Chili-Ginger Marinated Tuna Kebabs

Dsc01757 You learn quite a bit about yourself when you have a blog.  It’s almost like having a diary, but instead of locking it and hiding it under the bed, it’s a diary that you share with the rest of the world.    Because I love working on new recipes, cooking, and baking, it has been really fun  for me to take pictures and write about my creations as opposed to just calling my mom and telling her about this "really great dinner" that I prepared the night before.   Yes, it is quite a bit of work for a hobby that generates no income, but there are oodles of others out there in the blogosphere (yes, that is a real word) doing the same thing for whatever their passions may be.

As I looked over my archived postings, I noticed two things right away.  One, I like to make kebabs, and two, I am a big fan of Thai food.  I’m not saying that I didn’t know that I like Thai food, but I just didn’t realize how often I prepare it.  As one of my goals is to fill my blog with a wide variety of recipes, this will be the last kebab/Thai recipe that I post for at least the next few weeks (as hard as that may be).  Lucky for you, it’s a really good one.  I prepared this recipe just for myself over the weekend because Eric gets a little squeamish with the whole rare tuna thing.  I loved it.  It was healthy, really flavorful, and super simple to put together.  I will definitely make this again, maybe even in smaller portions as a fun hors d’oeuvre the next time we have a party.  I ate it over leftover take-out steamed rice, which really soaked up the chili marinade.  Here are my tips for these spicy Asian-flavored kebabs:

  • If you don’t have metal skewers, then use wooden ones.  Soak the wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes prior to using to prevent burning.
  • Instead of making kebabs, you can also marinate the whole piece of fish and then grill with the vegetables on the side. 
  • Serrano chilies are very hot, small, and green.  By removing the seeds and the veins, you take away much of the heat, but if you prefer a milder chili, choose a jalapeno instead.  Whatever you do, DO NOT touch your eye area after handling chilies—very painful!
  • This recipe would work well with any firm steak-style fish, such as swordfish, other types of tuna, halibut, mahi-mahi, or even salmon.  Whichever type of fish you use, make sure that you buy the best quality that you can find, and ask about proper preparation.  While ahi tuna is great on the rare side, some fish should be cooked all the way through prior to eating.
  • Serve the kebabs over steamed white or brown rice to soak up the extra marinade that you drizzle over the top.

Chili-Ginger Marinated Tuna Kebabs

Serves 4


3 tablespoons rice vinegar Dsc01755_3

2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger

1 tablespoon peanut oil

2 tablespoons sesame oil

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish

1 serrano chili, seeded and minced

1 1/2 pounds ahi tuna, about 1 1/4 inch thickness, cut into 1 1/4 inch cubes

1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch squares

1 large sweet onion, cut into 1-inch squares

Whisk the first 8 ingredients (through the chili) in a medium bowl to blend.  Season to taste with pepper.  Add the tuna to the marinade and toss to coat.  Cover and refrigerate for 30-45 minutes.

Spray a grill pan with non-stick cooking spray and heat to medium-high.  Using metal skewers, alternate the tuna cubes, bell peppers, and onions.  Pour the marinade into a small saucepan, and bring the marinade to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce to a low simmer.  Grill the kebabs to a desired degree of doneness, turning frequently, about 4 minutes total for medium-rare.  Transfer to a platter and drizzle with the marinade.  Sprinkle with additional chopped cilantro and serve.


  1. says

    pretty clever! Never thought about using tuna for kebobs since fish tends to fall apart, but tuna seems to fair better. Awesome! gotta try it sometime.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>