For as long as I can remember, tostadas have been one of my favorite snacky meals. We’ve shared a number of epic tostada recipes here on PWWB over the years, but the version I’m currently most obsessed with are these Spicy Ahi Tuna Tostadas. They’re light, fresh, punchy, & feel-good – basically the ultimate low-effort dinner, especially for a warm summer night!
There are 2 things that really set them apart:
- Fresh ahi tuna. Many tuna tostada recipes make use of canned tuna, but we’re rolling out all the stops with fresh ahi tuna. Also known as bigeye or yellowfish tuna, ahi tuna has a beautifully clean flavor with a satisfying meaty texture. These tuna tostadas are a raw preparation, so it’s important to source the highest quality ahi tuna you can find – more tips in the Recipe Notes, below!
- A punchy seasoning. Inspired by my family’s go-to Ahi Poke recipe, this seasoning is a simple mix of pantry staples like shoyu (soy sauce) & sesame oil, but a good amount of chili crisp gives just the right kick of heat with a craveable bits of crispy, garlicky texture.
With the spicy tuna mixture combined, all that’s left to do is pile it on a crunchy tostada shell with a cooling swoop of creamy avocado. A 15-minute recipe made with 8 simple ingredients, these tuna tostadas are perfect for everything from a weeknight dinner to a poolside hang – just one bite & I think you’ll understand exactly why we’re so smitten with them! ♡
- 4–6 tostada shells, warmed according to package directions as desired
- 1 pound sashimi-grade ahi tuna, diced into ¼-inch cubes (see Recipe Notes)
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced (approx. ⅓ cup)
- 3 tablespoons shoyu or low-sodium soy sauce (sub tamari for gluten-free)
- 2 tablespoons chili crisp
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 large limes, juiced & divided (approx. 2 tablespoons each)
- 1 large avocado
- kosher salt, to season
- for serving, as desired: thinly sliced green onions, finely chopped cilantro, toasted sesame seeds, lime wedges, etc.
- Season the ahi tuna: Place the cubed ahi tuna in a large bowl with the green onions, shoyu, chili crisp (be sure to stir well to mix the oil throughout the chili crisp – try to capture as much crisp as possible with your measuring spoon & drain off any excess chili oil), sesame oil, & the juice of 1 lime. Gently fold to combine well, coating the ahi tuna evenly. Taste & adjust seasonings as desired – add more shoyu for depth & salt, chili crisp for a kick of heat, sesame oil for aromatic flavor, & lime juice for brightness. Set aside.
- Mash the avocado: Place the avocado in a small bowl. Season with the remaining lime juice & kosher salt, to taste. Mash to combine well. Taste & adjust seasonings as desired.
- Assemble the spicy tuna tostadas: If desired, warm tostada shells according to package directions. Spread the prepared avocado mash over each tostada shell. Top with a generous portion of the spicy ahi tuna mixture. If desired, garnish with thinly sliced green onions, chopped cilantro, &/or toasted sesame seeds. Enjoy!
- Jess’ Notes & Tips:
- Tuna prep tip: It can be tricky to finely dice raw tuna. I like to place my tuna steak in the freezer about 30 minutes before I prepare the tuna mixture. The tuna firms up nicely with the quick chill, making it easier to slice & dice it into small pieces.
- Make-ahead: If time permits, I like to season the tuna ahead of time so it has a chance to soak up all of the flavor of the spicy dressing. Prepare according to Step 1, omitting the lime juice, then cover & store in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours. At dinnertime, simply stir in the fresh lime juice & build your tostadas.
- Ingredient Notes:
- Ahi tuna: As the star of this tostada recipe, it’s important to use the best quality ahi tuna you can find. Since this is a fresh preparation, it’s also important to source your fish from somewhere you trust. While some swear by using only “sushi-grade” or “sashimi-grade” fish, these designations aren’t regulated – this is an interesting read on the matter. Rather than focusing on specific labels, I suggest heading to your local fishmonger & letting them guide you in the right direction. If you’re local to the Twin Cities Metro, I am a big fan of Coastal Seafoods (storefronts in Minneapolis & St. Paul) & Brookies Fish Market (West Metro).
- Chili crisp: Since it plays a key role in seasoning the spicy tuna mixture, it’s important to use a really bold & punchy chili crisp. I love Momofuku Chili Crunch & Fly by Jing Sichuan Chili Crisp. As chili crisp sits, its flavorful crispy bits settle to the bottom of the jar, so be sure to stir well before measuring – aim to capture mostly the crisp & drain any excess chili oil before adding it to the spicy tuna mixture.
- Storage: While these ahi tuna tostadas are best enjoyed fresh, store any leftovers in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 days. Enjoy leftovers straight out of the refrigerator.