Portuguese Fresh Tuna (Sauce and Marinade) Recipe - Allrecipes.com
Portuguese Fresh Tuna (Sauce and Marinade) Recipe
  • READY IN 2 hr

Portuguese Fresh Tuna (Sauce and Marinade)

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"Family Recipe, a staple once a year when fresh tuna was available in my area. It's pretty spicy, so it is generally served with boiled potatoes which are perfect for soaking up the sauce. The sauce is awesome and stands up to the very meaty fish. For some reason, long lost, my grandmother always asked for the darkest tuna steaks they had. She insisted they were better. Pretty sure my grandmother used lard for frying, my aunt says butter and oil do fine. Any vegetable oil is fine if you don't buy you olive oil by the gallon. Plate the fish with some rice or potatoes (both if you are Portugues)."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 4 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    15 mins
  • COOK

    15 mins

    2 hrs


  1. In a large resealable plastic bag, mix 3 tablespoons pimenta moida, 1/4 cup cider vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/3 teaspoon pepper, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, and 2 tablespoons hot paprika. Place tuna steaks in the bag, seal, and gently shake to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator 1 1/2 to 3 hours.
  2. Melt the butter and heat the olive oil in a large, heavy cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Discard marinade, and place tuna steaks in the skillet. Fry 2 1/2 minutes on each side, or until fish is easily flaked with a fork. Remove from skillet and drain on paper towels.
  3. Mix 1/4 cup pimenta moida, ketchup, 1/4 cup cider vinegar, water, 2 tablespoons hot paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/3 teaspoon pepper, and 1 tablespoon garlic powder into the skillet. Scrape up browned bits, and cook sauce 3 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Scoop a portion of the sauce over the cooked fish to serve, and serve remaining sauce as a gravy for rice and potatoes.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Oct 17, 2005

Loved it... Am a fellow Portagee and greatly appreciated this recipe. The sauce is very spicy/tasty and can be used with other meats as well. I actually used it with steak and eggs(another Portuguese favorite) and it came out fantastic. One thing, I thought that marinating the tuna was excessive since the sauce was already so strong. And for those of you that don't know what 'pimenta moida' is, it's wet, hot, crushed red pepper that comes in a jar... It's critical to the recipe. A possible substitution could be hot crushed cherry peppers.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Jul 21, 2009

Blech. Not sure what I did wrong, if it was me. Flavors not good, a lot of work goes into prepping. Sadface.


11 Ratings

Aug 02, 2007

This was really good! We will make this again once fresh tuna comes our way. My husband even asked without knowing the name of the recipes-"what makes this taste Portuguese?" Of course the pimenta moida is what I replied. I made one change, I used white wine instead of the vinegar. We served with steamed potatos tossed with garlic, butter and fresh parsley.

Jul 16, 2008

I loved this recipe!! I didn't do the marinade, I actually just made the sauce and poured it on top of my fish just before serving it. It was a big hit... even with my portuguese mom!

Aug 27, 2006

If I closed my eyes, I thought I was back home in South Eastern Massachusetts....in my VoVo's kitchen! Excellent!

Aug 12, 2010

This is wonderfulllllllllllll!!! I had no idea what the "pimenta moida" pepper stuff was but I used red pepper flakes and a dash of chilli powder and called it good. I made potatoes and rice and found it to be perfect with both. I was slo in a hurry and didn't let the fish sit in the mixture for very long but made the sauce and it added just enough kick!! So yummy!

Jan 24, 2009

We've been ordering the pan fried tuna in several local (SE MA) Portuguese restaurants lately. My wife loves it and even though I'm not a fish fan, I like it too. This one comes close to what we've been getting. p.s. Best if the tuna is NOT over cooked!

Aug 22, 2008

This was so amazing. We loved it.


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  • Calories
  • 919 kcal
  • 46%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 11.9 g
  • 4%
  • Cholesterol
  • 138 mg
  • 46%
  • Fat
  • 78.8 g
  • 121%
  • Fiber
  • 0.8 g
  • 3%
  • Protein
  • 41.5 g
  • 83%
  • Sodium
  • 1320 mg
  • 53%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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