Spicy Tuna Salad

Tuna is not a traditional Thai seafood but with the great increase in recent years of international business and tourism, Thai cooks have imaginatively integrated this popular fish into their cuisine. Here, the delicate flavour and texture of the tuna congenially blend with traditional Thai seasonings, resulting in a robust salad that may serve nicely as an appetizer or as a light summer dish.


  • 450 g (1 lb) tuna fillet
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce or light soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1ยฝ tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons groundnut (peanut) oil
  • 225 g (8 oz) fresh tomatoes
  • 6 spring onions
  • 3 tablespoons finely sliced shallots
  • 2 small fresh red Thai chillies, seeded if desired, coarsely chopped
  • handful fresh coriander leaves
  • handful fresh Thai or ordinary basil leaves


Cut the tuna into 2.5 cm 1 in pieces. Combine it with the fish sauce, lime juice and sugar and marinate for 1 hour. Drain the tuna from the marinade and set the marinade aside.

Heat a wok or large frying pan, preferably non-stick, over high heat and when it is hot, add the oil. When the oil is slightly smoking, add the tuna and stir-fry for about 1 minute. The tuna should remain rare. Remove the tuna to a warm platter.

Quickly pour off the excess oil from the wok, add the reserved marinade, and deglaze for 30 seconds over moderate heat. Pour this over the tuna and set aside.

Cut the tomatoes into slices. Cut the spring onions into thin diagonal slices. Add the tomatoes, spring onions, shallots, chillies, coriander and basil to the warm tuna, toss well and serve at once.