Pepper Seared Ahi Tuna with Kampot Pepper from the Pepper Project {GIVEAWAY CLOSED}

Pepper Seared Ahi Tuna with Kampot Pepper

I ordered a bundle of Kampot pepper from the Pepper Project mid-way through reading about it on one of my favorite food blogs, Blue Kitchen.  Who knows, maybe I’ll inspire you to do so, too — or, at the bottom of this post, you can enter to win a package of this prized pepper from me.

Let me explain . . .

First discovered by Chinese explorers in the 12th century, this pepper is cultivated in Cambodia in the province of Kampot.  This pepper is highly regarded among food connoisseurs and ranks as the finest gourmet pepper in the world.  Kampot pepper, which is a certified organic product, is incredibly aromatic, pungent, bold, bright and delicious.

Pepper Seared Ahi Tuna with Kampot Pepper

The Pepper Project is a not-for-profit enterprise devoted to introducing products of Cambodia to the United States, primarily pepper.  One hundred percent of the proceeds from sales of these products goes to support fair trade for farmers and to organizations that protect street children, disabled children and victims of sex trafficking.  (You can learn more about the Pepper Project here.)

Pepper ProjectLook how lovely my package of pepper is — with a hand written, personal note, literature about the Pepper Project, recipes, seeds, and the wonderful pepper itself in beautiful hand made bags.   You can order Kampot Pepper here, or enter to win a package from me below.
Pepper Seared Ahi Tuna with Kampot PepperThe first dish I made with Kampot pepper was this gorgeous Pepper Seared Ahi Tuna.  The flavor of the pepper makes this some of the best Ahi I’ve ever tasted.   So if you didn’t realize that using a high quality, freshly ground pepper would make a difference — trust me, it does!

Pepper Seared Ahi Tuna
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • 4 (4-ounce) sushi grade Ahi Tuna fillets
  • Sea salt
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper (preferable Kampot pepper)
  • Grapeseed oil for the pan
  1. Place the number of Ahi fillets you're serving on a clean, dry plate or cutting surface. (For a slightly fancier plate presentation, you can slice each fillet into 2 to 3 long, rectangular pieces.)
  2. Lightly sprinkle all of the sides with sea salt, then either sprinkle or grind black pepper directly onto the top and bottom surfaces of the fillets. The pepper should be a thin, but generous layer.
  3. Coat a large sauté pan with grapeseed oil and place it over high heat.
  4. Once the pan is very hot, add the Ahi and sear each side until it's only cooked through about ⅛-inch, 1 minute or less per side. (If you don't hear a sizzling sound when the tuna hits the pan, it's not hot enough -- wait for the sizzle!)
  5. Remove the pepper seared tuna from the pan and place each piece on a large plate. Once they have cooled a bit, cut them into very thin slices and serve.
This is also just as delicious served cold and is perfect over a salad of greens.

Kampot pepper should be stored in an airtight container, in a cool, dark place. Experts recommend grinding or cracking whole peppercorns right before use.

 And now for the Kampot Pepper Giveaway!

(This giveaway is now closed — thank you all for your participation,
and congratulations, Diane!)

The Pepper Project did not ask me to write this  post, I simply think it’s a great organization, and I’m very excited to have you sample the delicious Cambodian Kampot pepper —  it’s a gift from me to you!

•    You have a chance to win 2-1/2-ounces of Kampot Pepper, beautifully packaged in a re-sealable zipper storage bag inside a pretty cotton drawstring pouch (see above images).
•    There will be 1 winner.
•    The winner of the contest will be selected at
•    The winner will be notified via email, & have 2 days to respond.  If I don’t hear from you, a new winner will be chosen.
•    The giveaway is open through the end of the day, Friday, May 17, 2013.
•    You must have a mailing address in the U.S. to win.

