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Tuna Tacos with Onions

To accompany his fresh tuna tacos, chef Aarón Sanchez of New York City's Paladar makes a quick, vinegary, supercrunchy red-onion pickle. It's lovely with the warm, soft tortillas. To bump up the flavors of the tacos even more, he also adds a dash of hot sauce and a healthy squirt of fresh lime juice.

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  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium red onions, thinly sliced
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder or hot paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 ripe mango—peeled, pitted and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 medium cucumber—peeled, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 serrano or jalapeño chile, seeded and very finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • One 1-pound tuna steak (1 inch thick)
  • Eight 6-inch corn tortillas


  1. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the onions, season with salt and cook over moderately high heat until softened and browned, about 8 minutes. Add the chipotle powder and cook for 30 seconds. Add the oregano and the vinegar and cook for 1 minute. Transfer to a plate.
  2. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the mango, cucumber, serrano, lime juice and cilantro and season the salsa with salt.
  3. Oil the grill. Rub the tuna with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt. Grill over high heat until lightly charred and pink within, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Grill the tortillas until hot and soft, about 10 seconds. Stack the tortillas and wrap them in foil to keep warm.
  4. Thinly slice the tuna and transfer to a platter. Serve with the onions, salsa and tortillas. Let everyone make their own tacos.
Contributed By Photo © Rick Lew Published May 2005

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