Spicy Tuna Tacos

I have been wanting to make fish tacos for a long time; it’s always what we order at Mexican restaurants! We often have Mexican-style dinners at home, but they’re usually either chopped meat-based or bean/vegetarian tacos. This recipe was slightly more work than our typical taco night, but was much more fun and delicious. Plus, I had been meaning to use the frozen tuna steaks I bought at Trader Joe’s.

The fun in this meal is that you put all of the taco components on the table and then you build your own dinner.

This recipe is spicy; be careful.

Spicy Tuna Tacos – adapted from epicurious


  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced canned chipotles in adobo (including sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons red hot paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • about 1 lb (1 1/2-inch-thick) tuna steak (I used a frozen one, defrosted overnight)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 6 (9- to 10-inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 cup matchstick (1/8-inch-thick) pieces of summer squash (from 1 small squash)
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • sour cream
  • lettuce


  1. Combine orange juice, chipotles and vinegar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until sauce is reduced to about 1/3 cup.
  2. Mix spices together. Brush tuna steaks on both sides with a tablespoon of the olive oil and evenly coat with spice mixture.
  3. Sear tuna on a lightly oiled (about 1 tablespoon) and very hot frying pan for about 3 minutes on each side. Make sure not to overcook them! Set them aside.
  4. Wipe frying pan clean and heat the tortillas on the dry pan.
  5. Toss squash with cilantro, lemon juice, and the remaining olive oil in a small bowl.
  6. Slice the tuna.
  7. Put tortillas, squash salad, tuna, tortillas chipotle sauce, sour cream and lettuce on the table.
  8. Let everyone build their tacos: place a tortilla on your plate, top with lettuce, squash and  a dollop of sour cream down the center of the tortilla. Put some tuna on top and drizzle generously with chipotle sauce. Roll up and enjoy!

5 responses to “Spicy Tuna Tacos

  1. Love fish tacos! This looks wonderful. I made fish tacos here a while back but we used grouper. I will try the salmon. It looks very good!

  2. nice…looks good
    howd the frozen tuna come out? I’ve tried using frozen tuna before and i found it to be watery…

    • the frozen tuna was great, although other times i’ve tried to make it it turned out gross and rubbery. either i haven’t perfected the cooking method (although i do it the same way every time!), or else it’s the tuna!

  3. taco night is my specialty.

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