Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Spicy Tuna Tacos with Jicama Slaw & Avocado

Fish tacos are always well-received at our dinner table. For fish tacos, I typically grill a firm white fish such as grouper, but good fresh grouper is not always readily available (or affordable). Since our local Harris Teeter almost always has small chunks of sushi grade tuna at a reasonable price, I decided it was time for tuna tacos. This Epicurious recipe for Chile-Crusted Tuna Tacos is the basis for my Spicy Tuna Tacos with Jicama Slaw and Avocado.

Fish tacos are a good way to introduce and get my kids to enjoy new fruits and vegetables. With these spicy tuna tacos, we all tried jicama for the first time and loved it! I immediately wanted to try pickling some.

Spicy Tuna Tacos with Jicama Slaw & Avocado


  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced canned chipotle chilies with adobo sauce
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Ancho chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chipotle chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 lb (1 1/2-inch-thick) sushi-grade tuna steak
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • grill cooking spray
  • flour tortillas
  • 1 cup matchstick pieces of peeled jicama
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 ripe avocado

  • Directions:
    1. Bring the orange juice, chipotles in adobo, and vinegar to a boil in a medium-size heavy-bottomed saucepan. Reduce the heat and simmer the sauce, stirring occasionally, until it reduced to about 1/3 to 1/2 cup (15 to 20 minutes). Remove the sauce from the heat and let it cool to room temp.
    2. Preheat a gas grill on high.
    3. Combine the coriander, cumin, chili powders, black pepper, and kosher salt in a shallow bowl. Lightly coat the tuna with one tablespoon of the olive oil, then coat all sides evenly with spice mixture.
    4. Clean the grill thoroughly, then spray with cooking spray.
    5. Grill the tuna, uncovered on high, turning to brown all sides, until browned on outside but still rare in center, 6-8 minutes total. Watch it carefully because you don't want to over cook the tuna! Let the tuna stand 10 minutes.
    6. While the tuna stands, heat the tortillas on grill, turning over once, until warm, about 1 minute,. Wrap in foil to keep warm.
    7. In a small bowl, toss the jicama with the cilantro, lime juice, and remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
    8. Halve, pit, and peel the avocado, then cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
    9. Divide the jicama slaw and avocado among four tortillas, arranging them evenly down center of each. Slice the tuna 1/4 inch thick and divide it among the tacos. Drizzle the chipotle sauce evenly over tuna.
    10. Pass additional chipotle sauce.
    Yield: 4 servings
    Prep time: 20 minutes
    Cook time: 30 minutes

    The spicy tuna tacos were a big hit. They have a great contrast of textures and flavors with the spice-crusted tuna, the creamy smooth avocado, and the crunchy citrusy slaw. With a side of warm black beans, this dinner was about as quick and as healthy as it is going to get around here!

    A couple of tips:

    Be careful not to overcook your tuna. Sushi grade tuna can be eaten raw. Depending on your taste, you may want to just sear the outside and serve it quite pink in the middle. For dinner with the kids, I cooked ours a bit more than that, but if it is not pink in the middle, it is going to be dry.

    What do you do with the rest of the can of chipotle chilies in adobo? They are so hot that a recipe rarely calls for more than a tablespoon or two. Spoon the rest of the can into an ice cube tray in tablespoon portions. Freeze, then remove the cubes to a ziplock bag and store them in the freezer.

    This post is linked up over at Full Plate Thursday.


    redradish11 said...

    Good tip for the chipotle in adobo. I usually end up putting it in the fridge, forgetting about it and wasting the rest of the can!

    Miz Helen said...

    Hi Lynn,
    Oh my goodness I would really love this Taco. The seasons in this recipe are after my heart and I would love the crisp crunchy of the Jicama Salw. Great recipe! Thank you for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and come back soon. Have a great week end!
    Miz Helen

    Lynn said...

    Thanks -- I hope you enjoy it.

    Liz -- I do the same with tomato paste. Something about storing stuff in a can in the fridge icks me out!

    Braden said...

    Oooooh, Jicama slaw is a great idea. Good way to add a little heft to the meal.

    I make a similar recipe with a kumquat-cucumber salsa. That (and schnitzel with a green salad) have been my go-to dishes this summer.

    Here's my recipe if you're interested: