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Coriander Tuna with Red Pepper Mayo

These marinated tuna skewers are lightly grilled on the barbecue and served with a roasted red pepper mayo and fresh coriander. The perfect addition to any summer BBQ.


Inspired by a Portuguese holiday, where grilled fish is everywhere and, for the most part, treated very simply indeed and none the worse for it. I would eat this with a big salad, crusty bread, maybe a squeeze of lemon and definitely glasses of cold wine. My local supermarket sells ready-cubed tuna that is really good value, presumably as it’s a product of the trimming of bigger steaks.

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2 tbsp coriander seeds
3 tbsp olive oil
600g (1lb 5oz) tuna steak, chopped into 2–3cm (¾–1¼in) pieces
1 bunch spring onions (scallions), cut into 2–3cm (¾–1¼in) lengths
flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the red pepper mayo:
1 red (bell) pepper
2 fresh bay leaves
2 garlic cloves
1 red chilli, seeds in or out (optional, to taste)
100g (3½oz/scant ½ cup) mayonnaise
To garnish:
coriander (cilantro), chopped

Essential kit

You will need 6 metal skewers and a food processor.


Set a small pan over a medium heat on the hob and tip in the coriander seeds. Toast for 1–2 minutes then roughly grind in a pestle and mortar and tip into a mixing bowl. Add the olive oil, season generously with salt and pepper and stir together. Add the chopped tuna and spring onions and toss to mix. Thread onto skewers and set aside on a plate. Slide into the fridge for an hour or two to marinate.

When you are ready to cook, fire up your barbecue ready for hot direct grilling.

While the coals are cooking to a good fish temperature (see page 31 of Scorched), set the red pepper over the heat and leave to char and soften all over. At the same time, rest the bay leaves on the grill bars and let them lightly char for just a few seconds before removing.

Transfer the pepper to a bowl, cover with a plate and leave for 10 minutes so the steam loosens the skin. Peel the blackened skin away, then cut in half, discarding the seeds, membranes and stalk. Drop the flesh into a mini food processor. Remove the central rib from the cooked bay leaves and roughly chop, then add to the processor along with the garlic and chilli, if using. Blitz until smooth, transfer to a bowl and leave to go cold. Once cold, fold through the mayonnaise. You can also really finely chop everything for a slightly coarser sauce, but don’t add to the mayo until cold.

Once the fuel is ready to cook on, give the grill bars a really good scrub with a stiff wire brush before resting the skewers over the fire. You can also deploy one of the kebab cooking strategies on page 113 of Scorched. Grill the skewers for a few minutes until lightly crisp all over, then remove to a warm plate.

Scatter over the coriander and serve with the mayo alongside.

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