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Fresh Tuna Salad

14 May 2009 6 Comments

Barefoot BloggersI recently signed up with the Barefoot Bloggers, just in time for their 1 year anniversary! This group tries out recipes by the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten, twice a month. I figured this would be a fun way to try some new recipes that I might not otherwise choose.

The first May recipe was chosen by Kate of Warm Olives and Cool Cocktails, and it’s one that’s right up my alley – Tuna Salad. Tuna Salad, you’re thinking? How boring! Not hardly.

This is not your mama’s tuna salad. Made with fresh tuna, lightly seared on the outside and rare on the inside, bathed in an Asian-style vinaigrette, and combined with cool creamy avocado and some crunchy red onion. I knew I would love this dish as soon as I read the ingredients. And just as well, I knew my boyfriend wouldn’t.

I’m originally from California where I was born and lived until I was 37. My first husband introduced me to sushi, and like many people, at first I was put off by the thought of raw fish. The first couple of times, I would give his a little taste, then order tempura instead. After a while, I ordered California Rolls. Then, eventually, I was the one saying “Hey! Let’s have sushi!” Now, I’m a major sushi fan. So rare tuna is a special treat for me, now that I live in Texas with a healthy-food-hating-and-especially-raw-fish boyfriend.

This dish was was very quick and simple to make, as well. The hardest part was getting a decent picture, as the soy sauce mixed with soft avocados wanted to make everything look sort of greenish-brown – not the best color for a food photo. But with a little perseverance, I got one that wasn’t too bad. The recipe says it will serve 4, so I halved it to serve 2. However, that made 2 very large servings, especially when combined with rice, so I think this could definitely serve 3 – that means the original could probably serve 6 or so.

I loved this recipe served warm, but it could be served cold just as well. Give this delicious new take on tuna salad a try at your earliest opportunity!

Fresh Tuna Salad

Serves 3

Fresh Tuna Salad

slightly adapted from Ina Garten


  • 1 pound fresh tuna, cut into 1″ thick steaks
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 5 dashes hot sauce (such as Tabasco)
  • 1/2 teaspoon wasabi powder
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons scallions, minced
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Heat a nonstick pan over medium-high heat until very hot. Coat with cooking spray. Lightly spray tuna steak(s) with olive oil cooking spray and season with salt and pepper.

Place tuna into hot pan, seasoned side down. Immediately spray other side with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Sear tuna for 1 minute on each side (or more, to desired doneness). Trust me – this is really good rare. So unless you just don’t eat rare fish, go with the recipe on this one. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine lime juice, olive oil, soy sauce, hot sauce, and wasabi powder and whisk to combine. Add half of zest and taste. Then add more until to your liking. I used it all. Season to taste with salt and pepper, if needed.

Cut tuna into chunks, then mix with cubed avocado, scallions and red onions. Add to vinaigrette and gently toss to combine.

Serve hot or cold, over greens or rice.


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  • Kim said:

    Welcome to BB! I’m glad you liked the recipe.

    I also halved the recipe and thought that was enough for at least three, if not four lunch portions. I served it up tortilla style.

    Kim’s last blog post..Barefoot Bloggers: Tuna Salad

  • Kanella said:

    Welcome to BB! I served over rice as well and you are correct this is not your mama’s tuna salad.

    Kanella’s last blog post..BB: Tuna Salad- The Real Stuff

  • Eva said:

    welcome to the group! and don’t forget about the lime juice starting to cook the tuna and make it turn gray/brown too! my pictures were horribly unappetizing.

    Eva’s last blog post..Barefoot Bloggers: Tuna Salad

  • Marta said:

    I want to sign up for that group as well, but I haven’t gotten around to doing it! Ina’s recipes are just so fail-proof. I’ve never made anything from her that didn’t turn out great! This salad look SOOOOOOO delicious!!!!

    Marta’s last blog post..La Ricetta del Nonno

  • Aggie said:

    This looks awesome! I’m hoping to catch up and make it this weekend!

    Welcome to BB!!

    Aggie’s last blog post..Cooking Light Week – Day One: Turkey Burgers with Peanut Sauce

  • karen said:

    i just found your blog on BB, welcome to the group! I absolutely love your blog. you’ve got some great stuff on here.

    karen’s last blog post..TWD – Fresh Mango Bread

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