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Honey-Chili Tuna With Mango Salsa

Honey-Chili Tuna With Mango Salsa 4.000

Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post

Oct 4, 2017

This main dish, which appeared on the original menu at Rasika West End and is still featured there occasionally, is light and colorful. Make sure to get the oil very hot so just the outside of the fish sears quickly, keeping its interior a lovely medium-rare.

To read the accompanying story, see: Think recipes from an Indian restaurant’s cookbook will be too hard? ‘Rasika’ proves otherwise.

Make Ahead: The tuna slices need to marinate in the sauce for 30 minutes before serving.

Where to Buy: Canned mango pulp in syrup, rather than fresh or frozen mango, is best for this recipe. Deep brand is available at A1 Indian Grocery in Arlington as well as online through and other food purveyors.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

  • For the tuna
  • 1 1/2 pounds good-quality raw tuna (in one or two pieces)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon homemade or store-bought ginger-garlic paste (see NOTE)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • Chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • For the salsa
  • 3/4 cup canned Alphonso mango pulp, such as Deep brand (see headnote)
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced red bell pepper (seeded)
  • 1 tablespoon minced cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced Thai green chile pepper (seeded)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


For the tuna: Cut the fillet(s) into 12 equal pieces that are about 1/2-inch thick (about 2 ounces each).

Whisk together the honey, crushed red pepper flakes, ginger-garlic paste, lemon juice and salt in a glass bowl, then add the tuna and toss to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the salsa: Stir together the mango pulp, red onion, bell pepper, cilantro, Thai chile pepper, lemon juice and salt in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate.

When ready to assemble, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, lay the tuna slices in the pan, discarding their marinade. Cook just long enough for a thin layer of the bottom sides of the tuna slices to turn white, then transfer to a platter.

To serve, stack 3 tuna slices on each plate so they alternate short and long. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the salsa over each portion, then top with the chopped cilantro. Serve right away.

NOTE: To make about 2 cups of ginger-garlic paste, combine 1/2 cup chopped (unpeeled) fresh ginger root, 8 ounces (1 1/2 cups) garlic cloves and 3/4 cup water in a blender; puree on HIGH until smooth. Transfer to an airtight container; seal and refrigerate for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 3 months.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from “Rasika: Flavors of India,” by Ashok Bajaj and Vikram Sunderam, with David Hagedorn (Ecco, October 2017).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (with all of the salsa): 400

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 15g 23%

Saturated Fat: 2g 10%

Cholesterol: 65mg 22%

Sodium: 500mg 21%

Total Carbohydrates: 24g 8%

Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%

Sugar: 22g

Protein: 42g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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