Maybe I’m a bit biased but I consider this Chipotle Crusted Tuna steak to be the best tuna recipe I ever cooked.

Whenever I want really fresh fish or seafood I join forces with my Mexican family and we make a joint order at one of the best seafood shops in Mexico City located at the San Juan Market. If you spend a certain amount they even deliver it to your door for free.

This time I went for Red Snapper fillets and Tuna Steaks. I wanted a certain thickness so that we would enjoy the freshness of the meat. Usually in supermarkets here you get very thin fillets and small tuna steaks. These were big, meaty and so fresh they looked like they had been fished out of the sea just a few  hours before.

What can I say about the amazing flavours. The sweet molasses taste of the sauce lowers the degree of spiciness to a perfect balance. The mixture of white and black sesame seeds adds an extra nutty flavour and crunchiness that just makes all the flavours come together in a special way.

This wonderful recipe was adapted from the “Larousse of Mexican Cuisine”.

Chipotle Crusted Tuna Steak

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Serves two

  • 2 tuna steaks (about 180 g/6.3 oz each)
  • 3 tbsp white and black sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp dried chile Chipotle, thinly chopped, seeds removed and set aside
  • 1 tbsp dried chile Chipotle seeds (if you are afraid it will be too spicy, just use a half tbsp)
  • 1 tbsp cilantro seeds
  • 1 tbsp dried herbs mixture (I used a Herbs de Provence mixture)
  • salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp chipotle in adobo sauce (you get them in a can)
  • 4 tbsp of piloncillo honey (If you didn’t know, piloncillo is a dark brown Mexican sugar that you purchase in a cone form) If you don’t have access to it you can use brown sugar and follow the same instructions to make the honey : In a pan pour 1/2 cup water, 5 drops of lemon juice and 125 g/4.4 oz of piloncillo or brown sugar. Cook until it gets to a honey consistency.


  1. Mix the black and white sesame seeds, dried chipotle, chipotle seeds, cilantro seeds, mixed herbs, salt & pepper. Coat the tuna steaks on both sides with this mixture.
  2. In a skillet cook the tuna 1 minute on each side for rare or a few minutes more according to your taste. Keep it warm.
  3. Prepare the sauce by mashing a bit the chipotle in adobo and adding it to the 4 tbsp of the piloncillo or brown sugar honey. Mix well.
  4. Serve warm with a salad to your taste. I think it goes very well with a spinach salad. I usually cook the spinach for a minute or two until wilted in a bit of  extra virgin olive oil, a minced clove of garlic, a pinch of nutmeg, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sometimes I add a handful of roasted pine nuts.


This is really a great recipe, one I intend to repeat many times to come. Enjoy!

Chipotle Crusted Tuna Steak DSC07496 copy

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