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Peppered Tuna Steaks with Sweet Potato Wedges and Roasted Chilli Mayonnaise

Ainsley HarriottThis is an Ainsley Harriott recipe which has been published as part of the National Fish & Chip Shop of the Year Competition. The competition recognises and awards fish and chip shops for producing the best fish & chips in the UK in an excellent environment. Fish and chip lovers help choose finalists by voting each summer from the hundreds of entries and the competition reaches its nail biting climax at a prestigious awards ceremony in London.

The competition, which is now in its nineteenth year is run by industry body Seafish and sponsored by Heinz SqueezMe!, Frozen at Sea Fillets Association (FASFA) and Seafood Scotland.

The ten winners are:

Scotland : The Anstruther Fish Bar, Fife
Northern Ireland : Millars Fish & Chips, Newtownards
Wales : Finnegans Fish Bar, Bridgend
North East : Pride of Bridlington, Bridlington
North West : Thornton Fisheries, Thornton Cleveleys
Midlands : Andy’s Fish Bar, Swadlincote
Eastern England : Petros Bros, Chatteris
London & South East : Henleys of Wivenhoe, Colchester
Central & South : Seafare, Aldershot
South West : Port & Starboard, St Columb

All winning shops undergo another strict round of judging in front of a panel of industry experts in January (2007). The shops will be scored on their quality of product, customer service, cleanliness and innovation. The UK champion will then be announced at an awards ceremony in London, hosted by celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott.

Andy Gray, project manager for the competition commented: “Every year the judging process gets harder as the standard of shops gets better. The judges have been extremely impressed with customer service, quality of product and staff development in all finalist shops. It’s going to be a really tough decision to decide on the top title.“

Fish and chips are a British icon and the nation’s number one take-away with more than 261 million meals sold every year. According to research from co-sponsor Heinz SqueezeMe!, 88% of people think good quality condiments add to the enjoyment of fish and chips (Heinz ‘Out of Home Condiments Survey’ 2002). Tomato ketchup is the most popular condiment served in fish and chip shops, accompanying almost 10% of meals sold. (TNS 2006)

Toby Barty, senior brand manager for Heinz Foodservice, said: “It’s important fish and chip shops offer their customers a wide choice of condiments. They enhance the meal and can be a good way to increase profit. Heinz SqueezeMe! is an ideal accompaniment for fish and chips and having just sold our 10 millionth pod, customers are clearly enjoying it.”

Peppered Tuna SteaksThis is an updated version of classic fish and chips that could grace even the smartest dinner party table. The sweet potato wedges are cooked in the oven so there’s no smell of oil in the house when your guests arrive!


4 x 170g (6oz) tuna steaks (yellow fin or skipjack)
900 g (2 lb) even-sized sweet potatoes (orange fleshed, if possible)
3 x 15ml spoon (3 tablespoons) olive oil

For the roasted chilli mayonnaise:
Maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 long red finger chillies
2 x 5ml spoon (2 teaspoons) olive oil
100 ml (3½ fl oz) mayonnaise
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 x 15ml spoon (1 tablespoon) fresh parsley, chopped
squeeze lime juice

2 x 5ml spoon (2 teaspoons) mixed peppercorns


  • Preheat the oven to 200ºC / 400ºF / Gas Mark 6

  • Wash the sweet potatoes and cut them into wedges. Place two tablespoons of the olive oil in a roasting tin with a teaspoon of the salt. Add the sweet potato wedges, ensuring they are all well coated in the oil. Bake for 35 - 40 minutes, turning once until completely tender and lightly golden.

  • Meanwhile, make the roasted chilli mayonnaise. Cut the chillies in half, remove seeds and place in a small roasting tin. Drizzle over the olive oil and roast for 10 - 15 minutes until the skins have blackened. Remove from the oven and leave until cool enough to handle, remove the skins and chop the flesh. Place in the bowl and beat in the mayonnaise, garlic, parsley and lime juice. Season to taste.

  • Heat a large heavy-based frying pan over a fairly high heat. Crush the peppercorns in a pestle and mortar or in a coffee mug using the end of a rolling pin. Press them firmly on the outside of each tuna steak. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the heated pan and then add the peppered tuna steaks. Cook for 2 minutes on each side, or a little longer if you don’t like your fish too rare. Season with a little salt.

  • To serve, place a pile of the sweet potato wedges on the bottom of each warmed plate and arrange the peppered tuna steaks on top. Add a good spoonful of the roasted chilli mayonnaise to the side and drizzle the remainder around the edges of each plate.

Serves 4