To enter:
1.    Please leave me a comment below about how you like to use black pepper in your cooking, or anything foodie.  And if you’d like, you can leave a separate comment for each of the steps you do that are listed below. You can just leave one comment or many comments.  It’s up to you!
2.    Follow me on Twitter
3.    Tweet this giveaway.  The tweet must include my Twitter handle (@cookingweekends) and the Pepper Project’s Twitter handle (@PepprProject).
4.    Follow my boards on Pinterest.
5.    Pin this post onto one of your Pinterest boards.
6.    Sign up for email updates from Cooking On The Weekends.
7.    “Like” the Cooking On The Weekends Facebook page.
8.    Share this giveaway on your Facebook page.

Share on YummlyPin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on TumblrEmail this to someonePrint this page

Subscribe to Cooking On The Weekends so you don’t miss any new, mouth-watering recipes!


  1. Stephanie Larison says

    I use pepper on most everything while I’m cooking. I’m not the best cook so everything needs a bit of flavor! lol

  2. Linda S. says

    I normally use peppercorns in mundane ways: I add it when making chicken broth, or when boiling shrimp. But I’d like to try using it it in peppercorn-crusted tuna, or another fish.

  3. says

    Of vourse you would support such a worthwhile organization:) I have to say I have never heard of Kampot pepper, but I love the way they conduct business. I use whole black peppercorn I bring from Serbia, as it is so flavorful, so aromatic and so pungent that I cannot find anything similar in the U.S. But, I would love to try Kapmot pepper:)
    BTW, that tuna looks perfect and I want some NOW!

  4. Melody says

    This fish looks amazing! I’m going to try to make it for our family friends this Saturday. Thanks! (Pepper looks great too.)

  5. Beth says

    Such an interesting idea!! Love your unique recipe’s …… yours is my absolute favorite cooking blog! I follow it religiously..

  6. Roberta says

    This is just one of the many things I love about who knew of any such thing as Kampot pepper? I can’t wait to try it and the Ahi recipe. I’m marking my calendar on May 17 to come back and order this if I don’t win it.

  7. says

    Pepper steak comes to mind and big, fat juicy heirloom tomatoes with freshly cracked pepper. I have not heard of this product before, but I love to try new products, especially one that I use so frequently.

  8. Aimee says

    I love everything about this – love trying new gourmet goodies, love the social-consciousness of the company, love Ahi and your delicious recipe, and love pepper! I use it on almost everything and I’m so interested to see how this pepper compares to what I normally use. Thank you!

  9. Judi says

    I love freshly ground black pepper on balsamic-drizzled strawberries. Incredible flavor and a wonderful, gentle heat.

  10. Janet says

    I usually put black pepper on and in most of my recipes. It helps season the food as I do not use much salt.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  11. Lydia Harpe says

    I like to put black pepper on a lot of things; most recently I used it on fresh corn on the cob!

  12. says

    I love salt and sweet and all kinds of recipes feature salt with chocolate. So, now I really want to try this recipe which I will share on my own face book page,”MB’s Musings and Promotions” where I promote all that I love and share my thoughts on many subjects. Many blessings to you and I can’t wait to win! MB

  13. jacquie says

    nothing to interesting – I would likely just use on a salad of lovely spring greens. though I have to say those cookies sound pretty good so I would likely be trying it in them.

  14. says

    What a wonderful way to get a bag of pepper! I am ordering today – and I also shared this with my colleague Karna who runs an anti-trafficking organization in Tucson, and teaches a class about worldwide trafficking at the university. Thanks for sharing this, your wonderful photos and a mouth-watering recipe!

    • valentina says

      Thanks for sharing this with your colleague, David. The folks at the Pepper Project are great, and I know appreciate that we’re spreading the word. And thanks for all of your kind words. 🙂

  15. diane Baum says

    I use black pepper in everything, because I have high blood pressure, I have to stay away from the salt and pepper jazzes up the taste.

  16. Amy says

    I put cracked black pepper inside pretty much anything (and now my chocolate chip cookies!!). Thanks for the giveaway!

  17. Jill says

    I use black pepper on just about everything that is not dessert!
    Pepper-lime beef is one of my favorites though.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: