Seafood lies at the heart of any coastal community or island nation. Historically, cultural and geographical differences have shut sea creatures out of the cuisines of landlocked locales while inspiring creativity in others. Even before globalization and flash freezing made fish accessible, tuna had managed to work its way into diets across the globe.
Here are a few of the easiest tuna recipes from around the world:
Poke - Hawaii
The idea of raw fish salad may sound off-putting, but in reality, Poke is a genuinely stunning salad. Originally this Hawaiian dish was made with fish scraps from raw, cubed yellowfin tuna and a plethora of condiments. In recent years, poke’s simple construction has reached a new level of sophistication.
Ahi Shoyu Poke
- 1 lb. fresh ahi steaks, cut into cubed, bite-size pieces
- 1/4 cup soy sauce (shoyu)
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions (tops included)
- 1/4 cup chopped Maui onion (or yellow onion)
- 2 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
- 1 chili pepper, cored, seeded and diced (optional)
- Sea salt, to taste
- 2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
- 2 tsp. finely chopped toasted macadamia nuts (optional, as a substitute for inamona, which is difficult to find outside of Hawaii)
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients, and mix lightly. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
Recipe from Hawai’i Magazine.
Ceviche - Peru
Are you ready for more raw tuna? Good.
Ceviche is the undisputed national dish of Peru that has inspired numerous variations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. While the OG recipe is over 2,000 years old and doesn’t discriminate against other types of fish, tuna tends to be favored.
Ahi Tuna Ceviche
- 1/2 pound Ahi tuna steak (sashimi grade if possible), diced
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1/2 Tablespoon rice vinegar (I used O Yuzu rice vinegar, see Cook’s note)
- 1/2 of a Serrano pepper, very thinly sliced
- Juice of 1 lime
- 5 small leaves of fresh mint
- sprinkle of black sesame seeds (optional)
In a medium bowl, mix soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar, Serrano pepper, lime juice, mint, and sesame seeds.
Next, add diced tuna and toss to coat. Serve immediately.
Recipe from The Enchanted Cook.
Canned Tuna - United Kingdom
Though the US consumes a significant amount of canned tuna, with only 20 percent of our population, the UK enjoys a surprisingly comparable tonnage. Brits love canned tuna more than colonialism or cricket combined. It would be remiss not to include a sandwich so integral to the British way of life.
Tuna Cucumber Sandwich
- One can of tuna fish in oil (preferably filet)
- 3-4 tbsp of mayonnaise (or to your preference)
- ⅛ cup diced onions OR 2 tsp of onion powder
- ⅛ cup diced celery (optional, for peasants)
- ¼ cup thinly sliced cucumber
- 2 tsp butter
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Sliced white or sourdough bread
Open the can of tuna and strain excess oil using the lid. DO NOT use a strainer unless you greatly dislike flavor.
In a medium-sized bowl, mash chunks out of tuna with a fork, but don’t go crazy because this isn’t pate.
Add mayonnaise, onions and, if you really must, celery. Mix until combined, adding salt and pepper as you see fit.
Butter both slices of bread. Trust me.
Spread tuna mixture over a slice of bread and drape with cucumber slices.
Place the other slice atop the cucumbers. If you’re an adult not going to a tea party, don’t cut the crusts off.