California Central Coast Recipes

Sweet and Sour Tuna Steaks Trapani Style

Sweet and Sour Tuna Steaks Trapani Style originated in the city of Trapani Sicily, where Tuna fishing is still an important industry. It is one of our favorite ways to cook fresh Tuna which is usually very available in our local fish markets. This recipe also works very well with a good-quality Swordfish.

It is really critical for this recipe to use a very good quality tuna such as Ahi. It is also very important to minimize the tuna cooking time and not over cook the steaks or they will dry out and loose a lot of flavor.

We like to serve this on a mound of caramelized sweet and sour onions. It's a very savory taste that goes well with Saffron Orzo or steamed baby Yukon Gold potatoes that have been tossed with butter and parsley. ©2018, Sweet and Sour Tuna Steaks Trapani Style
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
re-calculate ingredients for:


1 pound Fresh Ahi Tuna
3/4 cup Flour
1/4 cup Dried Bread Crumbs
1/2 teaspoons Salt
1/2 teaspoons Black Pepper
1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cups White Onion , thinly sliced
1/4 cup Red Wine
1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
1 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup chopped parsley

Preparation Directions.

1 Remove any skin from the tuna and slice into 1/2 inch steaks.

2 Mix together the flour, pepper, salt and bread crumbs in a shallow dish. Dredge each steak in the flour mixture and lightly coat the steaks. (If the steaks are dry you can dip them first in a little milk.)

3 Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. When hot, but not smoking, add the steaks to the pan without crowding and saute them just long enough to brown, about 2 minutes per side. When done, remove from the pan and cover to keep warm.

4 Add the sliced onion to the pan and saute the the onion until golden. Stir in the wine, sugar and vinegar. Increase the heat to high and reduce the liquid down until slightly thickened. Stir in the chopped parsley and add the tuna steaks back to the pan and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pan and cook for a couple of minutes, just long enough to warm up the steaks.

5 When done, on warm serving plates, place a tuna steak on a bed of the cooked sweet sour onions and serve.

Wine and Food Pairing and Serving Suggestions.

This dish has a good amount of acidity as well as a bit of sweetness. If you went just slightly sweet, it will pair well with a good Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay.

If you kinda went a bit more "sweet" than sour, try a good off- dry Gewurztraminer or Riesling.

A tip from Sue!

No cheese on seafood please!

When serving an Italian seafood dish, unless the recipe specifically calls for cheese, grated Parmesan cheese on top is not a good idea!

The pungent taste of Parmesan is usually too strong for the delicate fish flavors.