African Adobo Rubbed Tuna

African Adobo Rubbed Tuna
Adobo means spice rub or marinade, and the particular recipe we include was introduced by African slaves brought to Bahía in Brazil in the 17th century. But the actually birthplace is of some confusion. The one I make most often is a wet kind of paste. It makes for a messy albeit fun way of cooking! You can rub it on raw chicken, steaks, veal chops and even some of the more meaty fish, and most often sear it to push the flavors deeply into the food. Then finish it by roasting where the heat is more in a ‘surrounding’ mode, which helps prevent the adobo from getting bitter which it could if said searing where prolonged. To provide a little relief from the heat, the tuna is served on a bed of lightly pickled cucumbers. We're using Afrikoz Spices EAST blend for this recipe.
Cuisine: African
Recipe type: Dinner
Serves: 4
Prep time: 
Total time: 
  • For the Adobo Spice Rub
  • 2 tablespoons Afrikoz Spices EAST blend
  • 1½ tablespoon dried orange peel
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 x 180g/6-ounce tuna fillets
  • ⅔ cup peanut oil
  • For the Pickled Cucumbers
  • 2½ tablespoons sugar; (more or less to taste)
  • ½ cup champagne vinegar
  • 1 whole cucumber, peeled and very thinly sliced
  • For the Avocado Salsa
  • 2 ripe avocado, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 3 scallions cut thinly on the bias
  • 1 large capsicum or roasted red peppers, seeded and diced small
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt & cracked black pepper, to taste
  • For the Tuna
  • 350g/12 ounces tuna; sinew; bloodline and fat removed, diced small
  • 1 teaspoon of peeled and minced shallots
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Afrikoz Spices EAST blend spice rub
  1. For the Adobo Spice Rub:
  2. Mix all of the dry ingredients together.
  3. For the Pickled Cucumbers:
  4. Mix the sugar and vinegar in a bowl. Stir well.
  5. Add in the cucumber and allow to marinate about 15 minutes. Reserve.
  6. For the Avocado Salsa:
  7. In a medium bowl, put the diced avocado, scallions, roasted peppers and garlic.
  8. Whisk together the lime and orange juice with the olive oil and salt and pepper.
  9. Pour over the salsa ingredients and gently toss.
  10. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  11. For the Tuna:
  12. Arrange the cucumber in neat slices across the bottom of the plates.
  13. Slice the tuna and lay it over the cucumbers.
  14. Place the avocado salsa on top or along the sides of the tuna.
  15. Now spoon a little of the pickling juices around the cucumbers and serve.
  16. Sometimes I add a little grated orange peel on top of the dish as well.
Adapted from recipe by Norman Van Aken at Food Republic.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 4 Calories: 826 Fat: 58g (89%) Saturated fat: 9g (44%) Unsaturated fat: 10g Trans fat: 36g Carbohydrates: 35g (12%) Sodium: 2,774mg (116%) Fibre: 11g (45%) Protein: 46g (92%) Cholesterol: 66mg (22%)