Chef Donita Rose’s Ginataang Tuna with Luyang Dilaw

General Santos City, the country’s Tuna Capital, just celebrated the much-anticipated 19th Tuna Festival (September 1-5, 2017).  It is an annual celebration that features different events and activities focusing on the tuna industry of the city as well as the promotion of peace in Mindanao.  One of the highlights of the festival is the different tuna dishes being prepared for everyone to enjoy.  Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil ambassador celebrity chef Donita Rose shared a heart-healthy recipe to the Generals last September 2 at KCC Mall Convention Center.

Chef Donita Rose’s Ginataang Tuna with Luyang Dilaw (servings: 6)

2 tbsp. salt in 2 cups of water

2 tbsp. Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil

1/2 kg Tuna Fillet, boneless

4 bay leaves

2 medium white onion, chopped

4 medium shallots, chopped

2 tbsp. garlic, minced

4 tbsp. ginger, grated

4 tbsp. turmeric, grated

2 cups unsweetened coconut milk

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, divided

4 tablespoons honey, divided in two portions

6 Green Chili Fingers, whole

Leeks, long strips for serving (soak in ice water to make it curl)

Cilantro for serving

Salt and Pepper to taste

Cooked rice for serving


  1. Soak the tuna fillet in the brine solution for 10 minutes then drain on paper towels.
  2. Season tuna with a little salt and pepper then in a grill pan over high heat.
  3. Add 1 tbsp. Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil. Make sure to cook the fillet to medium rare only or until the center is still red. Set aside.
  4. In another large pan over medium heat, add another tbsp. of Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil.
  5. Sauté onions, shallots, garlic and ginger and cook. Stir often until golden brown and very fragrant.
  6. Add the turmeric and vinegar before throwing in the chili fingers and the bay leaves.
  7. Bring to a boil and cook until liquid is reduced by about one-third.
  8. Add the coconut milk and stir a little before adding the tuna to the sauce. Reduce the sauce again to a thick consistency.
  9. Mix in 2 tbsp. of honey to balance acidity and more salt and pepper as needed. Transfer onto a serving plate then drizzle with the remaining honey.
  10. Top with a lot of leeks and cilantro bunched together and serve with hot rice! Adobo can be made 3 days ahead and can also be put in the freezer.
Everyone loved the delicious tuna dish that Chef Donita prepared and what I really liked is that it is a healthy meal.  She used Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil which contains Vitamin A and is packed with good fats like Omega 3 and 6 (I learned that compared to other brands, the Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil has the lowest amount of saturated fats). It is an oil that is highly versatile and imparts a neutral taste to almost all types of dishes.  Aside from being heart-healthy, Jolly Heart Mate Canola Oil is also budget-friendly (perfect for moms like me). You can purchase it at a very affordable price and is available at different supermarkets.
Chef Donita will be touring around the country to promote more heart-healthy cooking ideas. Her next stop this October will be in Vigan for the Raniag Festival.  Watch out for her!
(Chef Donita with the SOX Bloggers)

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