Seared tuna is one of many favorites. I've mentioned I am not a huge sushi fan, but rare Tuna is a special treat. This is only the second time I have seen it in the past two years in the town I live in where it was fresh enough to entice me to buy it.
Preparation for this meal is really very simple. The most essential part is finding the most fresh, quality grade tuna possible. A fresh tuna steak should be bright red, slightly translucent on the surface, moist throughout (especially along the edges with no dryness or darker colors), and should have almost no smell. If you find tuna that meets these tests, it is fresh and ideal for searing. Be sure to have your fish monger pack the fish and surround the package with crushed ice to keep the fish fresh until you get home. Once you reach your kitchen, you should unpack the fish. Dry it of moisture, then pour some crushed ice into a tray. Crushed ice is best because it cradles the fish evenly. Place plastic wrap over the ice and lay the tuna steaks on the top of the covered ice. Now place the fish in the refigerator until you are read to prep it for cooking the same day. It does not need to be covered when cooking the same day.
When ready, take the tuna and coat it lightly with oil on all sides. Next take coarse ground black pepper and sea salt, sprinkle liberally on a tray or plate (about 2/3 pepper). Coat the entire surface of the tuna evenly. Next take dark and light toasted sesame seeds and repeat the process being sure to coat all surfaces. The tuna is now ready for searing. To do this heat a thick bottomed skillet, preferably stainless steel, and heat until a bead of water rolls around without just evaporating the moment it hits the pan (not hot enough) but does not separate into many smaller balls (too hot). It should stay together and ride around the pan. Once this heat is reached, carefully dry the pan with a paper towel and swirl an even coating of Canola oil on the bottom. Lift the pan and turn to coat the bottom evenly. Carefully place the tuna in the pan. Sear on all sides, only cooking until the outer edge turns light about 1/2cm all around. Slice against the grain with long cutting strokes (not carving strokes) supporting the sides to ensure the slices do not flake appart.
Pair the tuna with your favorite sauce, usually a wasabi or orange teriyaki based sauce. Rice of almost any kind works well, although a simple white rice is perhaps traditional (not the version I paired above, which is more of a chinese variation).