Recipe: Watermelon Tuna Salad - West Coast Food

By Chef Alex ‘Beer Belly’ Newton
Big Rock Urban Brewery & Eatery

Chef Alex ‘Beer Belly’ Newton loves to experiment with using beer as an ingredient in his dishes as opposed to simply pairing it with a dish. He loves trying new things and highlighting sustainable products wherever possible. The Watermelon Tuna Salad features BC Albacore Tuna from Finest At Sea, Gin from Long Table Distillery, and also our own Hefeweizen brewed right here at home.


Watermelon Tuna Salad

Gin-compressed Watermelon (recipe included)

Cajun Seared Tuna

Artisan Greens (to taste)

Fennel (to taste)

Honey Hefeweizen Dressing (recipe included)

Compressed Watermelon

3 lbs Watermelon

1 bulb Fennel

4 oz Long Table Gin


Honey Hefeweizen Dressing

Ingredient Group A

1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar

1 cup Big Rock Urban Hefeweizen

Ingredient Group B

2 cups Real Mayonnaise

4 tsp Granulated Sugar

2 tsp Minced Garlic

4 tsp Pesto

4 tbsp Grated Grana Padano

1 tsp Salt


Cajun Seared Tuna

2-3 lbs BC Albacore Tuna Loin

25 ml Vegetable Oil

Cajun Seasoning (or any spice of your choosing)

26 g Cayenne Pepper

50 g Smoked Paprika

12.5 g Ground Cumin

38 g Oregano Flakes

12.5 g Salt

12.5 g Chili Powder



Compressed Watermelon

Cut watermelon into approximately 2″ cubes. Thinly slice whole fennel bulbs and mix in a large bowl with watermelon. Add gin to watermelon mixture gently so as not to bruise or squish the watermelon. Portion into Ziploc bags and remove as much air as possible (if a vacuum sealer is available, that is your best choice). Lay flat to marinade. May be used in 1 hr but best if left overnight to soak.


Honey Hefeweizen Dressing

Measure out ingredients and combine with their individual groups. In a food processor or blender, add all of Ingredient Group B and mix thoroughly first then gradually add Ingredient Group A to the food processor. Continue mixing for 5-6 minutes until well blended.


Cajun Seared Tuna

Depending on the size of loin, start by cutting the loin into 2-3 equal pieces to make it easier to sear. Rub the tuna with your choice of seasoning. Next, using a cast iron pan, heat vegetable oil until it begins to lightly smoke (*an outdoor BBQ grill will work if a cast iron pan is not available, if that is the case make sure to scrub the grill clean, heat the grill to full and light rub vegetable oil using a clean rag and tongs). Begin to sear the tuna on all sides for approximately 25-30 secs each side until all sides are done. Remove from heat and repeat until all the tuna is seared, then store on a plate uncovered in a fridge until tuna has properly cooled. Using a sharp knife, slice tuna to desired thickness (no thicker than 1/2″ recommended) then serve.


Combine artisan greens, fennel, compressed watermelon, and dressing to taste, top with Cajun seared tuna. Enjoy!



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