Episode 109 - From Caracas to Lima

Tuna Anticuchos

Tuna Anticuchos

Other Recipes from Planet Barbecue Episode 109 – From Caracas to Lima

The idea for this recipe comes from a Peruvian-Italian restaurant in Coral Gables, Florida. It’s a refined version of Peru’s most popular street food, anticuchos, which are traditionally made with beef hearts. Here in Miami we use mahi mahi for the kebabs, but swordfish, or halibut are all good choices. If your supermarket does not carry aji marillo paste, you can find it online.

Serves: 4 to 6
Method: Direct grilling
Advance preparation: 30 minutes to 1 hour for marinating the fish


Tuna Anticuchos


  • 2 pounds fresh tuna steaks (each 1-inch thick)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 sweet onion, peeled and halved
  • 2 yellow bell peppers, stemmed and seeded
  • Large fresh mint leaves

For the marinade:

  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and rough chopped
  • 1/3 cup aji amarillo paste, or 1 tablespoon each hot paprika and turmeric
  • 1/3 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil, plus oil for basting
  • Lime wedges, for serving

You’ll also need:

  • bamboo skewers

Recipe Steps

1: Cut the tuna into 1-inch cubes and place a glass bowl. Toss with salt, pepper, and ground cumin. Let stand for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, cut half the onion into wedges, then separate the layers. Reserve the remaining half of the onion for oiling the grill grate. Cut the peppers into 1-inch squares and set aside.

2: Thread the tuna onto bamboo skewers, alternating with the onion pieces, peppers, and mint leaves. Arrange in a glass baking dish.

3: Make the marinade; Combine the garlic, aji amarillo paste, vinegar, lime juice, and vegetable oil in a blender and blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour this marinade over the tuna skewers, turning to coat all sides. Marinate the anticuchos in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

4: Set up the grill for direct grilling and heat to high.

5: When ready to cook, impale the remaining onion half (cut side down) on a barbecue fork, dip it in vegetable oil, and use it to oil the grill grate. Drain the kebabs. Arrange the anticuchos on the hot grate. Grill until the tuna is browned on the outside, but still pink in the center, 1 to 2 minutes per side (4 to 8 minutes in all).

Recipe Tips

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