When the weather is dark, cold and rainy as its been in the last few days here in “Sunny Brighton”, I need something that reminds me of the beautiful Venezuelan weather and transport me back to the days where we use to go to the beach every weekend of the year.
And this Venezuelan Tuna & Fried Plantain Bake does just that. The combination of the savoury from the tuna, the sweetness of the ripe sweet plantain and the freshness of the herbs and lime is just classic Venezuelan creole cuisine.
This recipe is so inexpensive to make that’s really a great option when cooking for the family. Is filling, really yummy and very comforting, the best thing when coming home after a hard day’s work.
PRINT THE RECIPE
The combination of the savoury from the tuna, the sweetness of the ripe sweet plantain and the freshness of the herbs and lime is just classic Venezuelan creole cuisine. This recipe is so inexpensive to make that's really a great option when cooking for the family. Is filling, really yummy and very comforting, the best thing when coming home after a hard day's work.
- 3 cans Tuna 160gr each can
- 2 Ripe plantains
- 1 Large red pepper
- 1 Large white onion
- 4 Garlic cloves
- 150 gr White tangy cheese of your choice Something like Feta, or Haloumi
- 1 Handful of coriander
- 1 Handful of dill
- 1 Lime or lemon
- 9 Free range eggs
- salt & Black pepper to taste
- Vegetable oil for frying the platain
- Olive oil for the baking tray
The first thing we need to do is a classic sofrito so we cook in a hot pan with some olive oil or vegetable oil the chopped onion and chopped red pepper.
Once they are soft grate the garlic cloves and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
Then add the tuna which has been previously drained of any liquid or oil, and mix well. Season with salt and black pepper to taste and leave to cook for another 5 minutes.
Then set aside to cool down.
In the meantime slice the yellow plantain and fry in abundant vegetable oil. Place the fried plantain over some kitchen paper to absorb the extra oil.
Whilst the plantain is cooling down chop the fresh herbs, coriander and dill. Although dill is not a traditional herb in this dish it gives another dimension to the overall flavour. Add it to the tuna with the juice of 1 lime or 1 lemon.
Once done, we can start to put together the dish by oiling a baking tray and making the layers of plantain, tuna and cheese. For this recipe I’m using a British cheese called Wensleydale but you can any white Cheese with a strong tangy flavour.
Add the free range eggs to a bowl and beat well, they will act as the bonding agent of the dish. Then add them to the bake, with a spoon separate the side a little bit so the eggs can sip through to the bottom. Leave the tray to rest for 5 minutes so the eggs can also sip through in the middle. See video
Bake in a preheated oven at 190C for 25 to 35 min or until golden brown. Serve hot.
- If you can't find plantains a good substitute are bananas. Although not the same flavour and texture they will add the sweetness the dish calls for. If you're using bananas I would lightly fry them just to add some colour but not necessary to cook all the way through.
- This dish is also good to make the day before and warmed up just before serving.
IN CASE YOU DON’T FIND PLANTAINS
In case you can’t find plantains a good substitute are bananas. Although not the same flavour or texture they will add the sweetness the dish calls for.
Instead of frying them as you would plantains though, I would lightly fry them just to give them colour but not to cook all the way through, this is to keep their shape whilst baking.
VENEZUELAN TUNA & FRIED PLANTAIN BAKE A FISHERMAN DISH
This dish comes from the west cost of Venezuela, from the region of Cumana, mostly a fisherman area. It’s name in Venezuelan is “Pastel de Chucho” because originally it was made with stingray “Chucho”, of course nowadays is made with tuna.
WHAT FISH TO USE OTHER THAN TUNA
If you prefer not to use tuna another great option is Mackerel or any other dark meat fish you can find. I wouldn’t recommend using white meat fish as these usually are bland, and for this dish you really need a strong flavoured fish that can contrast with the plantain, herbs and lime flavours.
If you’re in the UK I think the only suitable fish would be Mackerel, of course, if you prefer a lighter flavoured dish then by all means use a white meat fish.
I know that combing ripe plantain and tuna might sound very strange for some people, but I really encourage you to try this Venezuelan Tuna & Fried Plantain Bake, especially if you’re looking to spice up your meals with new and exciting flavour combinations.
As always, if you make this recipe rate and comment below, and if you have a recipe would like to see in the blog let me know in the comments below, and I will do my best to make it.
See you next time,
HAPPY COOKING 🙂 !