Tuna Crudo

Serving Size: 4
Prep Time:
Total Time:

I had no idea how complicated I had been making this dish until I watched Margherita Ferraro put her version together effortlessly with just four ingredients. It tasted so much better than mine that it inspired me to rework my original recipe, using fewer ingredients and much less olive oil than hers.

Margherita's recipe is based on the famous Sorrento lemon, known for its intense flavor. Unfortunately, Sorrento lemons are not commonly available in the United States. That being so, my task was to create a flavorful new version using regular lemons. Crudo means "raw" in Italian, but after five minutes of curing, the acid in the lemon juice chemically "cooks" the tuna.

This is a great dish for anyone who loves fish.


  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • 1 (8-ounce) loin sushi-grade yellowfin tuna, cut into 1/4-inch domino-size slices (about 24 slices)
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 0.125 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp brine from capers or caper berries
  • 1 Tbsp chopped jarred hot Italian chiles, such as Victoria
  • freshly ground black pepper



Brush the center of 4 round appetizer plates wtih olive oil, then very lightly sprinkle with salt. Lay the tuna slices over the seasoned olive oil.

Combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, caper brine, and chiles in a small bowl. Spoon the mixture evenly over each slice of tuna. Drizzle the top of each plate with the remaining olive oil. Season the tuna with salt and pepper. Let stand for 2 to 4 minutes, depending on your desired texture, then serve immediately.

Tips: Go to see your local sushi counter for the best tuna. I have never encountered a sushi shop not happy to sell me 8 ounces of tuna.

Add "fried" capers if you like--instead of frying, microwave them on high for 1 to 2 minutes until they are crispy. You can add as many as you wish with no fat consequences and just a few calories, but be careful if you need to watch your sodium intake!

Got Lunch? Adding 2 cups of arugula tossed in red wine vinegar will only cost you 10 calories and turns this dish into a nice light lunch.

Check out the video playlist above to watch Rocco make this recipe.

In "Now Eat This! Italy," watch New York Times best-selling author and celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito as he travels to Italy to learn how to make all our favorite Italian dishes from the real Mamas of Italy like lasagna Bolognese with Lucia Ercolano, Spaghetti Vongole with Daniella Miccio and Insalata Caprese with Maria Ercolano. In this unique intersection of travel, adventure, culinary and healthy Rocco answers the question, "Can you eat pasta and lose weight?"

Produced: 2013 By: Savory Place Media