Marmitako! An authentic Basque recipe in 7 easy steps

marmitako ingredientes

Some say that the origin of marmitako – a highlight when it comes to Basque food – was among the fishing boats of northern Spain. Fishermen would spend days or weeks at a time out in Cantabrian and Atlantic waters without returning to shore, and the ship’s cook prepared the food with whicever ingredients he happened to have to hand: generally fish and potatoes, which can be stowed away for weeks before they start to go off.

This dish is eaten in many different regions, and so has many different names: cazuela, caldereta or caldeirada in Asturias and Galicia, marmite in France, marmitako in the Basque Country and sorropotún in Cantabria. Here, we show you how to cook tuna with potatoes, onion, pepper and tomato to serve up a finger-lickingly good dish, typical of Basque food.  Get ready for the world’s best Marmitako recipe.


Fresh tuna (500g)

Half an onion

Green and red pepper

1 Tomato – preferably mature

5 Potatoes, chopped


Olive oil



1. Chop the peppers into very small pieces. Do the same with the onion and tomato.

2 Cook the pepper, onion and tomato through with a little oil in a large pan – this is the ‘sofrito’.

3. While the sofrito is cooking, peel the potatoes and chop them into medium-sized chunks.

4. Put the potato into the pan along with the sofrito, give them a stir to lightly fry them off and, once they have taken on a golden colour, cover with water.

El sofrito de patatas

The sofrito

5. Bring the water to the boil and leave until the potatoes are well-cooked.

6. Chop the tuna into cubes, flour the pieces and seal the edges in a frying pan with olive oil.  To avoid drying out the fish, cook for as little time as possible.

4. Marmitako-atún-troceado 6. Marmitako-atún-harina

7. Once the potatoes are cooked, add the tuna to the saucepan with the rest of the ingredients, leave for a few minutes and Voila!  Marmitako!

8. Marmitako-añadir-atún-robozado

9. Marmitako-hervido-final

This post written by Iosu López, indefatigable traveller and journalist.  Read about his adventures on MochilerosTV.

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