In tuna Tartare, the term “tartare” is used loosely here. It only suggests that the fish is not cooked, in the strictest sense of the word. But in reality, the lime juice and oil do “cook” the finely shredded fish. You can prepare the tuna tartare a day or two in advance, just as long as you fold in the fish 1 to 4 hours before serving. Needless to say, perfectly fresh fish please.
You can play with the seasonings. Here I love the Asian overtones, but if you scroll down you will find a great French take on the classic tuna tartare.
You can go all out and make nori handrolls using the tuna tartare as the filling. Nowhere near as hard as it looks, just follow the simple steps in the included clip.
- 4 scallions, sliced very thin
- 1 jalapeno pepper, finely minced
- 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
- 3-4 tablespoons soy sauce
- ¼ cup fresh lime or lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon wasabi powder
- 3-4 sprigs cilantro, touch stems discarded, minced
- 1¼ pounds salmon or tuna fillet, skin and bones removed, minced by hand (in other words, not in a food processor) with a sharp knife
Mix all but last ingredient in a stainless steel or glass bowl. Fold in the fish, and mix gently but thoroughly. Let the mixture marinate one to four hours.
To serve, you have a few interesting possibilities: put in tiny curved tasting spoons for a dramatic hors d'oeuvre presentation (as in the picture above); scoop over grated daikon and celery root or on small rounds of pumpernickel bread. You can also top daikon or cucumber slices with the mixture.
- French Tuna Tartare This no less delicious version gets its zing from the coarsely ground pepper, capers and lemon zestFor the same amount of tuna or salmon: use 1 medium shallot minced, 1/4 cup olive oil, juice and zest of 2 lemons, 1/4 cup tiny capers, 1 tablespoon coarsely ground pepper, 5-6 sprigs parsley or dill minced. Proceed just as above.
- Spicy Mock Crab Tuna: It will be only half tartare, since only the tuna is raw, but every bit a delicious. Same recipe, using 3/4 pound tuna, 3/4 pound mock crab (thawed and flaked), and 1/2 cup seaweed soaked in warm water