Asian Inspired Tuna Tartare
.Asian Inspired Tuna Tartare is a delicious appetizer that I don’t make often here in landlocked Invermere, BC but it is such a treat when I can. Because of our location, my chances of getting actual
fresh tuna are slim to none but I can get frozen sushi grade ahi tuna from Pelican Pier in Calgary, AB that works for me! I use the tuna both for Asian Inspired Tuna Tartare and Spicy Tuna Crispy which I will add a recipe for shortly. Both are delicious!
Asian Inspired Tuna Tartare is a simple marinated tuna mixed with avocado, cucumber, and cilantro. Serve ideally with a kettle chip or taro chip. It is pictured here with a ripple chip but I am a firm believer that it is much better with a kettle chip.
Because I am starting with the tuna frozen, I put it in the fridge to thaw. It is perfect when you can just cut through it. The time will vary depending on the size of the tuna you are working with and your fridge temperature. Pop it in the fridge and check on it in 1/2 hour increments until it is just soft enough to get a knife through. It is not the end of the world if it softens more than that, but it will make dicing it more of a challenge.
While the tuna is thawing in the fridge, I mix together my marinade. I use garlic, ginger, sesame oil, ponzu, apple cider vinegar, soy, fish sauce and a little bit of lime juice. Mince the garlic and ginger really fine and then mix the rest together and let sit. Taste it and see if you like the flavour and if not, play with it until you do. It is your food so you should make it how you like it.
Once the tuna is soft enough, dice it into small pieces. I like them about 1/3 of a centimeter or a 1/8 inch cube. Dice up the avocado and cucumber into the same size pieces and add chopped cilantro. Lightly mix the avocados, cucumbers and cilantro with the diced tuna. Add the marinade and mix gently.
Place it back in the fridge for about twenty minutes to allow the flavours to meld a bit.
Once you are ready to place, get together the dishes you want to use. Place a serving of the tuna tartare on the plate or in the serving dish. Finish with some white and black (if you happen to have them) sesame seeds and some more fresh cilantro. If you are a “cilantro = soap” kind of person, feel free to eliminate the cilantro altogether. I love it and think it adds a freshness to the dish that I really enjoy but I know it isn’t for everyone. I know that because I get to hear about it in my family every time I use cilantro…..
Asian Inspired Tuna Tartare
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 inch ginger fresh, minced
- 2 cloves garlic fresh, minced
- 2 tsp ponzu sauce
- 1 tbsp japanese soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp lime juice
- 12 ounces ahi tuna
- 1/2 cup cucumber
- 1 avocado
- 1 tbsp cilantro chopped plus additional for garnish
- 1 tsp black sesame seeds
- 1 tsp white sesame seeds
Mix together sesame oil, ginger, garlic, ponzu, soy, apple cider vinegar and lime juice and set aside.
Dice tuna into 1/8 inch cubes.
Dice cucumber and avocado into 1/8 inch cubes and mix together with the chopped cilantro.
Add tuna and the marinade to the cucumber avocado mixture and gently mix.
Chill for about 20 minutes and serve garnished with sesame and cilantro on a nice, salty, crunchy kettle chip.
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