutes (3 minutes if using regular green beans), until bright green and tender. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Toss beans with 1 tablespoon of dressing.

Toss greens and half of the remaining dressing and divide among serving bowls. Top with cherry tomatoes, green beans and tuna slices. Drizzle tuna with remaining dressing and serve.

All images and text © / Love & Olive Oil

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  1. Wow, your site is amazing. It’s 6:54am and my mouth is watering ready for some of this salad. Seared Black Sesame Tuna is amazing.

    Thank you for sharing your delicious food. I can’t wait to try some of these recipes.


  2. The tuna looks like it is cooked to perfection.

  3. i love how fresh this looks…a total must this time of year!

  4. All three of these look delicious!! Love the Asian spin the the classic salad. Always appreciated when someone can do a new spin on a classic ;)

  5. I so agree with you about the salad after a big turkey dinner! I crave them on a daily basis. IMHO fresh tuna is the way to go! I’ve never eaten canned tuna in my life, reminds me of cat food. BUT I was blessed to grown up on the South Carolina coast with a daddy who liked to sport fish every other weekend so fresh tuna was always abundant in our household, so my opinion is probably a wee bit biased :/

  6. that salad looks lovely. i made a roast vegie salad last night – which is not exactly the same thing – but it was delicious and fresh with my homegrown lettuce and a zingy dressing.

  7. Thank you for thinking somewhat outside the box: this salad will be relished soonest :) !

  8. Beatiful! I always love nicoise salad, very refreshing and I love your pictures.

  9. yum! all three of those recipes look awesome!

  10. a simple salad sounds like a blessing right now – nothing fancy, just pure whole good-for-you ingredients. Healthy really can be delicious and I love sesame tuna – had a black sesame seared tuna salad just the other day for lunch actually. perfection.

  11. Great take on the salade nicoise. Love it!

  12. I know the feeling. I always want salad during the winter but I always want something warm too. Adding a touch of warm fish or cooked veggies really does the trick!

  13. You officially made me a salad convert. Just this minute. I have never “craved” salad before but woah. Just woah.

  14. Oh. Ohhhhhh yes.

  15. This is on my short list of things to try…sounds fabulous!

  16. How many times, in the midst of the endless food of the holidays, have you wished for a simple salad? <– ALL the time! Promptly followed up by the biggest assortment of holiday desserts :)

  17. Beautiful!! This is perfect for the week after Thanksgiving too!!

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