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Grilled Tuna Kebabs : Stick Grilling

Grilled tuna kebabs

Grilled Tuna Kebabs : Heaven on a Stick

This is our GrillJunkie recipe for making unforgettably flavorful and eye-appealing Grilled Tuna Kebabs. If you’re not familiar with kebabs, it’s time to get familiar with this simple yet ancient cooking dish and technique. We enjoy grilling kebabs for their ease, versatility and amazing results. This recipe is also a great option for those respecting their faith during the lenten season. The different ingredient combinations offer “boatloads” of tasty possibilities, which is especially helpful when feeding a crowd. This Grilled Tuna Kebab recipe features global flavors from the Mediterranean and Caribbean regions, Asia, and America. This unique dish makes a nice supper when served on a bed of rice pilaf accompanied by sautéed zucchini and summer squash.

First Up: What is a Kebab?

Grilled tuna kebabsKebab, also spelled kebap, kabob, or kabap, is a Middle Eastern, Eastern Mediterranean, and South Asian dish of pieces of meat, fish, or vegetables roasted or grilled on a skewer, stick or spit. Despite some misgivings, kebabs have been popular for a long, long time. Archaeologists in Greece have unearthed firedogs dating back to the 17th century BC that had notches carved in them, possibly to support skewers over an open fire. The term kabap comes much later though, traced back to at least the 17th century (some stories claim the word was originally used in Turkey to describe how soldiers fire-roasted meats that they’d skewered on swords).

The term kebab, originated in the Eastern Mediterranean, where it is mentioned by Homer, or the Middle East, and later adopted in Central Asia and by the regions of the former Mongol Empire and later Ottoman Empire, before spreading worldwide.

In American English, kebab with no qualification refers to shish kebab (Turkish: şiş kebap) cooked on a skewer, whereas in Europe it refers to doner kebab, sliced meat served in a pita. In the Middle East, however, kebab refers to meat that is cooked over or next to flames; large or small cuts of meat, or even ground meat; it may be served on plates, in sandwiches, or in bowls.Grilled tuna kebabs

The traditional meat for kebab is lamb, but depending on local tastes and religious prohibitions, other meats may include beef, goat, chicken, pork or heartier fish and seafood such a tuna or shrimp. Like other ethnic foods brought by travellers, the kebab has remained a part of everyday cuisine in most of the Eastern Mediterranean and South Asia.

In theory, meat on a stick is an incredible idea—fast to cook, easy to eat, and completely open to great flavor possibilities. But far too many kebabs fall flat, coming out dry, tasteless, and nowhere near their full potential. After many years of grilling and lots of trial and error, though, the GrillJunkie team has found ways to make consistently delicious kebabs. Follow these methods and there’s no risk of making your guests suffer through subpar kebabs at your next backyard barbecue.


Grilled Tuna Kebab Recipe

Serves: 4 | Prep time: 30 minutes | Grilling time: 12 minutes| Special equipment: Skewers, small bowl, shallow pan


Grilled Tuna Kebab : Hardware Essentials

  • BBQ, Charcoal or Gas Grill
  • 1 pair of long handled tongs
  • 4-6 Wooden or flat metal grilling skewers
    (Both wooden and metal skewers are great for kebabs. Wooden skewers need to be soaked in water for 30 minutes before use.)

Grilled Tuna Kebabs: Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 ½ -2 pounds fresh tuna steaks, cut into 1 – inch cubesGrilled ahi tuna
  • 24 small whole bay leaves
  • 2 lemons, thinly sliced
  • 2 red, green or yellow bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1- inch squares
  • 16 firm ripe cherry tomatoes
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • Lemon wedges for garnish

Grilled Tuna Kebabs: Preparation

  1. Pre-heat grill to medium (about 350 F;  clean and lightly oil hot grates.
  2. In a bowl, whisk the oil, lemon juice, and paprika until combined.
  3. Add the tuna cubes and stir them to the coat. Marinate them at room temperature, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or in the refrigerator for 45 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a shallow pan, soak the bay leaves in warm water for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  5. Thread skewers with the tuna cubes, bay leaves, lemon, bell peppers, and tomato, leaving a little space between the pieces. Using flat skewers as opposed to round skewers will help to prevent the meat and vegetables from spinning on the skewers.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.grill
  7. Place the kabobs on the hot grill, close the cover, and cook, in batches if necessary, until the tuna is no longer pink in the center, 3 – 4 minutes or 5 – 6 minutes if you prefer them a bit more less tender, turning once midway through the cooking time.
  8. Serve the kabobs on a platter garnished with lemon wedges.This unique dish makes a nice supper when served on a bed of rice pilaf accompanied by sautéed zucchini and summer squash.


Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 30 minutes | Grilling time: 12 minutes| Special equipment: Grilling Skewers, 1 small bowl, shallow pan

Grilled tuna kebabs


Enjoy, pound your chest in pride, smile and cherish these precious times with your family and friends.

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Comment ( 1 )

  1. Replygrill365

    Now that the weather has been getting better (melting snow & warmer temps) here in the Northeast, my family & I could not wait to begin bbqing again. Your GrillJunkie Grilled Tuna Kebab recipe will fit perfectly for this Friday as we celebrate the Lenten season. Thank you and keep those great recipes comin'!

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