Recipe: Chile Crusted Tuna Tacos


2016-04-07 05.55.27

Seared tuna has become one of my absolute favorite things. It’s replaced salmon as my go-to seafood entrée when we go out for dinner, and this year we’ve had it for dinner at home more times than I can count. Usually, I sear it and top a salad with it. While that salad has become one of my favorite dinners this year, these tacos were a really delicious change of pace.

I loved every part of these tacos. The tuna was spicy and delicious, the avocado and the cabbage & arugula salad were light & fresh, but the star of this dish was the orange chipotle sauce. It had a pretty powerful kick at first, but once the orange juice had reduced, the sweetness helped balance out some of the heat. I wanted a smoother sauce, so I dumped it in the blender and let it do its magic for a minute. The resulting sauce was smooth and so delicious. This recipe serves four, so I made a salad with the leftovers the next day, and used the leftover sauce as the salad dressing, and it was just as delicious.

I love this recipe, and I’m so glad to have another way to eat tuna at home (I think Graham is tired of the salads…)

2016-04-07 05.56.11

Chile Crusted Tuna Tacos
(Recipe adapted from this one, originally from Gourmet, August 2003)


  • 1 cup of orange juice
  • 1 chipotle pepper; minced, and one tablespoon of the sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 lb.-1 lb. (1 1/2-inch-thick) sashimi tuna steak
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 flour tortillas (Small/fajita size)
  • 1 cup of thinly sliced/shredded red cabbage
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • Juice from one lime
  • 1-2 avocado(s)
  • 1 cup of arugula
  1. Heat oven to 300 degrees*.
  2. Bring orange juice, chipotles (and sauce) and vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced to a about 1/3 cup, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat, pour contents of saucepan into a blender, and run blender until the sauce is smooth. Let cool.
  3. Toss cabbage & arugula with cilantro, lime juice, remaining tablespoon oil, and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. Heat a grill pan or a skillet to medium-high heat. While it’s heating, mix together coriander, cumin, chili powder, black pepper and salt in a small bowl. Brush tuna on all sides with olive oil and coat evenly with spice mixture. Cook tuna for 2-3 minutes on each side (or to your desired level of doneness) and then move to a cutting board and let rest for 5-10 minutes.
  5. While tuna is resting, wrap tortillas in foil and place in the oven to warm through. (*If you don’t want to turn on your oven, just wrap in a moist paper towel and microwave for 15-20 seconds.)
  6. Thinly slice avocado and season with a little salt. (I’m obsessed with avocados and portion out half of an avocado for each person.)
  7. Top each warm tortilla with the salad mixture and avocado. Chop or slice tuna, and divide among tacos. Drizzle the orange chipotle sauce over the tacos to serve.

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