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

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

yellowfin tuna with spicy mango salsa

The beautiful, flavorful fish sits on a bed of fresh mangoes prepared in a bright yellow, sweet-spicy salsa. Mouthwatering is the best word to describe it.

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In this Article

What is special about Yellowfin Tuna?

Yellowfin tuna are highly migratory throughout the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans. They travel in schools throughout the open ocean with other tuna types and dolphins.

Yellowfin can breed all year round and lay between one to four million eggs when they spawn. They have a life span of up to seven years.

Yellowfin tuna has a steak that is firm and dense in texture. It’s excellent for grilling.

Cook it medium-rare by searing it quickly over very high heat to enjoy it best. That is what I have done here with this yellowfin tuna recipe.

Be sure not to overcook it; it will lose its fantastic flavors.

Incredibly nutritious

This fish has lots of proteins, healthy fats, omega-3, and B-complex vitamins like niacin, B-6, and B-12.

It’s also a natural solid source of rich minerals, including iodine, selenium, calcium, zinc, potassium, phosphorous, and magnesium.

However, experts do not recommend consuming it daily due to the higher amount of mercury.

yellowfin tuna with spicy mango salsa

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 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 400 pounds and are one of the most vital predators.

Yellowfin Tuna With Spicy Mango Salsa – Best Recipe Ever

Spicy mango salsa – we cannot get enough of it.

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

Spices cover the fish, creating a crust when searing the tuna. 

The spicy mango salsa enhances the taste of the spices and adds some heat and freshness. It’s quite a combination of fresh flavor, heat, and warmth.

Mangoes are one of the fruits that we enjoy most. Prepared in a salsa, it brings any food you pair it with to the next level.

Mango’s sweetness goes well with Sriracha or sambal and ginger, adding 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.

Speaking of sauces…

This may sound odd, but I do have a particular love for sauces. This spicy mango salsa is a fun, spicy, and sweet sauce.

You can also enjoy it 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. Meanwhile, fennel seeds are 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 a great seasoning. When crushed with spices, it adds flavor to meat or fish. 

Why You’ll Love Yellowfin Tuna

  • Tropical – The tuna and mango salsa may make you feel transported away to a warm summer vacation. The flavors come together for a restaurant-quality meal right at home. 
  • Unique – It’s unusual (for me, at least) to have a tasty and fruity dinner that combines spiciness and well-cooked seafood. 
  • Time-Saving – Even though it feels like an upscale meal, this dish is actually quick and easy to make. 

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.

A Chef Giangi Pick
All-Clad Nonstick Fry Pan 12 Inch Induction Oven Broiler Safe
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02/19/2024 03:19 am GMT

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.

  1. First, combine the ingredients for the salsa. The longer the mangoes, onion, jalapeno, ginger, Sriracha, and lemon juice sit together, the better the flavors are infused.
  2. Cover the fish in the spices. I know it seems like many spices; however, you have four steaks to cover. The seasoning will form a great crust. This crust will maintain a soft interior.
  3. Heat the skillet with no oils.
  4. Drizzle olive oil on yellowfin tuna steaks. Cook for 1 ½ to 2 minutes on each side.
  5. Remove the seared ahi tuna from the heat and transfer it onto a plate. Drizzle more olive oil and add a squeeze of lemon.

Tips For the Best Tuna

The tuna needs to be crispy outside, thanks to the rub. However, the inside should be moist and tender.

I enjoy crushing my seeds because it intensifies the flavor. However, you do not have to — 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.

Yellowfin Tuna with spicy mango salsa

What to Serve With Yellowfin Tuna with Spicy Mango Salsa

I often like to serve a side of couscous with the cooked tuna. You could also serve cilantro lime rice or tomato risotto.

You could also serve soup on the side or as a starter. Avocado soup is always a winner with this dish. Or you can try creamy watercress soup or roasted bell pepper and tomato soup


  • Lime – For the citrus, you can swap out lemon for lime juice. 
  • Fruit – Add other fruits like papaya or kiwi to the salsa. 
  • Fish – Choose another firm fish instead of tuna. 
  • Seasonings – Use your own favorite seasoning blend. Jerk seasoning would work particularly well with this recipe. You can also adjust other seasonings like salt and pepper, fennel, or coriander.
  • Soy Sauce – Use a little soy sauce for some salty, umami flavor.
  • Sesame Seeds – Add a nutty flavor with a sprinkle of sesame seeds over the top of the fish. Or mix them into the salsa.

Other Seafood-Based Recipes

Creamy Lemon Shrimp Scampi Pasta

Prawns Cocktail with Kiwi

Salsa Verde with Salmon

Lobster Ravioli with Marinara Sauce

yellowfin tuna wiht spicy mango salsa

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between yellowfin and ahi tuna? 

These are actually the same fish. Hawaiians sometimes use the name ahi for the fish, but otherwise, there is no difference. 

Is yellowfin tuna healthy? 

Yellowfin tuna contains a high amount of protein and other healthy vitamins and nutrients. It’s also a low-calorie food, so it can definitely be a part of a healthy diet. 

What’s better yellowfin or bluefin tuna? 

This is a matter of preference. Yellowfin tends to be a more lean fish, while bluefin is fattier. Sushi-grade yellowfin is also great for making sashimi.


You can easily store this fish and the mango salsa in the fridge.

Make-Ahead: 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. 

Refrigerator: The tuna and mango salsa will last 3-4 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container. 

Freezer: Freeze the tuna for up to 3 months. While you can freeze the salsa, it may not retain its original texture.

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

Lime Fish with Garlic Mangoes Sauce

Albacore Tuna Croquettes

Mangoes with Rum and Vanilla Ice Cream

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Yellowfin Tuna with Spicy Mango Salsa

5 from 24 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.


You can easily store this fish and the mango salsa in the fridge.
Make-Ahead: 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. 
Refrigerator: The tuna and mango salsa will last 3-4 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container. 
Freezer: Freeze the tuna for up to 3 months. While you can freeze the salsa, it may not retain its original texture.


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.