Many of us are far more adventurous with meat than we are with fish, something that Josh Niland intends to change via his book Take One Fish. This Tuna Kofta with BBQ Grapes and Sour Garlic Sauce is a versatile dish in which the tuna can be replaced with mackerel, swordfish, marlin or albacore. It’s wonderful cooked over a charcoal grill BBQ or in a griddle pan.
‘As rich and tender as lamb kofta‘, find out what else reviewer Nicky thought of this dish and others in our full review of Take One Fish by Josh Niland.
Tuna Kofta With BBQ Grapes and Sour Garlic Sauce
- grapeseed oil for brushing
- sea salt flakes
- 150 g (5½ oz) large red grapes
- 60 ml (2 fl oz/ ¼ cup) buttermilk
- 40 g (1½ oz/ ½ cup) fresh white breadcrumbs
- 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) yellowfin tuna belly, trimmed
- 3 teaspoons finely grated garlic
- 3 teaspoons finely diced French shallot
- 3 teaspoons freshly ground coriander seeds
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons sumac
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
- ½ teaspoon freshly cracked
- black pepper
- 80 ml (2½ fl oz/ ⅓ cup) grapeseed oil
Sour garlic sauce
- 125 g 4½ oz natural yoghurt
- 80 ml (2½ fl oz/ ⅓ cup) buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- sea salt flakes
- ½ bunch chives finely sliced
Suggested accompaniments: Eggplant and Macadamia Puree, Brown Butter Hummus, Lovage Tabbouleh, Flatbreads, such as Naan Bread, Salad leaves
For the kofta, pour the buttermilk over the breadcrumbs in a large mixing bowl. Leave to soak for 10 minutes until the bread swells and there is no residual liquid left in the bowl. Pass the trimmed tuna through a meat grinder on a coarse setting (or chop into a coarse mince consistency with a sharp knife). Add to the breadcrumb mixture, along with all the remaining ingredients. Using your hands, mix everything together for about 1 minute, to strengthen the mix slightly (be careful not to work it too far or the kofta will end up being too firm). Divide the mix into 12 even pieces and roll into long sausage shapes. Shape the kofta onto stainless steel skewers and store on a plate, covered, in the fridge until needed.
To make the sour garlic sauce, whisk together all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Set aside in the fridge.
Either preheat a chargrill pan over a medium–high heat or a charcoal grill with evenly burnt-down embers. Level out the embers so the heat is even.
Brush the kofta with a little grapeseed oil and season with salt flakes, then grill for 2–2½ minutes, turning carefully at 40-second intervals, until cooked through and nicely coloured all over. Transfer the kofta to a large serving platter and set aside to rest.
While the kofta are resting, brush the grapes with a little oil, then grill for 2 minutes or until the skins are charred and blistered and the juices start running from the fruit.
Serve with the kofta, sour garlic sauce and your choice of accompaniments.
Nicky used in-season mackerel to make the kofta, suggested in the recipe as a good alternative to tuna.
If you decide to buy this book after reading our content, please consider clicking through our affiliate link, located within the post and in the footnote below.
Kavey Eats received a review copy of Take One Fish by Josh Niland from publisher Hardie Grant. Book photography by Rob Palmer. Kavey Eats photography by Nicky Bramley.