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Diary of an Inconsistent Cook #28: Bahamian Steamed Tuna (It’s Not What You Think)

Our honeymoon was in Nassau, Bahamas and we did what most healthy adults our age do in a an all-inclusive resort.   We ate and drank.    About fifteen pounds worth of indulgence.       I stuffed my face with conch which can’t be gotten locally and one morning at our favorite morning eatery I saw tuna.  Except it wasn’t fresh tuna and it wasn’t mayonnaise tuna.  It was a reddish-pink hue.   What was this New Thing?      Dear Husband cared not for he was too busy with the pancakes, sausage, and bacon.

I was told it was steamed tuna.

Except in the Bahamas “steamed” doesn’t refer to steaming with water.    It means a dish cooked with onions, peppers, and ketchup (or tomato paste).

Wait, what?


Tuna and ketchup?    I was at first put off (despite the appearance of ketchup in my family cuisine), but people had obviously been digging in the dish to serve themselves.     I  decided that there hadn’t been anything I’d eaten or drank in the last 48 hours that I didn’t like.  Why not?      And, oh my, it was good.    Who knew?   Canned tuna and ketchup!

Of course, when I got home I had to whip up a batch just to be sure I could duplicate it.    You can Cook Like You Mean it with out a friggin’ recipe, or you can follow this recipe here  or this authentic one here: Recipes from Bahamas.

What you need:   canned tuna, ketchup or tomato paste, green pepper, onion, garlic, paprika, and some courage!

What you need: canned tuna, ketchup or tomato paste, green pepper, onion, garlic, paprika, celery seed salt (optional), and some courage!

Bahamian Steamed Tuna

Canned tuna (I know the picture shows chunk light, but solid white is much better.  Chunk light is very mushy)
green bell pepper
paprika (any kind will do)
celery seed salt (some recipes called for celery but I didn’t have that on hand)
ketchup (or tomato paste)
pepper to taste

Diced, sliced, julienned, prepare however you want.

Diced, sliced, julienned, prepare however you want.

Saute the onion, garlic, and green pepper in a little oil until they get all sweaty and sweet.      Toss in the rest.      Cook five more minutes.   You can serve it right away, but really the flavors blend really well if it sits for a while.   Serve with white rice, or over egg noodles, or with pasta shells.    Or just get a spoon and eat it out of the pot.      The next day it tasted even more divine and made divine tuna tacos.

Solid white tuna has a better color and texture than chunk light.

Solid white tuna has a better color and texture than chunk light.

I know it doesn’t look like it would be good, but it is!    You might still hate it, but I make no guarantees on what your taste buds will like or reject.

My Minion number 1 said it was, “Yummy Mummy,”  and Minion number 2 could not comment due to his stuffed mouth.

Day Two:  Steamed Tuna Tacos!

Day Two: Steamed Tuna Tacos!

What do you think?  Ever had Bahamian Steamed Tuna?    Will you try it?

11 comments on “Diary of an Inconsistent Cook #28: Bahamian Steamed Tuna (It’s Not What You Think)

  1. Amy
    March 10, 2015

    Looks yummy. I will have to try it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mallee Stanley
    March 10, 2015

    This reminds me of when I was in Fiji. The food wasn’t that great until I tried a coriander side dish that made everything taste amazing. I had to duplicate it as soon as I returned home and still make it to this day.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mallee Stanley
    March 10, 2015

    Right now though I’ve got to finish eating biryani. Hadn’t made it in years but love it! And I’m going to write a post on that too but it will be on my Tanzanian blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Diary of an Inconsistent Cook #29: Homemade Authentic Mexican Flour Tortillas | Laissez Faire

  5. Pingback: Historic & Culinary “Must-Eat” Tastings Walking Tour (Nassau, Bahamas) – |

  6. David Berg
    September 2, 2020

    Bahamian Steam Tuna

    I love steam tuna and had it often for breafast in Nassau. Now that I am home, this is how I make it: 1/2 cup diced celery, 1/2 cup diced green pepper, 1/2 cup diced onion, finely diced clove garlic, 1/2 finely diced hot red pepper (the one that looks like a small balloon), dried thyme (Bahamian thyme is better, but unavilable in the US), tomato paste, lime juice, 2 cans oil packed tuna.
    Add oil to pan and heat, then add celery, green pepper, and onion (the trinity of Bahamian cooking). Cook until soft. Then add the tuna with the oil from the cans, stir, and then add the rest of the ingredients. It should look slightly red. You can substitute ketchup for the tomato paste. Cook until hot and serve over grits.

    I love this and hope it helps.


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This entry was posted on March 10, 2015 by in cooking, seafood and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

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