An extremely easy spicy tuna tartare marinated in a ginger soy sauce that makes an impressive first course for a fancy dinner party.
I have always loved tartares as they are fresh and usually make a fancy first course. Sometimes I serve them in a glass, as for a ceviche, sometimes directly on the plate using a stainless round form as I did here. I personally prefer the last option, but feel free to choose the other one, especially if you do not own a stainless round form.
Despite looking complicated, fish tartares are fairly simple to prepare (watch the little video I created for you and see how simple it is). It’s basically made of simple raw ingredients tossed together in a marinade. That’s pretty much it. One of your favorite recipes on the blog for many years now is my Salmon tartare with avocado and mango. If you haven’t tried it yet, you should definitely consider it, in particular if like me you like sweet and savory flavors.
This time, I went for tuna instead of salmon. If you have seen or tried my Sesame crusted Ahi tuna with zoodles before, this one might remind you of it. Here again you’ll find tuna, soy sauce, and fresh ginger, bringing the dish an Asian touch I really enjoy. However, unlike the first one, the tartare is not cooked – this is precisely the particularity of tartare – using raw fish.
As for any raw fish recipe, the choice of tuna matters a lot here. Unfortunately there is no clear-cut way to know for sure your fish is good to eat raw. Choose a “sushi-grade” or “sashimi-grade” fresh tuna, trying to avoid the ones from supermarket if possible. In fact, even if they carry the “sashimi” or “sushi-grade” label, there is no regulation by the FDA telling you it’s safe to eat. So unless the supermarkets have clear processes in place for sourcing and handling fish meant to be eaten raw, the best is yet to develop a trust relationship with your fish manger to know exactly what this is about.
When it comes to the remaining ingredients, there is absolutely nothing difficult but there are some basic rules to keep in mind. For instance, don’t choose a very ripe avocado but prefer instead one which is between firm and almost ripe. This will help you to dice it and gives a nice visual effect. I prefer freshly grated ginger other any other kind of ginger (minced, ground) to help release the flavors the best way possible. Also, you will notice the use of chili pepper here. If you do not like when your food is too spicy, you can use half of it if you prefer, or skip it completely (although I personally thing it tastes much better with just a little chili pepper anyway).
You might notice as well that I added some cilantro as an option. I am really kind of cilantro so there would be no question for me; I would add it. However, I know that many people do not like it and to be honest, it wouldn’t change the taste of your tuna tartare if you skipped it here, so do as you wish. I leave you with the recipe now ; I hope you enjoy!
- 8 oz (220g) fresh tuna - sushi grade, diced
- 1 chili pepper, minced
- ½ red onion, minced
- 1 Tbsp fresh cilantro (optional), chopped
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce, gluten free
- 2 Tbsp lemon, juice only
- 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
- Salt & pepper
- 1 fresh avocado, halved and diced
- In a medium mixing bowl, toss together fresh diced tuna, minced chili pepper and onions. Add fresh cilantro if desired.
- Add soy sauce, lemon juice, grated ginger, and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cover the bowl with cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes minimum.
- Once chilled, use a stainless round form to plate your tuna, starting with a layer of diced avocado. Add the chilled tuna on top and press gently to flatten the surface. It's ready!