Marinated tuna with caramelised onions and oloroso sherry

Neil Perry
Marinated tuna with caramelised onions and oloroso sherry.
Marinated tuna with caramelised onions and oloroso sherry. Photo: William Meppem

Give tuna steak a Spanish spin with a dash of oloroso sherry. You can replace the tuna with swordfish or even diced chicken. Some freshly chopped red chillies will add a little heat to the tuna, or sweat the onions with chilli flakes. You will need to marinate the tuna for an hour before cooking.


1 garlic clove

4 good-quality thick tuna steaks, about 200g each

200ml medium-dry oloroso sherry

4 tbsp olive oil

3 large red onions, thinly sliced

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 small bunch flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

lemon wedges, to serve


Crush the garlic to a paste with some salt using a mortar and pestle. Place the tuna in a shallow dish, rub the garlic all over and pour over a third of the sherry. Leave to marinate in the fridge for about an hour, turning halfway through.

Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onions with a pinch of salt. Once the onions have softened, reduce the heat and cook for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are golden brown and sweet. Pour off any excess oil, then add the remaining sherry. Simmer until the alcohol has evaporated and you have a rich, slightly thickened sauce.

In a large non-stick frypan, heat 1 tbsp oil on a very high heat. Remove the tuna from the marinade, drain and reserve. Pan fry the tuna for a few minutes on each side, or to your liking (timing will also depend on the thickness of the tuna). When almost cooked, put both the reserved marinade and the onion sauce back into the pan to warm through.

Serve immediately with some freshly ground pepper, parsley and lemon wedges.


Photography by William Meppem. Styling by Nick Banbury. Food preparation by Dominic Smith.