Ancho Chile Crusted Tuna, Tomato Salsa with Pickled Chipotles, and Zucchini with Pickled Jalapeños

This is how I dipped my toes in the world of chiles after receiving Richard’s package. The three jars seemed a little less daunting than those different kinds of dried chile peppers that I had never heard of before.  I had browsed a lot of chile recipes on Richard’s blog for inspiration. It wasn’t needed to search or filter on the blog, because there are chiles everywhere 😉 And so I made up this dish, to get to know the heat and flavor of the first three items in the package. It turned out great, I absolutely loved it. The ancho chile rub is not very hot but does impart a lot of flavor and it pairs really well with tuna. The jalapeños en escabeche paired well with the zucchini, and the salsa with pickled chipotles was quite hot but very nice. Not bad for a first experiment. It gave me the courage to proceed with the rest. I can highly recommend Richard’s recipes for all three of the condiments (links below). Here’s what I did…



For a single portion

1 fresh tuna steak, about 200 grams (7 oz)

1 Tbsp ancho chile rub

1 Tbsp chopped jalapeños en escabeche

1 Tbsp minced pickled chipotle chiles

1 zucchini

250 grams (1/2 lb) vine tomatoes

1 Tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley (or cilantro)

2 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1 small red onion, minced

olive oil


cooked rice for serving


Heat some olive oil in a frying pan and add half of the minced red onion. Sauté until translucent and fragrant over low heat, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the zucchini into cubes (about 1.5 cm or 1/2 inch). Increase the heat and add the zucchini to the onions.

Sauté for about 5 minutes, and when the zucchini starts to color add the oregano and cumin.

When the zucchini is golden, deglaze the pan with the vinegar.

Add the pickled jalapeños, salt, stir, and turn off the heat. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, vinegar, or more minced pickled jalapeños.

To prepare the salsa, chop the parsley, the tomatoes, the onion, and the chipotle chiles.

Combine them in a bowl, adding the minced chipotles by a teaspoon at a time to regulate the heat to your liking.

Toss to mix. Taste and adjust with salt or vinegar if needed.

Season the tuna with the ancho chile rub on both sides.  I used half of the amount of ancho chile rub compared to Richard’s recipe for ancho seared tuna, and that was perfect. Not because it would have been too hot with more, but because it would have been too salty for me.

Sear the tuna in a very hot non stick pan in oil for about 30 seconds per side, just to sear it.

Plate everything. Serve and enjoy, as Richard would say 🙂


19 thoughts on “Ancho Chile Crusted Tuna, Tomato Salsa with Pickled Chipotles, and Zucchini with Pickled Jalapeños

  1. Looks great especially the tuna which is done to my liking but unfortunately i have to cook it a bit longer in my house others are not so keen on rare. As for chipotle chillis i cooked with them the other day and based on the fact they dont add so much heat to food i ate a whole one i had left in my dish – they are hotter than i thought!


    1. Thanks! Chipotles by themselves are quite hot indeed, but mixed into other foods they are great. I bet you’d love the burger with pickled chipotle that I will post about soon…


  2. If you’ve never tried it, use the ancho chile powder and coat a good steak with it. You can add salt and pepper, and sometimes instant coffee powder, and maybe a garlic pepper. It’s a rub that turns a simple steak into one that explodes with flavor!


  3. That Tuna does look good … It made me realize that I have had canned tuna, and raw tuna in sashimi and sushi, but never a cooked steak. I must put it on my bucket list for my upcoming trip down south!


  4. Am going ‘to do’ both the tuna and the zucchini, but perchance separately . . .? Ancho chiles are quite ‘mild’ in contrast to others mentioned so the tuna can still shine . . . I DO like mine fairly rare: from somewhere learned to cook 2-3 minutes on the first side and just about a minute on the second, and this seems to work for me. Love your zucchini recipe: the vegetable on its own is as bland as tofu: your way of serving is quite a drawcard. Thanks 🙂 !


    1. Thanks for the nice comment! If you would like to serve the tuna together with the zucchini, the solution is to regulate the amount of chile in the zucchini to balance out the flavors.


  5. I’ve not tried ancho chile anything, Stefan, but that tuna sure does look good! You certainly are making good use of Richard’s gift box.


  6. I really like ancho chile rubs! I made a big batch of a coffee one and keep using it on my steaks! since it’s not so hot, I can cook with it indoors and not worry about the spicy smoke (my kitchen lacks a good ventilation system). You’ve inspired me to try it on tuna as well 😉


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