1. Food
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Basque Tuna Stew Recipe - Marmitako


Marmitako - Basque Tuna Stew

Marmitako - Basque Tuna Stew

(c) Lisa Sierra 2012 Licensed to About.com Inc.
Marmitako is the Basque name for this fish stew, which is a traditional and popular dish in the northern region of Spain, called Basque Country, or el Pais Vasco. Chunks of fresh tuna fish and potatoes, garlic and onions are the main ingredients in marmitako. It is a very simple and traditional dish from the Basque Country, or Pais Vasco, once you try it, you'll realize why it is such a popular dish, and perfect for the cold autumn and winter evenings.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 35 hours

Total Time: 35 hours, 15 minutes

Yield: 4 Servings


  • 3 dried red peppers pimientos choriceros
  • 1 large white or yellow onion
  • 1 large green pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lbs (1 kg) potatoes
  • 1 lb (.5 kg) fresh tuna
  • 4 cups (32 oz) water*
  • salt, pepper
  • chopped parsley for garnish (optional)


* Some cooks prefer to use fish stock instead of water.

Pour water into a small sauce pan and heat on high. Before water boils, remove from heat. Place the dried red peppers into a sauce pan, making sure they are covered with water. Allow peppers to soak in water to rehydrate.

Finely chop the onion, pepper and garlic. Pour olive oil into a large pot or a deep, wide casserole. Pour in olive oil and sauté until onion, pepper and garlic until onion is translucent.

While the vegetables are cooking, peel potatoes and cut into cubes (approximately 1.5 inches or 4 cm). Add potatoes to vegetables and stir to coat potatoes. Cook 1-2 minutes.

Add enough water to cover vegetables. Simmer on low until potatoes just begin to soften.

While vegetables are cooking, remove red peppers from water and drain excess water. Carefully scrape the flesh from the skin using a teaspoon. Add peppers to the pot and stir to mix in thoroughly.

Rinse and pat dry tuna. Remove any skin, and cut into pieces about 2-2.5 inches.

Add tuna to pot and salt to taste. Cover loosely and allow to simmer 5-10 minutes, until the tuna is cooked.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley if desired. Serve hot accompanied by crusty bread.

Typical Basque Tapas for First Course Dishes

Typical Basque Main Courses

Below is a short list of the most typical main courses from the Basque Country.

Typical Basque Dessert

More About the Basque Country, el Pais Vasco

  1. About.com
  2. Food
  3. Spanish Food
  4. Main Courses
  5. Fish & Seafood Recipes
  6. Basque Tuna Stew Recipe - Marmitako

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.