Inihaw na Tuna Belly

Inihaw na Tuna Belly is a Filipino type of grilled fish dish cooked over hot charcoals then basted at the end with sweet and savoury soy sauce infused with garlic and chillies. They said sushi is the best way to prepare tuna, for me it will be this!

It’s getting warmer and warmer from where I am, in a months’ time it will be officially summer here in New Zealand and that means, grilling time! But I don’t want to wait for that, hence today I am removing the dust from my barbecue grill and will be cranking up the fire to enjoy in advance these warmer times of the year, starting with our recipe for today, the Inihaw na Tuna Belly or Grilled Tuna Belly.

In the Philippines, this dish is quite popular during summers, where it is prepared and served on gatherings like beach outings, family barbecues and even sold in restaurants and night bars as a pulutan. Its best served freshly cooked; hence you will usually see them on occasions where a barbecue grill is present. A very meaty dish with explosions of fat on each layer of meat, making it perfect with rice, tropical salad and a beer on the side. Personally, this is the best way to prepare a tuna belly, I would definitely prefer this over sushi preparation (don’t get me wrong I love sushi but I prefer salmon sushi), the grilling process just brings out the best of this cut.

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Inihaw na Tuna Belly

  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Filipino


Inihaw na Tuna Belly is a Filipino type of grilled fish dish cooked over hot charcoals then basted at the end with sweet and savoury soy sauce infused with garlic and chillies.



Units Scale


  • 1 1/2 kg tuna belly, cut into sections
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • juice from 2 lemons
  • freshly ground black pepper

Basting Sauce

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • juice from half lemon
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp oil


  1. Combine all marinade ingredients together.
  2. Place tuna belly in a zip lock bag together with the marinade, let it marinate for at least 3 hours.
  3. Prepare your basting sauce. Place oil in a sauce pan then sauté garlic on low heat.
  4. Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl then mix until free of lumps, pour over the sauce pan then bring to a boil. Simmer for 2 minutes or until it thickens.
  5. Drain marinade from fish then place them on a charcoal grill, cook for 10 to 15 minutes on each side depending on how thick the tuna belly is. On the last 5 minutes continuously baste the fish on all sides.
  6. Remove from the grill then serve.


7 Responses

  1. Wow – this looks amazing, Raymund! And so easy!

  2. They look fingerlickingly delicious! Enjoy the warmer weather, Raymund!

  3. I’ve never actually tried Tuna Belly, but oh my goodness – this looks PHENOMENAL! Seriously, one of the most mouthwatering and stunning recipe I’ve seen on your blog. I want to reach through the screen and grab the entire plate 🙂

  4. suituapui says:

    That is a beauty! Anything cooked over hot charcoal is a cut above the rest with its special charred fragrance.

  5. Neil says:

    Being on the other side of the world from you here Raymund (Scotland), I’ll need to save thoughts of this delicious recipe until next year when I next bring out the BBQ. It’s a recipe worth looking forward to though!

  6. Eva Taylor says:

    I’ve only had tuna belly sushi but this looks equally as delicious and tantalizing.

  7. This looks SO wonderful — succulent and tasty. Good dish — thanks.

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