James Carrier Photo by: James Carrier

Seared Tuna with Papaya Salsa

A fresh tropical fruit salsa is a welcome addition to peppery tuna steaks in this easy but stylish dish.

Sunset MAY 2003

  • Yield: Makes 2 servings


  • 1 firm-ripe papaya (about 1 lb.)
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1 fresh jalapeño or serrano chili, rinsed, stemmed, seeded, and minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • Salt
  • 2 tuna steaks (each 5 to 6 oz. and about 1 in. thick)*
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Coarsely ground black pepper


1. Peel and seed papaya; cut into 1/2-inch cubes.

2. In a bowl, mix papaya, onion, chili, cilantro, and lime juice. Add salt to taste. Set aside while preparing fish or cover and chill up to 4 hours.

3. Rinse fish and pat dry. Coat both sides of steaks with oil and sprinkle all over with salt and pepper. Heat a 10- to 12-inch nonstick frying pan over high heat; add fish and cook, turning once, until opaque on both sides but still pink in the center (cut to test), 4 to 6 minutes total. Transfer steaks to plates and spoon salsa over servings.

*Look for troll- or pole-caught Pacific albacore tuna; it's more sustainably fished than longline, and the fish have lower mercury levels. U.S. ahi is next best.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 248
  • Calories from fat: 21%
  • Protein: 31g
  • Fat: 5.9g
  • Saturated fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrate: 18g
  • Fiber: 1.9g
  • Sodium: 55mg
  • Cholesterol: 57mg

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Seared Tuna with Papaya Salsa Recipe