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What is Ahi Saku Block?

In Japan the term saku means block. Saku is commonly served as maguro in sushi bars. Because of its uniformity, it is preferred by Japanese chefs for sashimi and other sliced presentations. Ideal for making ahi sushi or for pan searing. At El Toro Gourmet Meats we carry flash-frozen Ahi Saku Blocks, and other fine seafood.  Call, come-in, or order online.

How to Defrost an Ahi Saku Block

Wash frozen fish with tap water
2. Prepare a bath of lukewarm (35-40C) water saturated with salt. It should be as salty as the sea. To confirm it is salty enough, the frozen fish should float, not sink.
3. Let the fish sit for 3-4 minutes. (it will not be thawed at this point)
4. Remove from the salt water and pat dry with paper towels.
5. Wrap the fish in paper towels and place in a plastic bag. Put in the refrigerator (15C) to thaw for about 5 hrs.
This will result in a finer color and better “umami” flavor.

How to Prepare Ahi Saku Blocks

Combine some black and white sesame seeds in a bowl and stir to mix. Season the tuna with salt and pepper and dredge in the sesame seeds, coating the tuna evenly. In a searing pan over high heat, warm the oil until smoking. Sear the tuna until the white sesame seeds start to turn golden underneath, about one minute. Turn the tuna and sear for another minute. Transfer the tuna to a cutting board and cut into quarter-inch thick slices. Enjoy!

Another Way to Enjoy Ahi Saku Blocks


  • 2 (6-8 ounce) ahi  (3/4 of an inch thick)
  • 2 Tbsp dark sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce (or 2 teaspoons of wheat-free tamari for gluten-free option)
  • 1 Tbsp of grated fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 green onion (scallion) thinly sliced (a few slices reserved for garnish)
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice


1 Mix the marinade ingredients together and coat the tuna steaks with the marinade, cover tightly, and refrigerate for at least an hour.

2 Heat a non-stick skillet over medium high to high heat. When the pan is hot, remove the tuna steaks from the marinade and sear them for a minute to a minute and a half on each side

3 Remove from pan and slice into 1/4-inch thick slices. Sprinkle with a few green onion slices.

Can serve plain, with white rice, or over lettuce or thinly sliced cabbage or fennel. Shown served over sliced fennel salad.

 What Goes Well with Ahi Saku Blocks?

  • Sliced Tomato and Cucumber Salad
  • Garlic Fries
  • German Creamed Spinach
  • Stir Fried Vegetables with Asian Sauce
  • Margherita Flatbread
  • Roasted Crispy Brussels Sprouts
  • Colorful Vegetable Skewers
  • Lightly Salted Chips.


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