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Fresh Tuna Fish Tacos Recipe

A top view shot of Fresh Tuna Fish Tacos with Adobo Crema & Red Cabbage Slaw.

Aside from the hipster hotties (do people still say “hotties”?), the best thing about living in Vancouver is having access to super fresh, Oceanwise seafood. Like tuna. I don’t eat tuna too often because of the high levels of mercury the meat contains*  but when I do, I sear it barely rare and enjoy lasciviously with a big bottle of dry Rosé. Or in this case, a slightly off-dry, pleasantly acidic Gewürztraminer to balance the spices in the dish.

Whatever you do, grab a bottle of something cold and make sure to ask your fish monger if their tuna is sashimi grade and only buy Ahi, Yellowfin or Albacore varieties. Frozen, canned or sub-par tuna is not an option here. Bluefin tuna is never an option (it’s fished almost to extinction).

If you don’t have access to sustainably caught, fresh, sashimi grade Ahi, Yellowfin or Albacore tuna, any sustainable fish can be subbed in. Just make sure it’s not previously frozen and something you’ll savour.

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A top view shot of Fresh Tuna Fish Tacos with Adobo Crema & Red Cabbage Slaw.

Fresh Tuna Fish Tacos Recipe

With only 1 more sleep until I leave for the great state of Texas, I have to admit: I’m getting a wee bit nervous.
Cuisine American
Servings 4 tacos

Equipment

  • Sharp knife
  • mandolin
  • Bowl
  • Pot
  • fire extinguisher
  • Paper Towels
  • cast iron pan

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb sashimi grade Ahi tuna (or really, any fish or prawns of your choice)
  • Fresh corn tortillas
  • 1 piece Small red cabbage
  • ½ cup Apple cider vinegar
  • Small handful of green onions or chives finely chopped
  • ½ piece Small red onion finely diced
  • 2 pieces adobo peppers finely chopped
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Lil sugar
  • Coarse sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • Lil smoked paprika
  • GMO-free veggie or canola oil for frying

To garnish & serve:

  • 2 pieces Small to medium sized cobs of fresh corn
  • Avocados sliced
  • Cilantro  roughly chopped
  • Lots of fresh limes cut into wedges

Instructions
 

For the slaw:

  • Cut the cabbage in half and remove the core. Using a mandolin, finely matchstick the cabbage. Toss in a bowl with 1/2 of the apple cider vinegar, lil sugar, red onion, chives, fennel seeds and salt and pepper. Mix well. Taste. If it needs more acid, sweetness or seasoning, adjust to taste. It should be flavourful and delicious.
    A lots of limes on a bowl on portrait shot.

For the tacos:

  • Fill a deep pot with water over high heat and bring to a boil. Add the corn cobs. Boil until the kernels are tender, approx 4-7 minutes depending on the age of the corn. Fresher corn will cook faster. Drain and allow to cool so you can handle them. Using a sharp knife, cut the kernels from the cob and set aside.
    The delicious ingredients of Fresh Tuna Fish Tacos with Adobo Crema & Red Cabbage Slaw.
  • Pour the oil into that same pot, leaving at least 1/3 head space. You only need a couple inches or so. Place over medium-high heat. The oil is ready when you drop a a cube of white bread in the oil and it browns in 30 seconds. If it browns faster, turn down your heat and as always, have a fire extinguisher near by whenever you fry. I don’t want you to burn your house down. If it takes longer than 30 seconds, wait and try again in a couple minutes.
    Top view shot on a black tray of Fresh Tuna Fish Tacos with Adobo Crema & Red Cabbage Slaw.
  • Once the oil is hot, you can shallow fry the tortillas to make them super crispy and golden. Carefully place the tortillas in the oil, one or two at a time depending on the size of your pot (don't over crowd them) and fry about 45 seconds per side. Drain on paper towels and season with salt and smoked paprika. Set aside until all tortillas are done.
  • When the tortillas are almost finished, heat a cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Season both sides of your fish well with salt and pepper. Drizzle a little oil in the pan. When nice and hot (but not smoking), place the seasoned fish in the pan. Sear only long enough to create a nice brown colour on the outside of the fish; you want your tuna raw in the middle. Flip, do the same on the second side. It will only take a minute or two per side, tops. Remove from heat and let sit for a minute or so. With a very sharp knife, cut against the grain into 1/4" slices. Set aside.

For the crema:

  • Just before dinner is ready, mix together the sour cream, adobo peppers, zest and juice of a lime and a pinch of salt. Serve along side the cooked corn, tuna, cilantro, limes, slaw and if desired, a few beers.
    Tacos, limes and salt with a shot glass.
  • Eat

Notes

This should serve 4 people, 3 tacos each.You can make the slaw up to two days in advance; the longer it sits, the more tender the slaw will become. If you let it sit for more than a day, the salt and sugar will cure the cabbage, pulling the moisture out of the cabbage and pooling in the bowl.
No biggie, just drain it through a fine mesh strainer.You can forgo the frying if you want your tacos soft. Just place a pan over low on the stove and dry heat the tortillas, about 20 seconds per side.
Fold in a damp towel once they're warm until all the tortillas are done and you're ready to eat.
Keyword tuna

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