Yellowfin tuna with spicy mango salsa.  Fish lovers, be ready! This recipe is for you.

Close your eyes and imagine this: cooked to perfection yellowfin tuna with a beautiful crust of mixed peppercorns, fennel seeds – can you smell them – and coriander.

yellowfin tuna with spicy mango salsa

Cooked to perfection and sitting on a bed of fresh mangoes prepared in a sweet-spicy salsa. Mouthwatering would be the word I would use to describe it.

In this Article

What is special about Yellowfin Tuna?

They are highly migratory throughout the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans.

They form schools with other tuna types and are also known to travel along with dolphins.
Yellowfin can breed all year round and have a life span of up to seven years.

A steak that is firm and dense in texture. Excellent for grilling.

The best way to enjoy it is cooked medium-rare, searing it quickly over very high heat. That is what I have done here with this recipe.

Please do not overcook it, as it will lose some fantastic flavors.

Incredibly nutritious

and packed with proteins, it also contains healthy fats, omega-3, and B-complex vitamins such as niacin, B-6, and B-12.

A natural solid source of rich minerals, including iodine, selenium, calcium, zinc, potassium, phosphorous, and magnesium.

However, it is not recommended to be consumed daily due to the higher amount of mercury.

Where do you find yellowfin tuna?

Yellowfin tuna is a tuna species found in pelagic waters of tropical and subtropical ocean waters worldwide.

Sometimes referred to as ahi, from the Hawaiian “ahi,” a name also used for the closely related bigeye tuna.

yellowfin tuna with spicy mango salsa

Yellowfin tuna fun facts

It is one of the fastest swimmers in the ocean. They constantly have to swim to obtain oxygen from the water via their gills, which they cannot do while stopped. Therefore they must continually swim forward with their mouth open to keep their blood oxygenated.

They can reach up to 400 pounds and are one of the most vital predators.

I have paired this excellent fish with a spicy mango salsa. The balance between the two is out of this world. 

The fish is covered with spices creating a crust when the tuna is seared. 

The spicy mango salsa continues the flavor of the spices and adds a touch of heat with a lot of freshness from the mango.

Quite a combination of freshness, heat, and warmth.  

Yellowfin Tuna With Spicy Mango Salsa – Best Recipe Ever

Spicy mango salsa – we cannot get enough of it.

Mangoes are one of the fruits that we enjoy most. Prepared in a salsa, bring any food you will present it with to a new level.

The sweetness of the mango pairs well with the heat of the Sriracha or sambal and ginger, which adds a second spicy layer.

Add the red onion and the jalapeno, and you have this sweet, tangy, spicy hot mix playing with your senses.

Choose ripe mangoes that have a fragrant smell to them.  The recipe makes 3 cups and will last up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

Talking about sauces,

How odd this may sound to you, but I do love sauces. Here is a great, fun, spicy, and sweet sauce. You can also enjoy the spicy mango salsa with roasted chicken or Pork Tenderloins Pan-Seared.

How about using a classic hollandaise sauce as in this fantastic recipe of salmon eggs benedict? Yes, a bit of a different flavor, but super delicious.  A must-try. 

yellowfin tuna with spicy mango salsa

Spices for the rub

While playing with the salsa, adding spices to my yellow tuna fish was just what it needed.

Coriander seeds give it that nutty and citrus flavor that intensifies when roasted.

Fennel seeds is very aromatic with a mild anise or licorice flavor, which becomes sweet when cooked with it. 

Peppercorns give that perfect balance to the fennel and coriander, and add a bite. 

Sea salt is the perfect seasoning and, when crushed with the above spices, add a great flavor to any meat or fish used with it. 

Here are a few helpful tips for the ingredients needed to make this Yellowfin Tuna with Spicy Mango Salsa

This is a short introduction. The ingredient list is also short. It includes essential items that you may already have in your pantry. Please read the recipe for complete instructions.

Yellowfin Tuna select steaks of the same size and thickness so they will cook evenly and all simultaneously. The meat needs to be a light red color.

Fennel and coriander seeds combination of the two spices is fantastic when combined. The fennel licorice flavor balances well with the coriander seeds.

Whole mixed peppercorn gives that beautiful mix of sweet and hot,

Sea salt is excellent to mix spices with, as it has natural moisture and provides the perfect rub base

Mangoes are the star of your salsa. Choose mature mangoes as they will be enhanced better by the spices and the rest of the ingredients.

