• Chef David Higgs and Gary Kyriacou, shareholder in the South African division of Century 21 real estate agency, have chisselled out a fiery culinary destination in Jozi’s dining scene and pay homage to our national (and natural) pastime of open-flame cooking. This tuna on avocado purée, crispy onions and mixed herb salad is definitely a culinary delight! Here’s why…

    This tuna dish is a hit with all members of staff who eagerly tells us that this dish is one of their favourites. Fresh tuna is quickly seared on an open grill, neatly placed over a zesty avocado puree and sprinkled with crispy onion bits. 

    Tuna on avocado purée, crispy onions and mixed herb salad

    Serves: 5
    Cooking Time: 30 mins


    • Crispy onions

    • 1 red onion
    • 2ml Maldon Sea Salt
    • 2ml white sugar
    • oil, to fry
    • maltodextrin salt mixture/sea salt, to taste
    • Avocado purée

    • 250g avocado flesh
    • juice of 1½ lemons
    • 3g Maldon Sea Salt
    • Celery and lime water (first stage)

    • 10g celery
    • 10g onion
    • ½ garlic clove
    • 2,5ml (½ tsp) fresh ginger
    • 3g fine salt
    • white sugar, to taste
    • 10g coriander stems
    • Celery and lime water (second stage)

    • 100ml fresh lime juice (from 1kg limes)
    • 40g celery and lime water base (from above)
    • 100g ice cubes
    • salt, to taste
    • 2g pickled jalapeños, finely chopped
    • To serve

    • mixed herb salad (parsley, chives and fennel)
    • 5 x 80g fresh tuna steaks
    • extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle



    For the crispy onions, peel the onions and slice into rings on a mandoline or gravity slicer. Add salt and sugar to the onions and allow to rest, 20 minutes. Squeeze out all of the water, allow to dry and fry until crisp at 180°C. Place on paper towel and season with the maltodextrin salt mixture/sea salt to taste.


    For the avocado purée, place the avocado, lemon juice and salt in a blender and blitz on a high speed until smooth. Adjust seasoning if needed.


    For the first stage of the celery and lime water, place all of the ingredients, except the coriander stems, in a blender and blitz to a smooth purée. Add the coriander stems and leave to marinate, 1 hour, before removing the coriander. Refrigerate until ready to use.


    For the second stage of the celery and lime water, add the lime juice, base and ice cubes to a blender and blitz, 1 minute. Strain through a sieve into a glass bowl and adjust seasoning. Add the jalapeños. Cover and refrigerate, 5 minutes before use.


    For the tuna, slice the steaks lengthways to your desired thickness. Eat the tuna raw or sear it on a griddle pan or over a grill, 3 seconds per side.


    To serve, spread the avocado purée on a plate, lay the tuna atop, sprinkle over the crispy onions, mixed herb salad and a drizzle of the celery water.

    Imka Webb

    Imka Webb is a freelance digital marketing expert and the digital editor of Food & Home Entertaining magazine.  www.imkawebb.com