Tonno alla Stemperata

Tuna Steak with Sicilian Sauce

Tuna steaks are an integral part of the culinary scene in Sicily and this delicious sweet and sour sauce helps to bring out the flavor not only of the fish, but somehow of Sicily itself!


  • 6 tuna steaks, weighing about lb in total
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons pitted green olives
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
  • 4 tablespoons golden raisins, plumped in hot water for about 12 minutes, then drained
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 heaping tablespoon fresh mint leaves, chopped fine
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the broiler or light a barbecue. Brush the tuna generously with olive oil on both sides, then broil the tuna over a medium-hot broiler or over a barbecue on both sides until browned on the outside and still pink in the middle.
  2. Meanwhile, heat about 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a small saucepan. Add the garlic and celery and fry gently until the garlic and celery have softened.
  3. Add the olives, capers, and golden raisins, and cook over a low heat for 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Add the vinegar and cook over a high heat for two to three minutes to evaporate the fumes of the vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add the chopped mint.
  5. Arrange the cooked tuna on a platter, pour over the sauce and serve immediately.