I say this is “Japanese” in style based on some of the ingredients. But even if you omitted them or substituted them for others of your choosing, this would still be tasty. You can also use different types of tuna though I like Albacore loins for this. They’re well priced and easy to work with. They’re also considered sustainable and are in season. A typical tuna loin will weigh about half a kilo and set you back around $30. They’re typically sold frozen so if you don’t want to use the whole loin in one go, ask your fish monger to divide it into the portions you want and freezer pack it. Before you get to work slicing the fish, be sure to run your hands over the top of the loin as there are typically small bones protruding. Tweezers work well to remove them.
- One tuna loin
- 1 ½ tbsp finely chopped chives
- Togarashi Spice (chili flakes can be substituted)
- 1 ½ tbsp black sesame seeds
- Zest of one lemon
- 1 ½ tbsp light/ low sodium soy sauce
- ¼ cup good quality olive oil
- 1 ½ tbsp Sake (optional)
- 1 tbsp Yuzu (juice of 1 lemon can be substituted)
- 1 tsp sesame oil (caution: a little goes a long way)
- ¾ tbsp of sea salt (I prefer flakes)
- ½ cucumber sliced into discs
- 3 avocados in cubes or slices depending on how you want to present (rub or toss with some lemon juice while assembling to keep them from going brown)
- A packet of radish sprouts
- While the tuna is still partially frozen, start slicing into 1cm cubes. It’s easier the do while the fish is still mostly solid.
- Assemble all the ingredients together in a non-reactive bowl with the exception of the cucumbers and sprouts. This is where your choice of using the avocado in the tartare or underneath it applies.
- Using a large spoon or your hands, mix the fish, oil and other ingredients together until they’re all fully incorporated. But do so gently so as not to crush the fish. Now would be a good time for an initial taste to see if any of the seasonings need adjusting. Most of the ingredients were conservative in their portions as it’s easier to add more than try to fix too much. Cover with plastic wrap and set in the fridge for 30 to 45 minutes to let the flavours come together. I wouldn’t recommend leaving it longer or the acid in the lemon juice will start to cook the fish.
- While the tartare is chilling, slice the cucumber and potentially the avocado depending on how you chose to use it.
- If you have a mold in the form of a disc, you can build a presentation of cucumber slices on the bottom followed by avocado and then the tartare. Top it with the sprouts. Otherwise get creative and make it your own.
- Serve with toasts, crackers or on it’s own.