Peruvian Tuna Pancakes (Torrejas de Atún) are a delicious option to serve for either lunch or dinner, and take little time to prepare. They are crispy on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside, and are made with only a handful of ingredients.
Growing up, my Mom would treat us to simple, tasty Peruvian dishes jam-packed with flavor and savory ingredients, and this recipe is one of them. Let’s face it, we are all busy. But, there’s no excuse for not enjoying a tasty meal, and this one takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish. If you’re a quick chopper, it will take less time.
One of the things that make these tuna pancakes such a great meal is that it uses ingredients that you should already have in your pantry. Better yet, is this dish is inexpensive to prepare, yet is both filling and satisfying – especially when accompanied by a side dish such as salad or rice. If you have an extra red or sweet onion, slice it thin to make a salsa that you can serve alongside the pancakes that will brighten the flavor and knock your socks off!
I use light tuna packed in olive oil, however any light tuna will do. White albacore tuna is not recommended here. Save that for salads. The light tuna has more flavor and is softer in texture, allowing it to flake easily for better distribution.
Dicing the onions finely is recommended because the onions aren’t sautéed beforehand. You want the dice small so you taste the flavor of the onions and for a more even consistency without any large chunks that can be harsh. Also, a red or sweet onion is used to sweeten the flavor.
Whipping the egg white prior to adding the remaining ingredients lightens the batter which results in a softer texture. There’s no need to fold the whites into the ingredients rather you just add to the whites. It’s more forgiving than making a cake batter where folding is necessary. This is the way it was done by my Mom, so this is the way I will pass it onto you.
If you have a seasoned cast iron skillet(affiliate link), use it! The heat is distributed for even browning, and it’s naturally nonstick which lessens the amount of oil you’ll need for frying these tuna pancakes.
Ok! Are you ready for some tuna pancakes (torrejas de atún)? Heat your frying pans!
Be happy, eat well.
Try some of my other Peruvian recipes:
- Cauliflower Pancakes (Torrejas de Coliflor)
- Peruvian Shrimp Soup (Chupe de Camarones)
- Peruvian Pesto
- Peruvian Hot Chocolate
- 2 cans light tuna drained and flaked - recommended packed in olive oil
- 1 medium red or sweet onion finely diced about 1 cup
- 4 eggs separated
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
- 1 to 2 teaspoons kosher salt or to taste
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
- ¼ cup flour
- 3 - 4 tablespoons Vegetable or neutral oil for frying
I recommend you turn on your range hood fan to get the circulation going.
In a large bowl, whip the egg whites until soft peaks form.
Add the flaked tuna, diced onion, yolks, parsley, spices and flour and mix with a spatula until combined.
Heat the oil in a skillet - preferably cast iron - over medium high heat. Scoop out four pancakes - about ½ cup or so each onto skillet. Fry for about 3 minutes until golden brown then flip. Continue to cook for another 2 - 3 minutes until underside is golden brown. Repeat for remaining batter.
Enjoy with some rice and some salsa criolla.