yellowfin tuna tartare: get ready for an unforgettable flavor explosion {in your mouth}

spicy tuna tartare

i feel {sort of} bad raving about a dish prepared by myself-but the spicy tuna tartare i made last night was such a hit (i’m pretty sure my dad had at least half of it-which makes me so so happy because he’s so hard to please) that i could hardly take two or three bites before it disappeared! when my husband came home with the nice thick chunk of the freshest yellowfin tuna (sent by our dear Suzi-thank you!) i wasn’t quite sure how to prepare it, but hubby declared with a smile that Suzi was sure i’d know exactly how to cook it-really? not being a big fan of seared tuna (besides this fish was simply too good and fresh to cook), i got to thinking about other possibilities when one of my favorite dishes (served at a local restaurant) came magically to mind-a tuna tartare of sorts served over crispy quinoa with fried wontons. before i knew it i was thinly slicing, then finely mincing the beautifully pinkish fish for a spicy tartare to be served as an appetizer. as long as you don’t mind chopping and slicing (can be quite relaxing) this is an incredibly easy (no cook) dish to prepare if (and only if) you have a really nice piece of FRESH sushi grade tuna AND a good knife available. one more thing: make plenty more than you think you should…i know i wished i had-craving more already! maybe i’ll give Suzi a call? :-)

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  • 1 pound fresh sushi grade yellowfin tuna
  • 1-2 lemons, freshly squeezed (i used 1 and 1/2 plus all the zest-using a microplane grater)
  • a nice chunk of fresh ginger, finely grated (use microplane)
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced (or about 2 tbs)
  • 1 teaspoon horseradish (or 1/2 jalapeño pepper, finely minced)
  • 3-4 tablespoons avocado (vegetable) oil
  • 1-2 tbs toasted sesame oil
  • a small bunch of fresh organic cilantro, finely chopped
  • sea salt & freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 small tomato, finely minced
  • 2 tbs (more or less) toasted sesame seeds
  • 1-2 tbs soy sauce
  • 1/2-1 tsp cayenne pepper (for spicy)spicy tuna tartare
  1. with a very sharp knife, slice the tuna and cut into 1/8-inch dice. in a large bowl, combine the tuna with oil, ginger, most of the cilantro (set some aside), the horseradish or jalapeño, sesame seeds (set some aside), scallions, soy sauce, lemon zest, and lemon juice. mix gently, then season with salt and pepper. allow the tartare to stand refrigerated for about 30 minutes and up to an hour.
  2. sprinkle with remaining cilantro and sesame seeds and the chopped tomatoes. squeeze a few extra drops of lemon juice over the top and drizzle with a few drops of sesame oil before serving with good quality potato chips, endives, or fried wontons.
  3. for a more formal presentation: you can also serve the tartare by standing a 1 1/2 inch tall 2 1/4 inch round mold/ biscuit cutter in a plate, then filling the mold with the tartare and pressing gently before lifting the mold.
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