Sicilian Tuna Steaks in Onion Sauce

Total Time
Prep 5 mins
Cook 25 mins

I found this recipe somewhere on the 'net, and it is reported to be a classic dish of the islands off the western coast of Sicily. The onions have a decidedly sweet/sour taste which we love, and that would be super as well on a swordfish steak.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. SAUCE:.
  2. Saute the onions in olive oil and butter over medium heat in a large skillet.
  3. Add salt and cook, stirring until they are limp.
  4. Stir in vinegar and sugar, and cook over a slightly lower heat until the vinegar has evaporated.
  5. I caution you, the escaping steam will take your breath away so stay well away from the skillet when possible, but do perservere!
  6. When vinegar has evaporated, add cayenne or tabasco, mix well and remove from heat.
  7. The sauce should still retain the texture of the onions and yet retain enough moisture to be spoonable.
  8. Cover and keep warm.
  9. TUNA:.
  10. Over medium heat, add olive oil and bay leaves to a skillet large enough to hold tuna steaks in one layer.
  11. When the oil is warm, not hot, add tuna and salt and pepper to taste.
  12. Saute 2-3 minutes per side, but this will depend on thickness of steaks and your doneness preference-- we like ours on the rare side.
  13. Raise heat, add wine, and cover pan a second or two, just until the wine has stopped steaming.
  14. Uncover skillet, cook 30 seconds longer, then transfer tuna to plates.
  15. Spoon the onions and sauce over the top of each, and serve.


Most Helpful

I loved this recipe. It is company and special occasion worthy. I was thinking to give the finished dish a little more color, sprinkle it with paprika. Other than that, no changes are needed.

Marie Nixon June 26, 2010

I love tuna and am always looking for new ways to prepare this healthy fish. The sauce is what makes this dish! It's absolutely delicious! As the fish was cooking covered in the wine, I added some broccolini to steam alongside it. Served this with a side dish of White Bean Pancetta Salad Recipe #65318 UPDATE: Rather than sauteeing the steaks in olive oil then adding the wine, I poached the steaks in the wine and added a thinly sliced bulb of fennel for a side dish. This method really brought out the taste of the bay leaves and wine in the fish.

Chef-Boy-I-Be Illinois April 04, 2008

This was very tasy. A nice combination of ingredients. Thanks for sharing.

*SpeechTeachMe* January 27, 2007

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