Seared Ancho Crusted Tuna with Fig Lime Glaze, Jalapeños & Cilantro

Seared Ancho Crusted Tuna with Fig Lime Glaze, Jalapeños & Cilantro

This recipe is from the Baby Lady to Adriana who wishes she was here for dinner tonight but had to take a raincheck. These photos are no substitute for the real deal.

OK. Back to the tuna again. I can’t help it. We absolutely love good, quality tuna. This is what we had for dinner tonight. This recipe comes from a party we held several years ago. Elia and I eloped to a destination wedding with no one invited. About a year later we realized we never had a reception. Neither had we had a house warming party. So, we prepared a guest list of different friends and had a wine and snacks party. We planned out different stations for different wines and coupled different wines with different foods we were preparing. We had a beautiful Bonarda wine we wanted to share but it was the devil to figure out what would go with it. We already had grilled, marinaded pork loin, seasoned New York Strip sandwiches, over 12 lbs of different cheese, including a baked brie with salsa pesto. Each one of these dishes was paired with a particular station of wines, i.e bordeaux, cabernets, Rhone, Riesling, etc. What were we going to do with the Bonarda and a couple of spicy Spanish wines? This is when I had a revaluation, an epiphany of sorts.

A beautiful Seared Ancho Crusted Tuna with Fig Lime Glaze and Jalapeños. The Cilantro came as an afterthought for additional garnish and flavor.

36 people came. We went through 5 lbs of strip sirloin, 5 lbs of pork loin, 12 lbs of various cheeses, 8 different types of canapés, and 6 lbs of tuna, not to mention 36 bottles of wine from the cellar. The tuna was one of the last things out and first things to go. I have since served it at several dinner parties catered for my Dad, as well as some personal events at the house. This is a real pleaser for everyone. I never have left overs. Try it, you will like it.


For the Crust

  • 3 Ancho Chiles (alternatively 4 Tbsp pure ancho chile powder)
  • 6 grams Cumin Seeds (1 Tbsp)
  • 6 grams Fennel Seeds (1 Tbsp)
  • 24 grams Coriander Seeds (4-1/2 Tbsp)
  • 6 grams Black Peppercorns (1 Tbsp)
  • 6 grams dried Thyme (1 Tbsp)
  • 6 grams dried Oregano (1 Tbsp)
  • 6 grams Dry Mustard powder (1 Tbsp)
  • 43 grams Salt (2-1/2 Tbsp)

For the Tuna

  • 3 – 8 oz fresh tuna filets
  • 2 jalapeños seeded and diced, small dice
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

For the Glaze

  • 1 6 oz jar fig preserves
  • 2 limes juiced


For the crust

Stem and seed the Ancho Chiles.  Lay the Ancho Chiles flat on a preheated hot skillet and quickly toast being careful not to burn.  Rough chop and set aside to cool.  In another preheated skillet toast the cumin, fennel, coriander and peppercorns until aromatic, again being careful not to burn.  (alternatively, spread them om a cookie sheet and roast them for approximately 5 minutes in a 300 F oven.  Remove from heat and pour into a plate to cool.  When the toasted spices have cooled pour them into a spice mill along with the chopped Ancho chiles, thyme and oregano.  Grind into a course powder.  Pour into a 1 Pt Mason jar.  Add the dry mustard powder and salt.  Shake until well blended.  Store until ready to use.  This wonderful earthy rub can be used on various fish, i. e. tuna, salmon, Nairagi, swordfish, etc., as well as pork, chicken or beef.  It has a shelf life of 60 – 90 days.

© 2012

For the glaze

Put the fig preserves in a small sauce pan. Squeeze the juice of 2 medium limes into the sauce pan with the fig preserves and whisk until combined. Heat over low heat until it simmers. Simmer for 5 minutes over very low heat. Remove from heat and puree with an immersion blender.

For the tuna

Heat a large skillet or grill on high heat. add 2 Tbsp canola oil.  Sprinkle the tuna with the Ancho Seasoning until thickly coated. Place tuna filets in pan. Sear on each side roughly 40-60 seconds on each side depending upon your preference for doneness.


Remove tuna from grill and let rest.

Once tuna has rested, slice tuna on a bevel and fan on plate. Ladle glaze over top of tuna. Top with chopped jalapeños and chopped cilantro. Serve & Enjoy.

Seared Ancho Crusted Tuna with Fig Lime Glaze, Jalapeños & Cilantro

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