Spicy Tuna and Avocado Dip

Spicy Tuna and Avocado Dip



Halloween officially launches the party season as far as I’m concerned.  It’s not like we have a calendar full of swanky events scheduled…I’m counting zero right now…, but having any excuse to get together constitutes a party.  Why not?  Football, the holidays, and…..Election Night!  Whether it’s a raucous group of good friends, or a more tame cocktail get together, the occasion is always better if the food is excellent.

And speaking of excellent, what could be better than a dish that can be a dip or a salad?  It’s elegant, it’s healthy, and oh my goodness, it’s delicious.

The first time I made this, my brother dug in with a tortilla chip and popped it in his mouth, asking between chews and mmmming, “What is this?”

“Raw fish,” I responded.  “Good, huh?”

And he thought he didn’t like avocados or fish — let alone raw fish.

Great ingredients...

Spicy Tuna and Avocado Dip
prepare 1 hour before serving


1 Yellowfin tuna steak, extremely fresh
4 T extra virgin olive oil
1/1 tsp. sesame oil
zest of 1 lime
juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp. wasabi powder
1-1/2 tsp. light soy sauce
Sriracha hot sauce to taste (8-10 shakes)
1-1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3 green onions, sliced thinly
1 minced roasted jalapeno, seeds removed
1 ripe, firm avocado, diced
1 tsp. black sesame seeds


  1. Using an extremely sharp knife, cut tuna into 1/4-inch slices, then cut those slices into 1/4-inch pieces.  You should have fairly small evenly cut pieces.  Place in a medium bowl.
  2. Mix together olive oil, sesame oil, lime zest and juice, wasabi, soy sauce, hot sauce, and salt.  Pour over the tuna, then add the onions and jalapeno.  Gently toss.
  3. Dice the avocado (see notes) and carefully incorporate into the tuna mixture.  Sprinkle on the sesame seeds and refrigerate until serving.

Add the onions and jalapenos to the tuna mixture...

Avocados are added last...

Recipe Notes

  • This recipe is an adaptation of Ina Garten’s Tuna Tartare.  My best friend introduced me to it and have loved it ever since.  Each time I make it, the recipe changes a bit.
  • Sriracha sauce is a type of hot sauce — very hot sauce.  You can use any of your favorite hot sauces, or adjust the quantity of this.  The recipe isn’t the same without the spice.
  • The lime juice is important in this, and limes don’t produce the same amount of juice.  Start with less, taste and adjust just like when seasoning.
  • Make sure the tuna is extremely fresh. It will be a bright, deep pink and not smell fishy in any way.
  • Roast the jalapeno whole in a hot skillet, under the broiler, or over an open flame until the skin is blackened.  Let rest wrapped in a clean dish towel at least 15 minutes, then peel off blackened skin, remove stem and seeds and mince.  Never rinse the chili with water at any point or you’ll lose flavor.
  • To cut the avocado, slice in half around the seed.  Grab each side, and twist in opposite directions.  To remove the seed, with a sharp knife, hack into the seed once with enough pressure to get the knife to stick, then twist the knife gently and lift the seed out.  To dice, with the peelings still on, score completely through each half making a grid.  Invert the halves and gently push off the cubes.  Here is a demonstration.
  • As a dip, serve with tortilla chips, crackers, or seeded flat breads.
  • As a salad, place on a bed of salad greens and save a bit of the soy sauce oil mixture to drizzle around the greens.