Portuguese Fresh Tuna (Sauce and Marinade)

Portuguese Fresh Tuna (Sauce and Marinade)

Scotty 35

"Family Recipe, a staple once a year when fresh tuna was available in my area. It's pretty spicy, so it is generally served with boiled potatoes which are perfect for soaking up the sauce. The sauce is awesome and stands up to the very meaty fish. For some reason, long lost, my grandmother always asked for the darkest tuna steaks they had. She insisted they were better. Pretty sure my grandmother used lard for frying, my aunt says butter and oil do fine. Any vegetable oil is fine if you don't buy you olive oil by the gallon. Plate the fish with some rice or potatoes (both if you are Portugues)."


2 h servings 919 cals
Serving size has been adjusted!

Original recipe yields 4 servings



  • Calories:
  • 919 kcal
  • 46%
  • Fat:
  • 78.8 g
  • 121%
  • Carbs:
  • 11.9g
  • 4%
  • Protein:
  • 41.5 g
  • 83%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 138 mg
  • 46%
  • Sodium:
  • 1320 mg
  • 53%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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  1. In a large resealable plastic bag, mix 3 tablespoons pimenta moida, 1/4 cup cider vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/3 teaspoon pepper, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, and 2 tablespoons hot paprika. Place tuna steaks in the bag, seal, and gently shake to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator 1 1/2 to 3 hours.
  2. Melt the butter and heat the olive oil in a large, heavy cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Discard marinade, and place tuna steaks in the skillet. Fry 2 1/2 minutes on each side, or until fish is easily flaked with a fork. Remove from skillet and drain on paper towels.
  3. Mix 1/4 cup pimenta moida, ketchup, 1/4 cup cider vinegar, water, 2 tablespoons hot paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/3 teaspoon pepper, and 1 tablespoon garlic powder into the skillet. Scrape up browned bits, and cook sauce 3 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Scoop a portion of the sauce over the cooked fish to serve, and serve remaining sauce as a gravy for rice and potatoes.
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  1. 11 Ratings


Loved it... Am a fellow Portagee and greatly appreciated this recipe. The sauce is very spicy/tasty and can be used with other meats as well. I actually used it with steak and eggs(another Por...

This was really good! We will make this again once fresh tuna comes our way. My husband even asked without knowing the name of the recipes-"what makes this taste Portuguese?" Of course the pimen...

I loved this recipe!! I didn't do the marinade, I actually just made the sauce and poured it on top of my fish just before serving it. It was a big hit... even with my portuguese mom!

If I closed my eyes, I thought I was back home in South Eastern Massachusetts....in my VoVo's kitchen! Excellent!

This is wonderfulllllllllllll!!! I had no idea what the "pimenta moida" pepper stuff was but I used red pepper flakes and a dash of chilli powder and called it good. I made potatoes and rice and...

Blech. Not sure what I did wrong, if it was me. Flavors not good, a lot of work goes into prepping. Sadface.

We've been ordering the pan fried tuna in several local (SE MA) Portuguese restaurants lately. My wife loves it and even though I'm not a fish fan, I like it too. This one comes close to what we...

This was so amazing. We loved it.

great childhood memory I add green onion fresh thinly sliced garlic and no ketchup and yes it must be served with boiled potatoe this is also a great sauce for porkchops