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Kristian Eligh’s Tuna Wellington

Kristian Eligh

Chef, Marilena Cafe and Raw Bar

Victoria, BC.

It’s so bloody delicious I’ll be turning it out at home myself around Christmas time.

Tuna Wellington with celeriac truffle purée


Serves 6


  • 50 ml (¼ cup) canola (or other neutral vegetable) oil
  • 2 banana shallots, about 70 g (2 oz), minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 400 g (13 oz) cremini or button mushrooms, caps only, minced
  • 30 g (2 tbsp) butter
  • salt
  • 30 g (2 oz) black truffle, minced


  • 220 g (1 cup) whole milk
  • 30 g (1 cup) Italian parsley
  • leaves, picked, blanched and squeezed dry
  • 100 g (¾ cup) flour
  • 40 g (3 tbsp) butter, melted
  • salt


  • 400 g (13 oz) celeriac, peeled, large dice
  • 100 ml (⅓ cup) whipping cream
  • 20 g (1 tbsp) black truffle oil
  • 15 g (1½ tbsp) salt
  • 50 g (2 oz) black truffle, minced

To Finish:

  • 700 g (1½ lb) bigeye (or sashimi grade yellowfin) tuna loin
  • salt
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 sheet puff pastry, about 28 by 35 cm (11 by 14 inches)
  • egg wash


Heat a large skillet on medium. Add oil, shallots and garlic, and sweat until translucent (do not allow to colour). Raise heat to high, add mushrooms and sauté until softened and their liquid evaporates — about 8 minutes. Remove from heat. Add butter, stir, then add salt to taste. Fold in truffle, transfer to a container and cover. Chill duxelles in refrigerator. For the crepes, combine milk and parsley in the jar of a powerful blender and blitz until smooth. Combine milk mixture, flour and butter in a bowl and whisk until homogenous. Whisk in a generous pinch of salt. Heat a non-stick skillet on medium, add 50 ml (¼ cup) batter and swirl pan to distribute batter in a thin layer. Cook until just set — about 30 seconds. Flip and cook the other side. Do not brown. Repeat until batter is exhausted. Set aside. Transfer celeriac to a saucepan, add water to cover and bring to a simmer on medium. Cook until tender — about 15 minutes. Strain and transfer to a blender. Add the cream, truffle oil and salt, and blitz until smooth. Transfer to a saucepan, fold in truffle and set aside.*

Trim tuna into a cylinder about 8 cm (3 inches) in diameter and 18 cm (7 inches) long. Salt generously on all sides. Heat a skillet on high, add oil to coat and, when it shimmers, add tuna and sear about 20 seconds per side. Transfer tuna to a platter and set aside in refrigerator. Arrange a double layer of plastic wrap on a work surface and place the puff pastry on top of it with its length running left to right. Arrange 3 or 4 crepes overlapping down the middle of its length. Mound about 150 g (5 oz) of the duxelles on top and, with a spatula, spread it into an even layer over the crepes. Arrange tuna down the middle. When rolled, puff pastry should overlap by about 2.5 cm (1 inch). Trim it if necessary, then roll package tightly. Crimp ends, and twist plastic wrap until the package is very tight. Transfer to refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours (overnight is best).

Preheat oven to 195°C (375°F) convection.

Arrange Wellington on a baking sheet with a rack (or line the baking sheet with parchment paper). Brush with egg wash. Transfer to oven’s middle rack and bake until pastry is bronzed and internal temperature reaches 25°C (75°F) — about 25 minutes. Set aside to rest on countertop until internal temperature reaches 30°C (85°F) — about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, reheat celeriac. Slice Wellington about 3 cm (1¼ inch) thick and plate with the purée.

*Duxelles, crepes and celeriac can all be made a day in advance.

TUNA WELLINGTON WAS INSPIRED BY JOSH NILAND’S handiwork at Saint Peter, in Sydney, Australia. At Marilena, we wanted to create something that maintained our seafood ethos but exuded opulence. We have been playing with this recipe as an off-menu feature and will be showcasing it through the holidays. It’s so bloody delicious, though, that I think I will be turning it out at home as well. –K.E.

Photos: Dominic Hall