Lime and Coriander-Crusted Tuna with Spicy Watermelon Salad

By Erika on December 23rd, 2012 / / No Comments



This is the recipe that got me on “The Taste” on ABC. It is crispy tuna with a creamy lemongrass and coconut cream sauce and a cool spicy watermelon and mango salad. I was shaking in my boots that the mentors Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson, Brian Malarkey and Ludo Lefebvre wouldn’t like it but they all had great things to say about it (including Anthony Bourdain!). Nigella particularly liked the panko crispiness on the tuna and the “heat” on watermelon salad.  Give this Lime and Corainder-Crusted Tuna a try and let me know what you think!


Lime and Coriander-Crusted Tuna with Spicy Watermelon Salad

Lime and Coriander-Crusted Tuna with Spicy Watermelon Salad


For the lemongrass Coconut Cream Sauce:

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed then minced
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, grated finely
  • 1 teaspoon ginger (minced into a paste)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • dash red pepper flakes
  • dash soy sauce
  • 1/4 jalapeno (seeded)
  • 2 teaspoons cilantro (chopped)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 teaspoons lime Juice

For the Spicy Watermelon and Mango Salad:

  • 3/4 cup Watermelon (small dice)
  • 1/2 cup Mango (small dice)
  • 2 teaspoons Cilantro (chopped)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Jalapeno (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon Rice Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Lime Juice
  • Salt to taste

For the tuna:

  • 1/2 cup crushed Panko crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon Lime Zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon Coriander (toasted and ground)
  • 1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon White Pepper
  • 6 ounces Ahi Tuna (center cut)
  • 1/2 cup Flour
  • 1 Egg (beaten)
  • Oil for frying


  1. Make the Lemongrass Coconut Cream Sauce.
  2. In a small sauce pan, add oil over medium heat. Add garlic, lemongrass and ginger and sauté until aromatic. Add coconut milk and allow to reduce until it thickens. Add all other ingredients, except cilantro and strain through a fine sieve. Fold cilantro into strained sauce, adjust seasoning with salt and lime juice.
  3. Make the tuna. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed sauce pan until it reaches 375 degrees. Make the tuna crust by combining all the ingredients except the flour and egg. To batter the fish, first dredge in the flour, then dip into the egg, then roll in the panko mixture until nicely coated. Drop into the oil and cook until golden brown on the outside, but still rare in the center, about a minute.
  4. Make the Watermelon Mango Salad. Combine all ingredients and adjust seasoning to taste.
  5. Place a pool of lemongrass coconut cream sauce sauce in the center of a plate, with a very sharp knife, slice tuna in 5 or 6 slices about 1/4-inch thick and top with the spicy watermelon and mango salad.

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