Grilled Jerk Tuna Lettuce Wraps

Island Jane Magazine-Sept/Oct 2016

The calm seas of the Key West summer means lots of off shore fishing and the tuna have been running through our waters.  If you’re lucky enough to experience being in the middle of a school of tuna it’s like nothing you have ever seen.

It’s like popcorn popping on the surface of the water. The frigates are diving down chasing the flying fish that are running from the mass amounts of tuna, or dolphin. When you get the bite is when the excitement really starts! The adrenaline rush of fighting that fish until it’s on the boat is amazing! Once it is on the boat the excitement of a good day fishing carries on to the dock where the fish stories are told while fileting your catch.

The excitement should still carry on to the dinner table. Whether made into a local favorite ceviche, peppercorn crusted with soy sauce and wasabi, or a jerk tuna with fish that fresh you can’t go wrong!

Jerk Marinade

5 stalks Scallions bruised with the back of the knife and rough chopped

½ bunched picked fresh thyme leaves

3 garlic cloves smashed and chopped

½ teaspoon ground allspice

½ teaspoon Fresh Ground Black pepper

1 teaspoon Sea salt

Add hot sauce to your liking

½ cup olive oil


1 scotch bonnet minced in ½ cup apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon sea salt

Ingredients for your Lettuce Wrap

10 Boston Bibb Lettuce Leaves picked off the head of lettuce. (You want to the leaves that have some shape to them and that are crisp.)

2 Hass avocados diced and dressed with Key Lime Juice, sea salt and fresh ground pepper

2 each Ears for Sweet corn shucked, boiled in salted water, and cut off the cob

4 Radishes thinly sliced


Tuna Preparation–1lb  fresh caught local tuna

Preheat grill to 450 degrees. Charcoal grill is best, adding a few wood chips is even better.

Cut tuna to 1.5 inch sized logs with no blood line
left on the fish.

Rub the fish with the jerk marinade and let sit for
5 to 10 minutes. Save some of the marinated to
dress the lettuce wraps at the end.

Sear the tuna on high heat until you have nice caramelization or grill marks.

This should take about 30 to 45 seconds on each side for a nice rare tuna.

Pull the tuna off to the side and let it rest.

Building your lettuce wraps

Place the Boston Bibb Lettuce Leaves on your platter.

Evenly distribute the avocado in to each lettuce leaf or lettuce wrap.

Fan a couple pieces of thinly sliced Jerk Grilled Tuna to the top of the avocado.

Sprinkle the sweet corn kernels, and radish then drizzle with remaining jerk marinade.

Chef Martin Liz is as "CUZZIE" as they come, multiple generation native, Key West Conch. Chef Martin is Owner and Operator of Key West Personal Chef, Key West Premier Catering and Personal Chef Service. Key West Personal Chef services in your home, vacation rental, bungalow, or yacht. Chef Martin can cook your catch with true authentic local flair or create a customized menu for you, and your guest for your special occasion. Chef Martin is also partners with restaurantor Bobby Mongelli at the Lost Kitchen Supper Club. The Lost Kitchen Supper Club is a social club with a traditional dining experience. Savor an exquisite meal among old friends — and as you break bread making new friends in a reinvented style of dining. Chef Martin makes an amazing array of truly unique, Key West and Caribbean delicacies, utilizing local seafood and exotic, indigenous flora and fauna. His natural creativity, coupled with classical training and a desire to preserve the largely lost, culinary traditions of his heritage, meld an exotic mix of Cuban, Asian, Afro-Caribbean and French-West Indies with tastes that are exclusively, undeniably, Key West. For catering and personal chef services: Sign up and Join the Club: Contact Chef Martin Liz:

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