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Oregon Coast Tuna a la Cocina California

Oregon Coast Tuna a la Cocina California

On a recent trip to the Oregon coast I could not resist locating and buying fresh fish just off the boat.  Our lodging had a small kitchen stocked with salt and pepper.  My first though was to crust the fish with lots of pepper and accompany with a simple salad.  However, the package of salad from the grocery store contained a mini bag of sliced almonds, toasted quinoa and feta cheese for garnishing the lettuce mix, which i used instead for a tuna crust.  Added some diced parsley and this combo produced a WOW dinner.  Worthy to publish for you.

In attempting to replicate that experience for this blog, I toasted quinoa, producing a very crunchy ingredient, but not with much flavor.  Instead I popped amaranth and found it less crunchy but with way more flavor.  The almonds would provide the crunch for the crust.  Amaranth is a grain cultivated by the Mexica (Aztec) civilization.   Quinoa is an Andean plant which originated in the area surrounding Lake Titicaca in Peru and Bolivia. It was cultivated and used by pre-Columbian civilizations.

This Ahi tuna recipe has a savory combination of earthy, nutty and crunchy flavors that presents your guests with a memorable dinner. Let’s get started.




Serves 2


8 tablespoons popped amaranth

click on this link for instructions on  – popping amaranth

4 tablespoons toasted almond slices

4 tablespoons diced parsley

1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper

½ teaspoon coarse salt

1/3  cup extra virgin olive oil


2 (4 to 6 oz) Ahi tuna steaks

1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil





Add amaranth, almonds, parsley, pepper and salt in a bowl and mix the ingredients.  Add the olive oil plus more if necessary to have a wet crust. Spread crust over fish. It should stick to the fish.


Place a thick-bottomed frying pan or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the pan. When you see small wisps of smoke, add the tuna to the pan and sear the steaks for about one minute per side, or until desired doneness is reached.



Care is required when turning steaks over or removing them from the fry pan.  Some of the crust mixture may come off but it should only be a slight amount.


Buen Provecho

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  1. Good thing you always travel with a bit of amaranth! now that’s a well prepared chef – and meal!

    • I admit, my writing skills aren’t great so I updated the text. However, I’ll travel with salt, pepper, oregano, cumin and chile peppers if we are lodging where there is a kitchen.

  2. Now Hank…
    Your “Oregon Coast Tuna a la Cocina California”
    looks very delicious.

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