Bright, flavorful Peruvian seared tuna with white beans is easy to throw together using sushi grade tuna, canned beans, fresh lime juice, garlic, cumin, chili and cilantro.
The internet is a great resource for finding recipes but I still love paging through good old fashioned cookbooks for inspiration. This white bean and seared tuna recipe comes from the cookbook Gran Cocina Latina, which is a 900 page volume about Latin American Food.
The book goes way beyond recipes, deep into the history and cultural fabric of the Latin American kitchen. The author, Maricel E. Presilla, explains that the rich robust complex quality of the cuisine is accomplished by the layers of Latin flavor that go into every dish.
The Adobo layer comes first. This is the one that seasons the meat or fish. It is often a paste or marinade, made from crushed garlic, spices, and citrus or vinegar. I made an adobo for this tuna using garlic, cumin, cayenne, salt, lime juice and olive oil.
The second layer is the Sofrito, which is the base for the sauce. It's a combination of finely diced aromatic ingredients, often with onions, that are sautéed in oil to bring out their depth of flavor.
This seared tuna and bean dish has a sofrito made up of garlic, red onion, and spicy peppers.
Some other important layers in Latin cooking, according to Presilla, are the balancing of the sweet, sour and salt; and imbuing foods with color from spices like paprika and achiote.
Here's an onion chopping tip, if you're interested: halve them through the root, slice them lengthwise, and then slice across the natural layers, which results in a nice small dice.
There is a fair amount of chopping prep in this dish, but when you taste all those delicious layers of flavor, I think you'll feel like it's worth the effort.
Other delicious fish recipes from across the globe:
Here's the recipe Seared Tuna with White Beans, Peruvian Style. If you try this recipe I hope you'll come back to leave a star rating and a comment. I'd love to know what you think.Print
Seared Tuna with White Beans, Peruvian Style
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
Marinated seared tuna with a robust casserole of white beans - a healthy dish with exciting Latin flavors in every bite.
Adapted from a recipe in Gran Cocina Latina
For Marinating The Tuna
- 1 ½ pounds sushi-grade Tuna, cut into 4 6-ounce steaks
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (¼ teaspoon if you don't like a lot of heat)
For The Beans:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 Serrano peppers, halved, seeded and finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- ¼ cup cider vinegar
- ½ cup water
- 1 15-ounce can of Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
For Searing The Tuna
- 3 tablespoons canola oil or another high smoke-point cooking oil
- Marinate The Tuna: In a small bowl combine garlic, lime juice, olive oil, salt, cumin and cayenne. Place tuna steaks in a flat, rimmed dish or Tupperware container. Pour marinade over tuna and turn steaks to coat. Cover and put in the fridge to marinate for 15 to 30 minutes, while you prepare the beans.
- Prepare Beans: Heat olive oil (2 tablespoons) in a large sauté over medium heat. Add peppers and garlic and sauté, stirring, for about a minute, till garlic starts to turn golden. Add red onion, cumin (1 teaspoon) and salt (1 teaspoon). Cook, stirring, about 3 minutes, till onion softens. Add chopped cilantro (2 tablespoons), vinegar (¼ cup) and water (½ cup) and cook for 2 minutes. Add the drained beans to the pan and gently stir to combine with the sauce. Turn heat down and simmer till beans are heated through, about 5 minutes. Cover or tent with foil to keep warm while you sear the tuna.
- Sear the tuna: Put 3 tablespoons canola oil in a large, heavy-bottomed sauté pan (cast iron is best), over high heat, until very hot but not smoking. Remove tuna from marinade and scrape off some of the excess marinade. Place the four steaks in the pan. You should hear a good sizzle. Sear the steaks for 1 minute per side for rare in the middle. Divide the beans between four plates. Place tuna steaks on top of the beans. Serve immediately.
- Prep Time: 25 min
- Cook Time: 15 mins
- Category: Main Course
- Method: Sauté
- Cuisine: Peruvian
Keywords: seared tuna steaks, tuna with white beans,
This was simple and delicious. I used a few chopped pickled jalapeños instead of Serrano peppers and used canola oil in a cast iron skillet. Thanks Lisa!
-A cook from her imagination
I'm so glad you enjoyed!
This is absolutely fantastic as written! Very simple and quick to make. My new favorite tuna recipe.
I'm so glad you enjoyed Mark! Thank you for your comment.
The dish came out fantastic. I substituted a mixture of 4 baby bell peppers and 2 jalapeños for the Serrano peppers and used avocado oil instead of olive oil. Avocado oil has a very high flash point so it is great for frying things like ahi tuna that require high heat for a short period of time. I also added minced baby Bella mushrooms to the bean sauce to add my own touch to the recipe. That too, came out delicious.
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