Sweet and Sour TunaClick to Play

Sweet and Sour Tuna

Tonno all'Agrodolce

Mary Ann Esposito

Tonno, tuna, along with pesce spada, swordfish, has defined the fishing industry of Sicily, now somewhat diminished from its glory days. Tuna, when it is fresh, needs very little embellishment, but one delicious holdover from the days of Arabic influence in Sicily is tonno all’agrodolce or sweet and sour sauce. Different and refreshing, the balance of sweet and savory is just right in this preparation

Serves 4


1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/4 pounds tuna steak cut into 1-inch chunks
Extra virgin olive oil
2 large white onions cut in thin slices
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup good red wine vinegar
1/3 cup minced fresh mint leaves plus whole for garnish


Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a paper bag. Add the tuna chunks and shake the bag to coat the fish in the mixture.

Heat 1/2 cup of olive oil in a sauté pan and when it is hot, add the tuna and brown the chunks quickly. As they brown, transfer them to a paper towel lined dish and keep warm

Add the onions to the pan and more oil if the pan seems dry. Cook the onions over medium heat until they soften and begin to brown. Sprinkle the sugar over the onions and continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Raise the heat to high and stir in the vinegar. Stir, allowing the vinegar to evaporate. Season the onions with salt and pepper to taste. Mix in the mint.

Spread the onion mixture out on a serving platter. Place the tuna chunks on top and serve with extra virgin olive oil on the side.

Variation: Mix the cooked onions with one can of drained and rinsed cannellini or chick peas and heat through, then top with tuna.

This recipe is featured on show 2013 – Tuna!

item recipe is featured in Episode 2013 of Season 20.

Want More Recipes? See My Latest Book:

Buy Ciao Italia Family Classics by Mary Ann EspositoCiao Italia Family Classics

Mary Ann returns to her family's humble beginnings to bring us a treasure trove of more than 200 time-honored recipes.

Buy it now from Amazon for just $24.00

Buy It From Amazon

A Testimonial From Mario Batali:

This collection epitomizes the tradition and love that goes into all of Mary Ann Esposito's cooking. Like her award-winning TV series, this book will live on for years with all of those who cook her delicious recipes. My kids love everything Mary Ann cooks!"


Leave a comment

  1. carol fernandez's avatar

    carol fernandez

    | Permalink
    Anything that has to do with Jasper white should be yummy. cannot wait to make it. thanks.

Leave a Comment