Saturday, September 17, 2011

Yellowfin Tuna "Meatballs" with Israeli Couscous

Yellowfin Tuna "Meatballs" with Israeli Couscous

I love when things seemingly fall out from the sky and into my waiting hands for me to play with.  Recently, I was given a package of ground Yellowfin tuna.  Yup, it is exactly what you read.

Not your garden-variety ingredient to work with

Immediately I thought of making tuna "meatballs." Who doesn't like that?!

To accompany the meatballs I made Israeli couscous with kebsa spices, fresh mint, toasted pine nuts, green apple and chives.

My friend, Faith from An Edible Mosaic, was nice enough to bring me back some fabulous spices from her Middle Eastern trip.  
  • Kebsa, a Saudi spice mix consisting of lemon, cinnamon, cardamon, coriander, cumin, cloves, black pepper and galingal.

As you read through the recipes you will find a theme of citrus carried throughout the dish.  Fresh, vibrant, tangy flavors.

The ground yellowfin tuna held up quite well during the cooking process and the final product was moist and juicy.

Fun times playing in the kitchen with a different ingredient.

My kind of Saturday...

Tuna "Meatballs"
  • 1 lb ground yellowfin tuna
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 shallot - peeled & minced
  • 2 Meyer lemons - zest & juice
  • 1/4 bunch fresh marjoram - chopped
  • 4 slices wheat bread
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • coarse sea salt
  • ground black pepper
  • safflower oil
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  1. Soak the wheat bread in the whole milk.  Tip into a food processor.  Pulse to small crumbs.
  2. In a glass bowl, combine the ground tuna, shallot, egg, marjoram, lemon zest, lemon juice and bread.  Stir to combine.
  3. Season with salt & pepper.
  4. Wet the tips of your fingers with water.  Form the mixture into "golf ball" sized, meatballs.
  5. Place the Wondra flour in the small bowl.
  6. Dredge the tuna meatballs in the flour, one by one.  Shake off excess.
  7. In a saute pan, heat the safflower oil & red pepper flakes over medium heat.
  8. Add the tuna meatballs.  Cook for 15 minutes.  Until browned on all sides and cooked through.
  9. Remove to a wire rack to rest for 2 minutes.
Israeli Couscous:
  • 2 cups Israeli couscous
  • 4 1/2 cups homemade chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp kebsa spices
  • 1 green apple - cored & diced small
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbs fresh mint - chopped
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts - toasted
  • chopped chives
  • avocado oil
  1. In saucepan, bring the chicken stock, bay leaf and kebsa to the boil.
  2. Add the Israeli couscous.
  3. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the diced green apple with the apple cider vinegar.
  5. In a glass bowl, combine the cooked couscous, diced apple, mint, toasted pine nuts and chives.
  6. Gently fold to combine.
  7. Finish the dish with a generous swirl of avocado oil and chopped chives.
That's it for now...till we exchange a few words again...Peace!


  1. A splendid array of ingredients...ground tuna sounds delicious, and I love the sound of the couscous. This is definitely something my whole family would enjoy!

    Have great weekend! :)

  2. Yes I would love to shop there where things fall in my hands>We eat tuna a lot here.Mainly because our asian population loves tuna fish and there is no problem to find fresh ones.Lovely idea how you prepared it:)

  3. That is such an interesting way to eat tuna. It looks so nice and moist, ummy fishballs :D I'll bet the citrus and the seasoning made it taste great too! Perfect!

  4. When I hear meatballs, I usually turn and run the other way because I'm not much of a meat person, but Yellowfin Tuna Meatballs? Now that's what I'm talking about, my friend. Once again, you've taken a simple dish and brought it to new levels. Sounds delicious and flavorful, a great and fun way to enjoy tuna. Loving the citrus theme.

  5. Great idea, Laz! I was wondering how moist the tuna would be like this, I'm glad they turned out well! And lucky you to get spices from the Middle East! Enjoy.

  6. They look delicious! Not your average meatball. Love it! I've never cooked with Israeli Couscous before but have eaten it an its delicious!

  7. Noewthat's a meat ball. I like all the spices and the use of the meyer lemon.

  8. Awesome ingredient to work lucky fish ;-)

  9. Hi Laz - Does look nice 'n juicy. Like the pairing with Israeli couscous too.
    Another winner. I need to get some ground tuna.

  10. Was wondering what you would do with all that tuna that fell from the sky! Fantastic idea with the lemons and couscous.

  11. I LOVE israel couscous. This looks so good! And a nice twist on a meatball.

  12. This is so weird! Someone just gave me a new ingredient too (finger limes) which I just posted and used with crab. Fell right out of the sky. Anyway, I lOVE the tuna meatballs, and that spice mix sounds amazing, I can just about smell it in my imagination. Great dish.

  13. Your meatballs look fantastic, Laz! What a great use for ground yellowfin tuna, which is definitely an exciting ingredient. Great way to use the kebsa spice mix too! I bet it gave fantastic flavor to the dish.

  14. What wonderful play time :) The tuna meatballs are just inspired and love this beautiful couscous...gorgeous all around!

  15. This dish really appeals to me Lazaro. It will be in my kitchen before you know it.

  16. I've made tuna meatballs before and just served them as regular meatballs (on top of pasta/with some crusty bread) - serving with couscous is a great idea!

  17. Wow this looks incredible! Orignial and healthy too. I love the concept of both the "meatball" and couscous.

  18. I am so jealous!!! Ground yellowfin tuna?? Making meatballs is absolutely brilliant. I really wish I could try a bite of this... adding citrus flavors to accompany the fish sounds like a heavenly combination!

  19. aside a delicious tuna meatballs, I'm excited to see how you cook this Israel couscous as I'm going to cook something similar. Good think I stopped by here before grocery shopping. Now I get an idea on what to do!


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