Simple Tuna Tartare

So I just got a new ring mold. If you don’t know what that is, it’s one of my favorite kitchen gadgets and can really make a dish look more professional, such as my tuna tartare. Essentially all it is, is a round circle of metal, similar to a cookie cutter, although usually with higher walls. The model I got was from the company Gefu, and my favorite part of it is that it comes with a plunger to compress the contents inside the mold.

Ring Mold for tuna tartare
Gefu Ring Mold Set

One of the most popular things to make using ring molds is tuna tartare. My recipe is quite simple, with the only caveat being you have to use fresh high quality ingredients. As you are not cooking the tuna (yes, it is RAW) a bad piece of fish will be easily tasted. I like to find tuna steaks that are still frozen, as that usually means they haven’t been defrosted and refrozen since the fish was caught. Plus letting it defrost yourself means you know exactly how long it has been out at room temperature.

Tuna Tartare is said to be invented by a Japanese born, French trained chef in Los Angeles. Talk about a true fusion dish. He took a traditional French dish (beef tartare) and made it with fish. This all happened in 1984, and tuna tartare quickly became a favorite dish of the rich and famous. My recipe is completely different than the original, in that I don’t use the egg yolk or any of the traditional tartare seasonings, so think of this as a “Lite” version. Just pure raw tuna, allowed to shine.

I’ve paired the raw tuna with avocado, a fairly popular ingredient in tuna tartare, and added some basil vinaigrette for an extra flavor punch. This is actually the same basil vinaigrette I made for my Jardine Salad.

Tuna Tartare
Tuna Tartare from above

Tuna Tartare Ingredients

50 grams Tuna Steak; frozen. After the tuna defrosts at room temperature, you can cut it into 1 cm cubes.

1 Avocado. This is the bottom layer, so you will cut this up into about 1 cm cubes as well. This keeps everything fairly symmetrical.

1 tsp Soy Sauce

1 tsp Ponzu. Ponzu is normally a Japanese dipping sauce made by mixing soy sauce with lemon juice and a little rice wine. You can easily buy a bottle of ponzu in the store already made.

2 tbsp Basil Vinaigrette. You can find the recipe here, but it is essentially a bunch of basil leaves, 1/2 cup of Olive Oil, with a tbsp of Lemon Juice, and a pinch of salt blended together.

2 tsp Trader Joe’s Everything Bagel Seasoning; optional. I basically just use this as a way to sprinkle on some white and black sesame seeds, and it has garlic in it, so don’t need to add that separately. I use this in a lot of my Asian recipes actually.

1 sheet Nori; for garnish. I just folded it up and chopped it into thin strips. I find it gives a good savory flavor, but it’s totally optional if you don’t want to buy a pack of seaweed just for one recipe.

Tuna Tartare Instructions

1. Chop up your defrosted tuna steak into about 1 cm cubes. Do the same with your avocado. Some people marinade the tuna before compiling the ring mold, however I really wanted the taste of the raw tuna to shine through, so the only extra seasoning will be from the Soy Sauce and the Ponzu.

2. Place the ring mold on the plate and put down the avocado. Use the plunger to press it down and make it nice and tight. Sprinkle a tsp of everything bagel seasoning (or just some sesame seeds).

3. Add the tuna atop the avocado and press down the plunger to compress. Take off the plunger and spoon over the ponzu and soy sauce trying to get some on all the tuna. Most of it will run down to the avocado/onto the plate. This is okay. Add some more sesame seeds and press again.

4. Spoon around some of the basil vinaigrette. Remove the ring mold by holding the plunger down and slowly lifting the ring mold upwards. When it is removed you can take the plunger off the top of the tuna tartare stack. Garnish with some chopped Nori.

Notes

You can marinade the tuna in the soy sauce and ponzu before assembling the tuna tartare stack if you wish. I usually marinade the fish if I am making a poke bowl, but for tartare I leave it completely unseasoned until right before serving.

tuna tartare

Simple Tuna Tartare

This recipe uses a ring mold to make a beautifully presented tuna tartare atop fresh avocado. Garnished with sesame seeds and nori, and a fresh basil vinaigrette.
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Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: French, Fusion, Japanese
Keyword: Tuna Tartare
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 50 grams Tuna Steak
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 tsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp Ponzu
  • 2 tbsp Basil Vinaigrette
  • 2 tsp Sesame Seeds
  • 1 sheet Nori

Instructions

  • Chop up your defrosted tuna steak into about 1 cm cubes. Do the same with your avocado. Some people marinade the tuna before compiling the ring mold, however I really wanted the taste of the raw tuna to shine through, so the only extra seasoning will be from the Soy Sauce and the Ponzu.
  • Place the ring mold on the plate and put down the avocado. Use the plunger to press it down and make it nice and tight. Sprinkle a tsp of everything bagel seasoning (or just some sesame seeds).
  • Add the tuna atop the avocado and press down the plunger to compress. Take off the plunger and spoon over the ponzu and soy sauce trying to get some on all the tuna. Most of it will run down to the avocado/onto the plate. This is okay. Add some more sesame seeds and press again.
  • Spoon around some of the basil vinaigrette. Remove the ring mold by holding the plunger down and slowly lifting the ring mold upwards. When it is removed you can take the plunger off the top of the tuna tartare stack. Garnish with some chopped Nori.
Did you make this?Mention @CookingToEntertain or tag #cookingtoentertain and let me know how it was!


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