Tuna Tiradito

Chef Cindy Pawlcyn, Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen & Mustard's Grill, Napa Valley, CA

Number of servings

Orange and Passion Fruit Sauce ingredients

  • 0.5 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 cup passion fruit puree (Perfect Puree Napa Valley Brand or similar)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons shallots, finely minced
  • 0.33 cup extra virgin olive oil

Pickled Chilies ingredients

  • 0.5 cup thinly sliced red Fresno chilies, stemmed and seeded
  • 0.5 cup thinly sliced Aji Amarillo Chilies, stemmed and seeded
  • 0.25 cup water
  • 0.25 cup rice vinegar
  • 0.25 cup sugar

Cilantro Oil ingredients

  • 3 bunches cilantro, blanched and shocked in ice water
  • 0.5 cup vegetable oil

Purple Potato Chips ingredients

  • 2 small purple potatoes
  • vegetable oil for frying

Grapefruit Powder and Salt ingredients

  • 4 grapefruit
  • 1 quart simple syrup
  • 1 cup Maldon salt, fleur de sel, or sel gris

Tuna ingredients

  • 1 pound sushi grade fresh wild Ahi tuna, trimmed of skin and blood line
  • 4 ounces corn canchas (Peruvian Corn Nuts) or original Corn Nuts
  • 1 Meyer lemon, peeled and cut into segments
  • 1 grapefruit, peeled, pith removed, and separated into segments discarding the membrane
  • 1 bunch of micro cilantro or cilantro, stems removed

Orange and Passion Fruit Sauce


  1. Combine the orange juice, passion fruit puree, garlic, shallots and olive oil and whisk together well, set aside and refrigerate.

Pickled Chilies


  1. Combine the water, vinegar, and sugar in a non-reactive pot and bring to the boil. Pour over the chilies and let pickle, for about 30 minutes. Set aside and refrigerate.

Cilantro Oil


  1. Squeeze the blanched cilantro in a cloth until very dry. Roughly chop and place in a blender jar. Add the vegetable oil and blend well.
  2. Strain thru a cheesecloth lined strainer. Refrigerate until needed.

Purple Potato Chips


  1. Rinse and dry the potatoes. Cut the potatoes into very thin slices like potato chips. Rinse the slices in luke warm water, drain and dry well.
  2. Heat the oil to 325° and fry the potato slices until crispy. Set aside to cool. To keep the chips crisp, make this the same day as serving.

Grapefruit Powder and Salt


  1. Peel the grapefruit. Beginning from the top, with a sharp peeler, peel in a circle downwards, trying to keep one continuous strip. Use a slight sawing motion with the peeler, and try to peel only the outer skin and not the white pith underneath, which is bitter.
  2. Combine the grapefruit peel and the simple syrup in a small saucepot and bring to a simmer. Cook gently for 30-40 minutes, or until the peel is tender when you press it with your thumb but not falling apart.
  3. Drain the peel and reserve the syrup for another use (excellent for cocktails or desserts). When well drained, transfer the peel to a half sheet tray lined with a Silpat or parchment paper, lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Cook the peel in an oven on the lowest setting overnight for two nights or until the peel is very crispy when cooled to room temperature and not at all leathery.
  4. Grind the dried peel to a fine powder in a clean coffee grinder. Store in a clean, tightly sealed dry container such as a mason jar. Optional, grind some of the peel to a coarse or crumbly grind to use as a condiment for other dishes.
  5. For the grapefruit salt, mix 2 tablespoons of grapefruit powder to 1 cup sea salt.



  1. Cut the ahi tuna lengthwise into a rectangular slab. Slice crosswise into thin, rectangular slices. On a small oval plate, lay 2-3 ounces of the tuna across the plate. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons orange and passion fruit sauce. Sprinkle with several slices each of pickled chilies. Scatter a few corn canchas or corn nuts around the plate. Add several crispy potato chips.
  2. Top with segments of lemon and grapefruit. Drizzle lightly with cilantro oil. Add a few leaves of cilantro or micro cilantro and sprinkle with grapefruit powder and salt to taste.