Achiote-Grilled Shiro Maguro with Mango Salsa Fresca

Fresh Shiro Maguro (albacore tuna, sustainably pole-and-line caught in the Pacific Northwest) is marinated in a paste of ground achiote, coriander and cumin seeds, Mexican oregano, garlic, olive oil and Seville orange juice.  The inch-thick steaks are rare-grilled over a hot mesquite fire and served with a salsa of fresh mango, heirloom tomatoes, green onions, cilantro and fresh green cayenne peppers with a pinch of chipotle and a touch of piloncillo..

Achiote-Grilled Shiro Maguro with Mango Salsa Fresca

For the Tuna

2 very fresh tuna steaks, about 1 inch-thick
2 tablespoons organic achiote seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1 scant teaspoon sea salt
3-4 oz Seville orange juice
1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup raw olive oil

Grind the achiote, cumin and coriander together in a spice or coffee grinder, pour into a bowl and combine with oregano, garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil and vinegar until a thick paste is formed.  Thin with orange juice until it is of a spoonable consistency.  Set the tuna steak in the marinade and refrigerate 1 hour, turning once.

For the Salsa

1 ripe mango, diced
1 heirloom tomato, diced
1 4-inch green cayenne pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced
2 green onions, slivered
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon freshly-squeezed lime juice
1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder
1/2 teaspoon Mexican piloncillo (substitute palm sugar)
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients together in a non-reactive bowl and refrigerate 1-2 hours.

To prepare, sear cold tuna over a hot wood fire until rare, about 5 minutes total.  Move to the cool side of the grill, baste with additional marinade and let stand until almost medium rare, about 2 minutes more.  Serve straight from the grill with mango salsa and a wedge of lime.