Seared tuna kebabs recipe

Justin Bonello's Seared Tuna KebabsJustin Bonello's Seared Tuna Kebabs

(Recipe shared with Justin Bonello by Etienne and Hein Gersbach)

Those of you who think canned tuna is delicious have obviously never ever had fresh line- or pole- caught yellowfin tuna! Once you’ve tasted the difference, chances are that you’ll end up giving that can of ‘tuna’ to your neighbour’s cat.

You’ll need:

  • juice of 1 lemon
  • olive oil
  • a couple of pinches of smoked Maldon salt
  • a couple of pinches of cracked black pepper
  • a couple of pinches of chicken spice (yes, really)
  • a few pinches of paprika
  • 1 fresh pole-caught yellowfin tuna loin, cut into cubes about 5 cm x 5 cm
  • 1 pineapple, skin removed and cut into
  • 2 cm-thick cubes
  • 1 yellow pepper, cubed
  • Kikkoman soy sauce (optional)


First up take a large mixing bowl and make a wet rub by mixing together lemon juice, olive oil and a couple of pinches each of smoked Maldon salt, cracked black pepper, chicken spice and paprika.

If you’ve already cubed the tuna and it looks all torn, you probably needed a sharper knife. If there’s any leftover tuna, dip it into soy sauce and enjoy immediately. Now, take the cubes of tuna, put them into the mixing bowl and rub the lemon and spices into and onto the flesh. Let it rest for 20 minutes or longer.

In the meantime, add a dash of oil to a fireproof pan and fry the pineapple with a pinch of paprika until the pineapple starts caramelising. Remove from the heat, allow to cool and then start putting it all together. Skewer a cube of tuna, a slice of pineapple and a pepper onto a kebab stick and repeat – but be careful not to overcrowd the kebab. Heat a fireproof pan over moderate coals and sear the tuna kebabs on each side (about two minutes a side). You can also skip the pan-frying and just do it straight on a braai grid.


  • If you’re using bamboo kebab sticks, soak them in water for about half an hour to prevent them from burning on the braai, or invest in a set of metal ones that you can re-use forever.
  • Two tips before you braai tuna: keep the flavours simple and don’t overcook it – tuna is served best when it’s still pink inside.

Serve with:

Extra lemon wedges and good wine.

Recipe from The Ultimate Braai Master: Roads Less Travelled by Justin Bonello with Bertus Basson and Marthinus Ferreira, written by Helena Lombard.

Photo by Louis Hiemstra and Dominique Little.

This article, Seared tuna kebabs recipe, was originally posted on the Getaway Blog by Justin Bonello.

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