Recipe: Mexican Tuna Steak With Sweet Red Peppers & Avocado
In my quest to eat more fresh fish in 2013 – and by that I mean to expand my repertoire of salmon, trout and snapper – I decided to finally make something with tuna. This recipes features tuna steaks pan fried in coriander seeds and lime zest brown butter, cumin and paprika sweet onion and red peppers, topped with zesty avocado salsa.
Notes on Tuna: Tuna fish, regardless of its type, are considered overfished around the world. It doesn’t mean you should stop eating tuna altogether but you need to be able to make smarter choices so we can enjoy tuna in safe amounts for many generations to come. Avoid the most vulnerable and threatened Bluefin tuna. Albacore tuna caught by pole is the best option, as is Skipjack tuna as they exist in almost every ocean in large shoals and reproduce quicker. Skipjack tuna is primarily used as ‘light tuna’ for canning. You can find out more about the best canned tuna to buy here.
Tuna is high in protein and Omega-3 fatty acids but some bigger, deeper water tuna varieties are known to contain higher mercury levels and should be eaten in small amounts. Stick to smaller, shorter lifespan tuna fish caught by pole-and-line, or trolling in certain regions where the supply is ample. Find more information on tuna fish worldwide here and make sure to check out Good Fish Bad Fish for best Australian choices (it’s a great site with alternatives, cooking methods and so on).
Safety tuna guide: 1) only buy tuna a couple of times per month, 2) chat to your fishmonger/fish seller and find out the type of tuna they’re selling and where it’s from, 3) educate yourself about the best type of tuna to purchase in your country, 4) make smarter choices when purchasing canned tuna, 5) tell your friends and family to do the same.
For tuna steaks
- 2 tuna steaks (about 150g each, 1cm thick), sourced with sustainability in mind
- 1 tsp coriander seeds (coriander seeds powder can also be used)
- 1 fresh lime
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp butter (use ghee, olive oil or macadamia oil if avoiding dairy)
- A pinch of sea salt & black pepper
For red peppers
- 1 medium red onion
- 1 medium red pepper (capsicum/bell pepper)
- 2/3 tsp sweet paprika
- 2/3 tsp cumin powder
- A good pinch of red chill flakes
- 1 large garlic clove
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large, ripe avocado
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
- Some lime juice, about half a lime
- A little pinch of sea salt
- Wash and pat dry the tuna steaks, sprinkle with a little sea salt, black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil on both sides. Set aside to come to room temperature.
- Heat four tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan to medium hot but not sizzling. Add sliced onion and red peppers, cover with a lid and cook for 5 minutes, stirring a couple of times. Add paprika, cumin, garlic, apple cider vinegar, a good pinch of salt, chili flakes, and about 2 tablespoons of water. Mix through and cook for a further 4-5 minutes until softened slightly browned. Remove to a plate or use a different frying pan for tuna steaks.
- Grind coriander seeds in a mortar and pestle or use coriander seeds powder instead. Heat up macadamia oil and butter sizzling hot. Add coriander seeds and the zest from one lime to the frying pan. Stir with the butter and oil, allowing them to infuse the flavours. Keeping the heat high, add tuna steaks and turn the heat down to medium. Drizzle with juice from half a lime and cook for two minutes on each side (more if you like it well done and less if you it’s super fresh and you like it rare). Use a spoon to bathe the steaks in the buttery, lime sauce they’re cooking in.
- Meanwhile, chop avocado and fresh coriander and season with a little sea salt and the remaining lime juice, about one tablespoon.
- Assemble some of the red peppers on the serving plates. Place the tuna steaks and top with avocado salsa and more red peppers. Squeeze extra lime juice and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil just before serving.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Number of servings: 2