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Grilled Tuna on Tropical Salsa Recipe
Grilled Tuna on Tropical Salsa
Marino Tavares, Café Ferreira, Montréal
Marino Tavares, Café Ferreira, Montréal
The Cuisine of Greater Montreal
Total time: 15 to 30 minutes

Preparation and cooking time: Under 30 minutes

Difficulty: Easy
Chef's Note

Don’t worry too much about having the exact ingredients for this recipe. You can use whichever vegetables you choose, and if you want, only use one. Furthermore, the matchstick potatoes are optional. We’re giving the recipe for the dish as we sampled it, but feel free to adapt it to your own personal taste.

For 4 servings

- 4 tuna steaks
- Olive oil
- Coarse salt

- 4 large asparagus, peeled
- 4 oyster mushrooms, cleaned
- 4 carrots, brushed and stem removed
- 2 red peppers, seeded and halved
- 2 yellow peppers, seeded and halved
- 2 small zucchini, brushed and halved lengthwise
- 1 bunch of spinach, stems removed
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
- A few basil leaves

- 1 small cucumber
- 1 mango or 1/3 pineapple
- 1 red pepper
- A few cilantro leaves
- Lemon or lime juice
- Cracked black pepper
- 500 ml (2 cups) balsamic vinegar
- 125 ml (1/2 cup) sugar

- 2 large potatoes
- Cornstarch

Preparing the vegetables

  1. Each vegetable must be perfectly cooked without being mushy; therefore cook each vegetable separately using the appropriate cooking method.
  2. clean and prepare all the vegetables;
  3. blanch the carrots and asparagus in boiling water; drain when almost cooked; finish cooking by searing them in a skillet for a few seconds with oil, salt and pepper, a few basil leaves and a touch of garlic;
  4. grill the zucchini and peppers or cook them in a skillet in oil with a little salt and pepper, a few basil leaves and a touch of garlic;
  5. cook the oyster mushrooms and spinach in a skillet in oil, with a little salt and pepper, a few basil leaves and a touch of garlic;
    keep the vegetables warm.

Preparing the salsa

  1. peel and seed the cucumber; chop into small dice;
  2. cut the mango or pineapple and peppers into small dice;
  3. cook the salsa ingredients in a pan with a few drops of oil over very low heat, just until they become translucent;
  4. drizzle with a little lemon or lime juice; let cool.

Cooking the tuna

  1. place the cracked black pepper into a shallow dish; oil the tuna steaks and season with coarse salt; press one side of the tuna into the pepper and remove;
  2. cook in a skillet over high heat for 3 minutes – the fish should be medium rare;
  3. remove from the pan and keep warm; deglaze the pan with the balsamic vinegar;
  4. add the sugar and reduce by half.


  1. cut the peeled potatoes into matchsticks using a mandolin; dry with a towel;
  2. in a small bowl, combine the cornstarch with some cold water; season with salt and pepper and add some crushed ice;
  3. dip the potatoes into this mixture; fry the potatoes in hot vegetable oil until golden; divide into four portions.


  1. arrange the vegetables on warmed plates, overlapping them to create some height;
  2. place the grilled tuna on the plate and garnish with some of the salsa;
  3. finally, place a stack of matchstick potatoes on the tuna, sticking a branch of rosemary through the potatoes and tuna to keep everything in place and to add to the sense of height.
  4. Drizzle the reduced balsamic syrup around the plate and serve immediately.
More recipe ideas

A delight to both the eye and the palate, this grilled fish is prepared “California-style,” incorporating principles of the Mediterranean diet.

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