Red onion is the perfect counterbalance to the mango and yet not overpowering the salsa

Jalapeno remove the seeds to keep it mild or add any or all the seeds you wish, giving it s great taste

Ginger refreshing and with the right amount of spicy

Sriracha or any hot sauce that you may have in your pantry. Use as little or as much as you can handle

Lemon juice binds every ingredient together, and with the juices of the mangoes, it helps create the perfect salsa

Yellowfin Tuna with Spicy Mango Salsa

Equipment needed

I only recommend what I use and love.

Large mixing bowl used to create your mango salsa

Mortar and pestle to crush your seeds, salt, and peppercorns

Non-stick skillet large enough to hold your yellowfin steaks

Fish spatula to turn your fish in the skillet. The longer spatula part helps to hold the fish when turning it ultimately.

Cooking tips and step-by-step instructions on making this yellowfin tuna with spicy mango salsa to perfection.

You can find the printable recipe with all the correct ingredient amounts at the bottom of this post. This is just a quick introduction. Please read the full recipe instructions.

  • Start with the salsa; the longer the mangoes, onion, jalapeno, ginger, Sriracha, and lemon juice sit together, the better the flavors are infused.
  • I enjoy crushing my seeds. I find the flavors are brought out more intensely. However, you do not have to if you have none on hand, and the already ground fennel seeds and coriander seeds will also work fine.
  • Use the sea salt, not Kosher salt. Not the same flavor at all, and you need the salt flavor with this dish to bind it well.
  • I know it seems like a lot of spices; however, you have four steaks to cover. The seasoning will form a great crust. This crust will maintain the interior nice and soft.
  • Heat the skillet with no oils.
  • Before adding the yellowfin tuna steaks to the heat, drizzle them with olive oil and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side.
  • Once the tuna is done, please remove it from the heat into a plate. Drizzle more olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.

The tuna should be crispy on the outside with the help of the rub and perfectly pink and tender on the inside.

I serve it over the mango salsa and enjoy preparing couscous on the side.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you make this ahead of time?

You can prepare the mango salsa the day before and let it rest in the refrigerator overnight. The flavors will continue to bind.

Crushing the seeds the day before can be of help. 

Can I make the mango salsa less spicy?

Yes, you can. Do not add any seeds to your salsa when seeding the Jalapeno.

You can omit the Sriracha sauce.

Is it necessary to use a non-stick skillet?

Not necessary but recommended. You want your rub to stick to your yellowfin tuna and with the use of the non-stick you will be able to achieve that.

If you enjoyed this dish, check out these flavorful recipes:

Pork Chops with Mangoes Sauce

Lime Fish with Garlic Mangoes Sauce

Albacore Tuna Croquettes

Equipment and ingredients used to make this wonderful recipe

Yellowfin Tuna with Spicy Mango Salsa

5 from 23 votes
yellowfin tuna with spicy mango salsa
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 24 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Close your eyes and imagine this: cooked to perfection yellowfin tuna with a beautiful crust of mixed peppercorns, fennel seeds – can you smell them – and coriander.


  • 4 yellowfin tuna
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds,
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds,
  • 1 tablespoon whole mixed peppercorns,
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt,
  • black pepper


  • 3 mangoes, ripe, peeled and cut into ¼ inch dice
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and cut into small dice
  • 1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeds removed, and minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha hot chili sauce
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • salt and pepper, to taste



  • In a large ceramic bowl combine the mangoes, onions, jalapeno, ginger, Sriracha, and lemon juice, and blend well. Season with salt and pepper. Use or refrigerate.


  • In a mortar, crush together the fennel seeds, coriander seeds, mixed peppercorn, sea salt, and regular pepper until all seeds are crushed.
    Place the rub on a plate, add the yellowfin tuna and coat them well on both sides.
  • Meanwhile, heat to high heat a non-stick skillet. Once the skillet is hot, rub some olive oil over the yellowfin tuna and place the oiled side into the pan. Sear on high for 1 ½ to 2 minutes per side.
  • Remove from the skillet when done: they should be pink in the middle, sprinkle more olive oil over it, and gently squeeze lemon over each tuna.
  • Spread some of the spicy mango salsa in the middle of the plate and place the yellowfin tuna over it.


Calories: 300kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 66mg | Sodium: 166mg | Potassium: 1104mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 1795IU | Vitamin C: 67mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 2mg

Giangi’s Kitchen provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as a registered dietician does not calculate them.

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Originally published on February 25, 2021. Updated on January 24, 2023.