Waikiki 'ahi (Tuna Steak) Sandwich




This awesome, tender tuna steak sandwich will have your friends in raptures!
Simple and quick to grill, it is a winner everytime!

The Hawaiian's call their tuna: 'ahi.

This sandwich has been inspired by my visit to the Diamond Head Market & Grill in Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii, in August 2007.
After climbing the 232 metre volcanic crater I had worked up quite an appetite, which I sated at this roadside eatery on the walk back to my hotel. Yummy!
Every time I grill this at home, it takes me back to paradise!

This sandwich is very simple to create, and has always attracted rave reviews when served to family and friends.

Created by Steve: SBDESIGNS


Step 1: Ingredients

Preparation Time: 10mins (Have everything ready prior to grilling)
Cooking Time: 5mins

Ingredients (Per Person):

100g TUNA Steak (see Note [1])
Olive/Canola/Cooking OIL (Spray cans are good)
Hamburger BUN, halved
Handful shredded LETTUCE
1/8 ONION, sliced, halved
1 teaspoon SOY SAUCE (SHOYU)
2 heaped teaspoon MAYONNAISE
WASABI to taste (see Note [2])

Note [1]: Buy top quality Tuna steak if possible (sashimi quality is the best). It often comes in
2.5cm / 1" thick 200g steaks, so butterfly and then separate completely into individual
100g 1.25cm / 1/2" steaks.

Note [2]: I buy wasabi (hot Japanese Horseradish sauce) in prepared tubes that I keep in the
refrigerator. Only a 1-2cm (3/8 - 3/4") squirt is sufficient per person.

Step 2: Cooking Instructions [1]

Cooking Instructions:
1. Heat BBQ to HOT.
2. Combine the wasabi and mayonnaise in a small dish, set aside.
3. Split the bun and butter the insides. Ensure that all components are beside the BBQ and
ready before commencing cooking, due to short cooking time.

Step 3: Cooking Instructions [2]

4. Cook onions on flat plate with 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce (shoyu). When almost ready (soft), add
further 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce (shoyu).
5. Whilst onions are cooking, place bun halves face down on BBQ until toasted.
6. Remove and spread bottom half of bun with wasabi mayonnaise.
7. Top with shredded lettuce.

Step 4: Cooking Instructions [3]

8. Lightly coat both side of the tuna with Oil, and gently place onto the BBQ grill, and cook for
around 45secs each side according to desire (see Note [3]).
9. Remove and gently place onto the bottom half of bun.
10. Top with marinated onions, cover with the top of bun.
11. Enjoy. Use toothpicks and cut in half for presentation, if desired.

Simply serve on its' own for a light lunch,
or for a larger meal: with a light salad, potato wedges, or both

Note [3]: In cooking tuna, treat it like the 'steak of the sea' and cook to medium-rare, the heat left
in the fish will continue to cook to medium whilst you are eating it.

Step 5: Variations

Recently I have been soaking the onions in 1 teaspoon of soy sauce for at least two hours prior to cooking.

(1) THAI SWEET CHILLI SAUCE instead of wasabi in the mayonnaise.
(2) Place a slice of TASTY CHEESE on tuna after the first turn.
(3) Add sliced TOMATO along with the lettuce.
(4) Pre-marinate tuna in GINGER-SOY or TERYAKI marinade.
(5) Add a PINEAPPLE ring (grilled also, if preferred).

I hope you enjoy my creation! Let me know your thoughts, Steve (SBDESIGNS).

P.S.: My mate calls it the ikiki Beach Burger (Watch the movie: Spirit of 76).



    • Woodworking Contest

      Woodworking Contest
    • Gardening Contest

      Gardening Contest
    • Classroom Science Contest

      Classroom Science Contest

    16 Discussions


    8 years ago on Step 2

    Delicious lil sandwich. I added avacado :)


    10 years ago on Introduction

    What do you do if you don't have ready access to a BBQ? Can you broil or pan-fry quickly/high heat? I tried cooking tuna once and ruined it, overcooked it. It's expensive enough I wouldn't want to make that mistake on this.

    1 reply

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Pan fried quickly over high heat would work well, although the char grill marks and the BBQ aromas will be missing. As with the BBQ, watch the sides of the tuna for the sear/cooked area creeping further towards the center of the fish flesh, as the photos show. Leave slightly pink inside (medium rare) as the heat in the fish will continue to cook it to medium as you are building/eating the sandwich.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    This looks delicious; I would try adding grilled cucumber instead of onion, because I'm not much of an onion fan. I think using a mixed green/lettuce mix would go well with the look and flavor of your sandwich. Where did you buy the ahi?

    2 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    All I had was iceberg lettuce, and it was a speed contest. Mixed lettuce would be great.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Just a suggestion. Kikkoman Soy Sauce is OK but a really great soy sauce is Tamari. Kikkomen also makes a Tamari. It's a little better than their regular but Tamari Brand is best. I'm from NY City and one magazine did a taste test in our China town as to the best soy sauce and the Tamari was a hands down winner. You can also make your own teriyaki marinade that's much better than anything in a bottle. All it takes is: Good soy sauce Cane or brown sugar (cane sugar is available is Asian markets) Chopped scallions (white and green parts) Crushed garlic Grated ginger (optional) All ingredients are to taste. I'm sure there are as many recipes for this as there are Asian grandmothers.

    2 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    This, from Allrecipes, is the best I've ever tasted. I use brown sugar for its slight nuttiness. If you want to thicken it, use a touch of cornstarch, but it doesn't need it. In fact, I think I'm using it for dinner tonight.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    I would say the ginger is almost a requirement for teriyaki in Hawaii. Almost everything here is seasoned with salt, ginger, and/or shoyu.


    Just made this, very good. Thanks for the recipe. My seafood-phobic boyfriend actually said he'd be willing to eat it agin.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Looks yummy. I hope it not too string with the wasabi.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Looks yummy. I like to serve similarly cooked tuna steaks with a sort of "pico de gallo" made from cucumber, tomato, and avaccado. They'd probably be good on a sandwich, too.