Spice-Crusted Tuna with Fresh Pear Chutney

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4

Fragrant seeds give the fish a crunchy coating as well as contribute exotic flavor. Sweet pears mixed with lime juice, fresh ginger and spicy chili form a quick relish. Serve this easy dish with steamed rice and green beans.


  • 4 albacore tuna steaks, each about 6 oz. (185 g) and 1 inch
      (2.5 cm) thick
  • 2 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 large Bosc pears, firm but ripe, cored and finely diced
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tbs. minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbs. peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. seeded and minced serrano chili
  • 1 tsp. olive oil


Place the tuna in a shallow baking dish. In a spice mill or in a mortar with a pestle, coarsely grind the coriander and cumin seeds. Press the seeds into both sides of the tuna. Sprinkle both sides with the lemon zest, salt and pepper. Let stand while making the chutney.

In a bowl, combine the pears, lime juice, cilantro, ginger and chili. Season the chutney with salt and pepper.

In a large nonstick fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the fish and cook to the desired doneness, 2 to 3 minutes per side for medium-rare.

Transfer the fish to a platter or place on 4 warmed plates. Spoon the chutney on top and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Weeknight Fresh & Fast, by Kristine Kidd (Williams-Sonoma, 2011).

Quick tips: The fish cooks in about 6 minutes, which is about the same amount of time it takes to put together the quick chutney. To vary the dish, try salmon, tilapia or halibut; apples could stand in for the pears. Any leftover fish can be cubed and heated in a tomato sauce for a fast pasta dinner the next night.

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