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  • Catia Pacheco Castro

Fresh Tuna Loin Portuguese Style ❦ Bitoque de Atum Fresco


Hello Friends, I have a great recipe to share with you today. Carlos and I have recently started substituting meat for more fish, so I have kind of been looking for interesting twists on our favourites. Bitoque, pronounced (bee-tock) is a typical dish in Portugal consisting of a steak , surrounded by fried potato rounds, in a special sauce. It is sometimes topped with ham and a fried egg as well. It is always served with white rice on the side. This I will leave entirely up to you, we love our carbs! I did serve this with rice, but it was a tiny portion.

At the market, I came across the most gorgeous fresh tuna loin steaks. Fresh tuna doesn't taste like canned tuna at all!

It is mild, meaty in texture and just gorgeous. You do not want to cook the tuna well done. You want it medium. Trust me :) It is delicious. The marinade will somewhat "cook" the tuna, so do not feel weird about cooking it medium. Do not, however, leave the tuna to sit in the acidic marinade longer than 15 minutes.

The sauce is made with fresh garlic, stock of your choice, vinegar, or lemon, and white wine.

Fresh Tuna Loin Portuguese Style ❦ Bitoque de Atum Fresco

Serves 4

Start to Finish under 45 minutes

4 Fresh tuna loin steaks, 150-200 g. each

4 Free-range eggs

4 tbsps. Red or white wine vinegar, you can use lemon juice as a substitute

5 Large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch thick rounds

2 Bay leaves

4 Cloves of garlic, chopped

200 ml. Fish, chicken or vegetable stock. I used chicken.

200 ml. Dry white wine

60 ml. Extra virgin olive oil, divided ( to pan fry tuna)

Vegetable oil to fry potatoes and eggs as needed, at least 1L.

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Cut potatoes and place in a bowl covered completely with cold water. Set aside until ready to fry.

2. Place tuna steaks in a bowl and add vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic and bay leaves. Toss to coat gently as to not break fish, set aside for at least 15 minutes. Very important! No longer than 15 minutes!

3. In a frying pan, heat half the extra virgin olive oil on high heat. Lift tuna from marinade, reserve marinade and pat tuna dry on paper towels. Place tuna in hot pan.

Sear for 1-1/2 minutes per side. Remove to a plate, uncovered. Give it a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to prevent it drying out. Set aside.

4. Meanwhile, heat fryer/ pot, with oil for potatoes. Drain potatoes and place in a tea towel to remove excess moisture. When oil is hot, drop in potatoes and let fry until done and edges are golden. Frying all the potatoes at once, will reduce oil temperature and produce perfectly fried potatoes in abut 15-18 minutes. No need to check temperatures, just let them fry.

5. Meanwhile, to the same frying pan you seared tuna, add rest of olive oil and garlic. Let sauté for 30 seconds while constantly stirring. Add white wine and reserved marinade, including bay leaves. Let reduce by half. Once reduced, add stock. Reduce heat to low and cook for 3-4 minutes, until thickened a bit. Discard bay leaves. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Place tuna in sauce and turn heat to low, uncovered, to heat gently through and turning half way through about 1 minute later. (residual heat will warm up tuna)

6. In a seperate frying pan, add a few tablespoons of vegetable oil on high heat, fry eggs. You want a runny yolk so turn off heat just before you think eggs are done.

7. Place tuna in sauce and turn heat to low, uncovered, to heat gently through and turning half way through about 1 minute later. (residual heat will warm up tuna)

8. Fried potatoes should be done. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels.

9. Immediately plate tuna in centre of deep plate and top with fried egg. Repeat with other three plates. Ladle sauce among the four plates and arrange fried potatoes around. You can also serve the potatoes separately. Garnish as you wish. I used a little bit of fresh greens. Optional, white rice.

Enjoy xoxoxoxo

Add seared tuna back to sauce, on low heat, only to warm through.

See how tiny the rice portion was?LOL :)

Serve with a lovely white wine.


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Crawley,West Sussex UK

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