The simplicity of this dish contrasts with the complexity of its flavors. It has a strong taste from the vinegar, which has to be of a good quality, mixed with the sweetness from the onions.
This is a very typical dish from Panama; we call this way of cooking “encebollar” (to onion?) because of the big amount of onions used in the recipe. It is very popular too to encebollar steaks and we call that “bistec encebollado” very popular for breakfast in my country, served with patacones (fried plantains) or corn tortillas.
I hope you’ll like it. This is my contribution to the menu for this Holy Friday.
- 800 g of tuna
- 3 medium onions
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 10 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- ½ cup of water
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and black pepper
Chop the onion into julienne strips and slice the garlic.
The tuna should be cut into squares about 2 cm wide. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
In a shallow pan over medium-high, heat 6 tablespoons of oil. Sauté the tuna until golden brown, remove and set aside.
In the same pan, add the remaining 4 tablespoons of oil, sauté the garlic and the onion with the bay leaf and a bit of salt. Lower the heat and cook until the onion is soft (20 to 30 minutes).
When the onions are soft and golden brown, add the tablespoon of vinegar and scratch the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to recover what was left by the tuna.
Remove from heat, add the oregano and paprika, stir and add water and the tuna. Bring the pan to the stove again and cook everything over medium heat until the water evaporates.
Check the seasoning and serve.