Tuna kebabs with marinated cucumber and onion salsa

One of our barbecue standards. For about 8 people.

About 1.2 kg (3 lb) fresh tuna fillet
2-3 lemons, sliced
2-3 tomatoes, sliced
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp finely grated onion
1-2 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
6 bay leaves

For the salsa:
1 cucumber
1 red onion
4 tbsp caster sugar
4 tsp salt
4 tbsp white wine vinegar
4 tomatoes
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
1 fresh red chilli

Cut the tuna into sizeable chunks (say 2 inches by 1 inch by 1 inch — if they are too small they will dry up while cooking). Mix together the rest of the marinade ingredients (except for the sliced lemons and tomatoes) and put in a bowl with the tuna, turning to coat the fish. Cover and marinate for 4 hours (or more if you want — I left it in the fridge overnight).

To make the salsa, halve and slice the cucumber and onion as thinly as possible. Peel, deseed and finely dice the tomatoes. Put the cucumber in a bowl with half of the sugar, salt, and vinegar. Stir and leave for at least an hour. Do the same with the onion and the remaining salt, sugar and vinegar. Remove the seeds from the chilli and cut into short, fine strips.

Remove the pieces of tuna from the marinade and spear lengthways on skewers (either stainless steel or wooden — if wooden, soak the skewers in water for half an hour first), alternating with halved slices of lemon and tomato. Mix together the onion, cucumber, tomato, chilli and coriander. Adjust seasoning according to your taste.

Cook the kebabs on the barbecue, turning and basting with olive oil. Don’t overcook or the tuna will be dry — it only takes about 5 minutes. Serve with the salsa.

Our fishmonger sometimes has swordfish, which has paler flesh than tuna and would be equally good for this recipe.

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