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Spiced Turmeric Tuna with Pineapple Glaze

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Spiced Turmeric Tuna with Pineapple Glaze

This recipe isn’t sure whether it’s from Hawaii or Hyderabad, but it’s pretty darn good, despite its indeterminate ethnic identity.

Serves 4

Spice Rub

1 tablespoon crushed star anise (optional)

1 tablespoon organic ginger

1 tablespoon organic turmeric

1 tablespoon organic cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 tablespoon organic cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon Kosher sea salt

1 tablespoon crushed cardamom

1 tablespoon cumin seeds


1 cup pineapple juice

1/2 cup white vinegar

1 tablespoon organic ginger

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup tomato puree

1/4 cup lime juice (about 2 limes)

1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro

1 tablespoon organic black pepper

8 (4 ounces each) albacore tuna medallions

4 slices pineapple, 1 inch thick with the peel left on

Spice rub

  • Combine all the spice rub ingredients in a large sauté pan, mix well, and heat over medium heat, shaking frequently, until they just begin to smoke, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, then grind in a coffee grinder, spice mill, or mortar and pestle until fine. A mini food processor will work too.


  • Combine the pineapple juice, vinegar, ginger, soy sauce, and brown sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the volume is reduced by half, about 30 minutes. Add the catsup and cook an additional 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the lime juice, cilantro, and white pepper, and mix well.

  • Rub the tuna on all sides with the spice rub. Grill the tuna over a medium fire for 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until a peek into the interior shows some pink. This is for medium-rare. Spoon some of the glaze over each tuna steak and serve with a slice of pineapple.

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