Marmitako de Bonito is a traditional Basque dish that has gained popularity not only in Spain but also around the world. This hearty and flavorful stew is made with fresh tuna, potatoes, onions, peppers, and tomatoes, creating a perfect combination of ingredients that will satisfy any seafood lover’s cravings. In this article, we will explore the history of Marmitako de Bonito, its ingredients, the cooking process, and some tips to make the perfect dish. So, let’s dive in!

The History of Marmitako de Bonito

Marmitako de Bonito has its roots in the Basque Country, a region located in the northern part of Spain. The Basque people have a strong culinary tradition, and this dish is a testament to their love for seafood and hearty stews.

The word “marmitako” comes from the Basque word “marmita,” which means a cooking pot or cauldron. Traditionally, this dish was prepared by fishermen on their boats using the fresh catch of the day, usually bonito tuna. The fishermen would cook the stew in a large pot over an open fire, using simple ingredients readily available to them.

Over time, Marmitako de Bonito became a staple dish in Basque cuisine and gained popularity beyond the fishing community. Today, it is enjoyed by locals and tourists alike, and its delicious flavors have made it a sought-after recipe in many kitchens around the world.

The Ingredients

To make a delicious Marmitako de Bonito, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 500 grams of fresh bonito tuna
  • 4 medium-sized potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 green pepper
  • 2 ripe tomatoes
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

The Cooking Process

Now that we have the ingredients ready, let’s dive into the cooking process of Marmitako de Bonito:

  1. Start by peeling and chopping the potatoes into bite-sized cubes. Set them aside.
  2. Next, chop the onion, green pepper, and tomatoes into small pieces.
  3. In a large pot, heat some olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic, and sauté until they become translucent.
  4. Add the green pepper and tomatoes to the pot, and cook for a few minutes until they soften.
  5. Now, it’s time to add the potatoes. Stir them well with the other ingredients.
  6. Sprinkle the paprika over the mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Pour in the white wine and add the bay leaf. Let it simmer for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
  8. While the stew is simmering, cut the bonito tuna into thick slices.
  9. Gently place the tuna slices on top of the stew, making sure they are partially submerged in the liquid.
  10. Cover the pot and let it cook for about 10-15 minutes, or until the tuna is cooked through but still tender.
  11. Once the tuna is cooked, remove the pot from the heat and let it rest for a few minutes before serving.

Tips for the Perfect Marmitako de Bonito

To enhance the flavors of your Marmitako de Bonito, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Use fresh and high-quality ingredients, especially the bonito tuna. Fresh tuna will give your stew a delicate and flavorful taste.
  • Allow the stew to simmer for a while to let the flavors develop. This will result in a richer and more delicious dish.
  • Don’t overcook the tuna. It should be tender and moist, so be careful with the cooking time.
  • Serve the Marmitako de Bonito hot, garnished with some fresh parsley and a drizzle of olive oil.


1. Can I use canned tuna instead of fresh bonito?

While fresh bonito tuna is the traditional choice for Marmitako de Bonito, you can use canned tuna as a substitute. However, keep in mind that the flavor and texture may differ from the original recipe.

2. Can I add other vegetables to the stew?

Absolutely! Marmitako de Bonito is a versatile dish, and you can experiment with different vegetables according to your taste. Some popular additions include carrots, peas, and green beans.

3. Can I freeze the leftovers?

Yes, you can freeze the leftovers of Marmitako de Bonito. Make sure to store them in an airtight container and consume within a month for the best quality.

4. Is Marmitako de Bonito a healthy dish?

Marmitako de Bonito is a nutritious dish that provides a good balance of protein, carbohydrates, and vitamins. However, keep in mind that the overall nutritional value may vary depending on the cooking method and ingredients used.

5. Can I serve Marmitako de Bonito with any side dishes?

Marmitako de Bonito is a complete meal on its own, but you can serve it with some crusty bread or a side salad for a more substantial meal.


Marmitako de Bonito is a delicious and traditional Basque dish that showcases the flavors of the sea. With its simple yet flavorful ingredients, this stew is a perfect choice for seafood lovers. By following the cooking process and tips mentioned in this article, you can create a mouthwatering Marmitako de Bonito that will impress your family and friends. So, gather the ingredients, put on your apron, and enjoy the delightful taste of this classic Basque recipe!


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