A different take on tacos: cucumber, tuna, and lim...

A different take on tacos: cucumber, tuna, and lime

This is definitely a “new American” dish. Though I typically use this label with disdain, tuna and cucumber is a combination that never fails to delight me.

The cucumber really ups the refreshing, summery nature of this dish, and the no-cook factor is a big plus on scorching August days. But simply take out the lettuce and add a bit more cheese, and you can also create unique quesadillas with the same ingredients.

Serves: 8
Prep time: 30 minutes
Adapted from


  • Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2 packages corn or super-doughy flour tortillas (when using corn tortillas, it’s best to double up, as they break in the middle easily. For this dish, I prefer the flour variety)
  • small head of lettuce (not necessary for quesadillas)
  • 1 tuna steak
  • 3 limes
  • 1 cucumber (not hothouse)
  • 2 scallions
  • 1 serrano chilli pepper
  • shredded lettuce
  • honey (not clover honey)
  • canola oil
  • coriander
  • sugar
  • salt


  1. Preheat oven to broil.
  2. Set up a flat bowl or curved plate with 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, and 1 teaspoon ground coriander.
  3. Marinate tuna at room temperature in the mixture for five minutes per side.
  4. Dice the cucumber and add to a separate, medium-sized bowl.
  5. Finely chop the scallions and the chilli pepper and add to cucumber.
  6. Peel, de-pith, and chop two limes and add to salsa mixture.
  7. Combine with 1 teaspoon sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  8. Mix and set aside.
  9. Press 1 teaspoon pepper onto 1 side of the marinated tuna and broil for about six minutes (until just cooked through).
  10. Wash the lettuce and shred it.
  11. Once tuna is cooked, allow it to cool and then thinly slice or dice it.
  12. Steam the tortillas by microwaving them for 30 seconds each wrapped in a wet paper towel.
  13. Fill each taco with a small handful of lettuce and a tablespoon of tuna and a sprinkling of cucumber salsa topped with a dash of grated cheese.
  14. Enjoy!

For tuna quesadillas:

  1. Assemble each quesadilla by placing a tortilla on a large, flat plan over medium heat and grating 1 1/2 tablespoons of cheese on one half.
  2. Add two teaspoons tuna and one teaspoon cucumber and spread evenly on the half of the tortilla with the cheese.
  3. Using a spatula, fold the tortilla in half over the filling and cook for one minute on each side.
  4. Serve piping hot off the stove.

Looking for more great Mexican food? Serve some super simple salsa or black bean and corn salsa along with guacamole and chips, or try out these crowd-pleasing quesadillas as a main dish.

It might be my imagination, but I swear avocados get more expensive every time I go to the store. If you are going to make guacamole at home, you have to really make it count.

When my friend Teresa first served me this guacamole, I was struck by the fact that it tasted exactly how guacamole tastes in your memory on those days when you are craving it and there are no ripe avocados in sight.