Marmitako – Tuna Stew

Another blog post, another excellent Basque recipe. This week’s recipe is Marmitako. The literal translation means ” from the pot”. Marmitako is  a wonderful stew made with tuna. This is a simple dish made with potatoes, tomatoes, onions, and peppers. The dish is usually made in the summer, most likely because it is when tuna is in season. It is also one of the most popular ways to prepare tuna.

According to various recipes, one of the most important steps of this recipe is “the breaking of the potato”.   For this step, the cook should not cut the potatoes, but insert the knife half way in and then use force to “break” a piece of potato off.

Another interesting aspect of this recipe is the pimientos choriceros. This is a special pepper found in Spanish cuisine. This is a sweet red pepper, usually this pepper is hung outside to air dry.

Now onto the recipe!

Note: I Found a very good recipe on a blog. This recipe was intended for two people.

Ingredients: 200g tuna fish (1/2 pound)

200g tuna fish (1/2 pound)
1 small onion
1 green pepper
2 large potatoes
1 clove of garlic
1-2 dried pepper (pimiento choricero)
1 small tomato (optional)
olive oil
txakoli (white wine)
salt ( salt to taste but I recommend around 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon)

1. Cut the vegetables into small pieces.

Potatoes need to be peeled and then broken, not sliced.

2. Lightly sauté the onion

Use some oil to cook the onions until they start to become translucent.

3. Add green pepper

Let cook for some minutes.

4. Add potatoes & garlic

Let cook for a few more minutes.

5. Add wine

Around 1 cup

6. Add pimientos choriceros

Either add a few tablespoons of the paste from a jar or if you have used real pimientos             choriceros, have them soaking in water beforehand until they expand, then cut the               meat of the pepper off and get rid of the pepper’s skin.

7. Add water

Make sure the level is high enough to cover the vegetables inside.

8. Add salt

9. Cover and let cook slowly

Stirring occasionally. Add more water if/when needed.

10. If you want to use tomato

Add it towards the end. You can use a cheese grater  and make it into a salsa before you add it.

11. Once the potatoes are cooked, the marmitako is essentially finished.

           Add cubes of tuna and cook for 2-3 minutes.marmitako

12. Serve marmitako and sprinkle with fresh parsley.


Original Recipe website:

Info on the peppers:

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One Response to Marmitako – Tuna Stew

  1. katiepollman says:

    I’m guessing fresh tuna would work best with this recipe.. I have trouble imagining it being any good if I made it with the canned tuna I have at my apartment!

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