Your LIfe Arizona

How to make Chef Jeff Smedstad’s famous Ahi Tuna Tacos


  • 24 oz. fresh sushi-grade ahi tuna
  • Cure as needed
  • 1 cup olive oil (enough to coat the tuna)
    • Cure
      • 1 cup salt
      • 1 cup brown sugar
      • 1 Tbsp. cumin
      • 1 Tbsp. allspice
      • 2 Tbsp. ground ancho chile powder
      • 1 Tbsp. granulated garlic
      • 1 Tbsp. ground black pepper
    • Pico de Gallo
      • 2 cups diced Roma tomato
      • 1 cup diced white onion
      • 2 fresh jalapeños, diced
      • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
      • 2 Tbsp. lime juice
      • 1 tsp. salt
    • For the tacos
      • 1 head romaine lettuce, shredded
      • 3 cups Pico de Gallo
      • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
      • Sea salt to garnish
      • 2 avocados, sliced
      • 24 4-inch tortilla
      • Oil for tortillas as needed
      • 4 grilled whole jalapeños
      • Lime wedges


Combine Cure ingredients and mix well.

Cut the tuna into lobes about the thickness of a pork tenderloin. Season well with Cure and coat with olive oil. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour or up to one day until ready to use.

Heat a grill to high heat and heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cut the tuna into 2-ounce medallions and grill briefly on both sides to medium-rare.

Lightly oil the tortillas on one side. Warm and toast until pliable. (This will keep them from breaking apart.) You can throw them on the grill to give them a little char.

Combine Pico de Gallo ingredients and set aside.

Use 2 tortillas per taco. Place 3 double stacks on each plate. Put a tuna medallion on each tortilla/ top with lettuce, Pico de Gallo, a slice of avocado, some sour cream, and a sprinkle of salt.

Serve with lime wedges and grilled whole jalapeños on the side.

“This looks like heaven on a plate,” Suzanne Bissett said.

Elote Cafe | 350 Jordan Road, Sedona