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A plate of tuna stir fried in red curry with red and green chilies.

HOT THAI TUNA! Stir Fried Tuna in Red Curry

Tuna stir fried in red curry paste and other Thai herbs. It's an incredibly flavourful dish that is super versatile. Toss it with rice, eat with congee, add to an omelette, or anywhere you can use tasty spicy tuna!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Thai
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 165kcal


Semi-Homemade Southern Thai Curry Paste

  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 ½ inch turmeric root sliced (see note*)
  • 3 Tbsp red curry paste
  • 1 tsp fermented shrimp paste (gapi)

Hot Thai Tuna

  • 2 cans tuna, no salt added 260g total drained weight
  • 2-3 Tbsp neutral oil
  • 1 stalk lemongrass bottom half only, thinly sliced
  • 3-4 makrut lime leaves thick stems removed, thinly julienned
  • 1 Tbsp palm sugar finely chopped
  • Fish sauce to taste
  • Chopped cilantro garnish optional
  • Red and green chilies for garnish optional (see note**)
  • Jasmine rice or congee for serving or see above for other suggestions


  • * If you don't have fresh turmeric, substitute 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric.
  • ** You can add a small handful of whole red or green Thai chilies which people can eat for extra heat (see video for more about this) or if you just want the colour without the heat, use bell pepper.


    Make the curry paste:

    • Grind the black peppercorns in a mortar until fine. Add the turmeric and grind into a fine paste. Add red curry paste and shrimp paste and pound to mix.

    Make the stir fry:

    • If your tuna was packed in water, add 3 Tbsp of oil to a wok. If the tuna was packed in oil, you can reduce the amount you add to 2 Tbsp. Add the curry paste, turmeric and black pepper in a wok and saute for 2 mins over medium heat until aromatic.
    • Add the palm sugar and stir until dissolved.
    • If it looks a little dry, you can add a small splash of water to loosen the paste so it will mix more easily with the tuna, then add the tuna and mix well until the curry paste is evenly distributed. Keep stirring until the tuna is dry and crumbly.
    • Add the lemongrass, lime leaves, and chilies if using them; toss just to mix and turn off the heat.
    • Taste and add fish sauce as needed. It's important to taste before adding fish sauce because some curry pastes are already quite salty to start.
    • Toss in cilantro if you wish, and serve.



    Calories: 165kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 261mg | Potassium: 160mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1849IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 2mg