Tuna with Ginger, Papaya & Red Pepper Salsa

September/October 1995

Your rating: None Average: 4.8 (4 votes)

A colorful papaya relish served alongside grilled tuna makes a refreshing, healthy main dish. Make it a meal: Serve with Island Red Beans and brown rice.

"This is my go to recipe for salmon. It is so wonderful and everyone that I serve it to wants the recipe. It is good with tuna too, but the salmon is really great. "
Tuna with Ginger, Papaya & Red Pepper Salsa

Makes: 4 servings

Active Time:

Total Time:


  • 2 teaspoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup rice-wine or white-wine vinegar
  • 2-4 tablespoons honey
  • 2 ripe papayas, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted (see Tip), peeled, seeded and diced or one 7-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained and diced
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, or to taste
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound tuna steak, about 1 inch thick, cut into 4 portions
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves


  1. Preheat grill or broiler.
  2. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger and red pepper and sauté until the garlic begins to brown, about 1 minute. Add vinegar, 2 tablespoons honey and half of the papaya; cook until the papaya starts to fall apart and thicken the sauce, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the remaining papaya and roasted red peppers and cook until the salsa is just warmed through. (Do not overcook; you want to preserve the diced raw papaya texture.) Season with lime juice, salt, black pepper and additional honey, if desired. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Rub tuna steaks lightly with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and season with salt and black pepper. Grill or broil the tuna just until the interior is opaque, about 3 minutes per side.
  4. Return the sauce to a burner and heat just until warm. Spoon the salsa onto the center of warm plates. Transfer the tuna steaks onto the salsa with a spatula. Sprinkle the cilantro around the fish. Serve immediately.

Tips & Notes

  • Tip: To oven-roast bell peppers:
  • 1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Place a wire rack on a large baking sheet. Arrange whole bell peppers on the rack.
  • 2. Roast peppers in the center of the oven, turning occasionally with tongs, until blackened in places, 30 to 40 minutes.
  • 3. Transfer the peppers to a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let steam for 10 minutes. Uncover and let cool.
  • 4. With a paring knife, remove stems, skins and seeds. If serving as antipasto, combine accumulated juices with peppers.


Per serving: 309 calories; 8 g fat (2 g sat, 3 g mono); 43 mg cholesterol; 33 g carbohydrates; 28 g protein; 4 g fiber; 484 mg sodium; 777 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (225% daily value), Vitamin A (105% dv), Potassium (22% dv), Magnesium (20% dv), Folate (19% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 2

Exchanges: 1 fruit, 1 other carbohydrate, 1 vegetable, 4 lean meat, 1 fat

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Total Time
45 minutes or less
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