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Tuna and Onions in Agrodolce

4 Servings

25 minutes

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Sicilian cuisine is influenced by the food and cooking of North Africa, and tonno con cipolle in agrodolce, or sweet and sour tuna and onions, is one such example. A chunky sauté of meaty tuna, savory-sweet red onions and tangy wine vinegar, plus pine nuts, dried currants (or raisins), fresh mint and a small measure of red pepper flakes, this quick-cooking dish hits most, if not all, of the notes on the flavor spectrum. Firm-textured swordfish is as delicious as tuna, but since it’s best fully cooked (rather than a touch rare at the center, as for tuna), after turning the pieces, cook for about 3 minutes before transferring the fish to the plate. Salmon works, too, but make sure to use skinless fillets cut from the thick end of the fish; the cooking times for salmon are the same as for tuna.




Don’t forget to pat the fish dry with paper towels before cutting it into cubes. Wicking away excess moisture ensures better browning in the skillet. That said, don’t sear the tuna for longer than indicated, and don’t brown all sides of each piece or the fish will end up dry and overcooked.

25 minutes


  • pounds skinless tuna steaks (see headnote), patted dry and cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 2

    teaspoons all-purpose flour


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Susan K.
July 30, 2023
I think I will cook this for dinner every night from now on. Honestly, this is one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten. I made it with swordfish.
stephanie e.
May 31, 2022
great easy and quick
I have made this several times, usually with swordfish, and agrodolce one of my favorite flavor combinations. It works perfectly with the rich fish. Will be making it again and often!
Scott C.
February 10, 2024
Nothing wrong with this recipe, but not one I'll repeat. Using swordfish, the end result was overwhelming to me. Swordfish is such a wonderful fish by itself, it really needs little else than olive oil, salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon or lime. Same could be said for tuna. Keep It Simple, Stupid (KISS)!
stephanie e.

I have made this several times with fresh swordfish and it is amazing! I've had success even when swapping out the currants for chopped raisins, toasted chopped almonds for pine nuts, and chopped parsley for the mint. The sweet/sour red onion mixture is a luscious complement to the rich meaty swordfish and I am sure it would be amazing on tuna- which I will be trying when I can get it. Great dish!

Jim C.

Super east to put together and an interesting flavor profile. The mint puts it over the top.

Paired it with some simple pasta with black garlic, olive oil, and truffle oil.

Great dinner.