Tuna Lettuce Wrap with Avocado Cilantro Vinaigrette

Tuna lettuce wraps

Tuna wrap is an easy healthy flavorful recipe that is great for lunch or dinner. This recipe isn’t loaded with a million spices and complicated steps, it’s easy for anyone to make.

This recipe uses canned white albacore tuna. I’m not a fan of dark fish meat because it’s too musky. The albacore tuna can be quite meaty as it is canned as a portion of a tuna steak.  I break it apart with my hand so it’s flaky and can evenly disperse with the vegetables. Squeeze as much water out of the tuna as you can otherwise the final dish will be watery.

tuna ingredients

The combination of vegetables used are light and flavorful. The vegetables are finely minced to speed up the cooking process and blend with the flaked tuna. The base flavor for the tuna are minced red onion, ginger, garlic and chili. The green bell pepper and celery are savory and give a slight crunch. The turmeric powder gives a depth of flavor and the chili powder gives spiciness. These spices combined give the tuna a beautiful orange hue.

cooked tuna in pan

Grape seed oil is great for sautéing because it imparts no flavor. Vegetable oil or canola are equally good substitutes. In a medium skillet cook the vegetables till it is soft and the raw edge is cooked out. After the vegetables have the desired consistency, add the tuna just to heat through.  Adding lemon juice and zest in the end gives a fresh tanginess which compliments the fish beautifully.

vinaigrette for tuna avocado vinaigrette

The vinaigrette is creamy, savory, sweet, and has a sharp bite of raw garlic.  The avocado is a great substitution for mayonnaise. The cilantro is fresh and citrusy. The orange juice imparts a sweet and mellow acidity. I hand squeeze an orange with its pulp.  The garlic glove gives a slight peppery bite in the background. I love this vinaigrette with salads and roasted chicken. The leftover dressing stays good in the fridge for a day in a tight seal container. To avoid the color change due to the avocado, save the pit and store along with the vinaigrette.

pickled onions

I love to serve my lettuce wrap with sweet pickled red onions and chilies. To make this, thinly slice the red onions so it pickles faster. Add some sliced green chilies; the chilies can be deseeded to avoid heat. Add two tablespoon of sugar along with a cup of white vinegar. To cut the acidity add ½ cup of water to the mix. Stir the sugar in the water and vinegar mixture till it dissolves. Then add the sliced onions and chilies. Let it sit in room temperature in a covered container for 15-20 minutes.

lettuce tuna wrap

Some other options for toppings are orange segments and cucumber slices. Orange segments add a juicy burst of sweetness. The cucumber slices add a nice fresh crunch. Butter lettuce is delicate and has a good surface area to load up on toppings. Romaine lettuce and iceberg will work just as well.

Tuna Lettuce Wrap
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
  • 1 head of butter lettuce (8-10 leaves)
  • 10oz tuna (white albacore canned in water)
  • ½ cup minced red onion
  • ½ cup minced green bell pepper
  • ¼ cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. minced ginger
  • 2 birds eye chili minced
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1 ½ tbsp. lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp. lemon zest
  • ½ tsp. turmeric powder
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • ½ half large avocado chopped
  • 1 garlic clove chopped
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. orange juice
  • Salt and black pepper
  1. Drain the tuna from the water and break up the bigger chunks with your hands.
  2. Heat a skillet at medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoon of neutral oil, like grape seed oil. Add the minced garlic, ginger and birds eye chilies. Sauté for 30 seconds till slightly toasted.
  3. Now add the minced red onion, green bell pepper, chopped celery sauté till soft and translucent. Once that is achieved add the turmeric powder and red chili powder.
  4. Add the tuna at this point, incorporating it fully to the mixture.
  5. Once fully incorporated add the lemon juice and the lemon zest. Salt and pepper the tuna to taste.
  6. To make the avocado cilantro vinaigrette combine the chopped cilantro, avocado, garlic clove, olive oil, and freshly squeezed orange juice in a clear bowl and puree to a smooth dressing.
  7. To assemble, scoop some of the tuna mixture on top of the lettuce and dress with vinaigrette. Optional you can add pickled red onion, chilies, cucumber slices, and orange segments.


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