Tuna Tartare – Fish & Chips with a Twist

Oooops! I did it again. It’s like an abusive relationship that you can’t leave because it’s THAT good. You know what I’m talking about. Oh sweet Chinatown.

If my Chinatown saga had a Facebook, I would put “In a Relationship and It’s Complicated”. There’s plenty of verbal abuse and I’m on the receiving end. Yet, I find myself coming back every week hoping things would be different this time around. It’s a vicious cycle. But what do I get out of it? Some damn good tuna.

This time around the tuna had a bright, pinkish color rather than a deeper purple tone. Now, I’m not a fish expert so I can’t tell you which variety of tuna I’ve encountered. Nor do the ever-so-friendly (**as I roll my eyes**) fish monger care to enlighten a seafood half-wit such as myself. But I’ve come to expect this high level of service so my only requirements when I buy tuna is that it’s fresh enough and I won’t spend the next week heaving into the porcelain god.

My confidence in my fish monger is part bravery and part research. I’ve learned on the wonderful world wide web that there isn’t an exact regulation on what constitutes “sushi grade”. It’s mostly a marketing scheme that allows retailers to hike up the price on such fish. As a consumer, you just need to be aware of the parasite destruction process. In layman terms, it’s the process of sufficiently killing any potential parasites by freezing it for at least 24 hours. Armed with this knowledge, I’ve been able to face my fear of raw fish preparation. Care to get over your heebie jeebies on raw fish? Read up!

Hopefully I’ve helped shed some light on this matter for any of you who were just as intimidated by sushi as I was. Preparing tuna tartare at home has been a great adventure for us and with an upcoming sushi course that we’ll be taking at the Institute of Culinary Education, you’ll be seeing a lot more sushi blogs. In the meantime, hope you enjoy our version of fish & chips :)


1 lb. fresh tuna, diced in 1/8-inch cube (chilled until ready to serve)
3 Tbsp 100% pure sesame oil
3 Tbsp corn oil
1 Tbsp mniced ginger
1 Tbsp premium soy sauce
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp mirin
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp wasabi powder
1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1 Tbsp jalapeño, seeded and diced
1 avocado, diced
1 small mango, diced
chopped cilantro for garnish
lightly salted Kettle chips
  1. In a small container, combine corn oil and ginger. Allow to infuse for at least 2 hours. In a separate bowl, mix thoroughly the sesame oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, sugar, mirin, jalapeño, sesame seeds and wasabi powder. When ready to serve, strain infused ginger oil into the sauce mixture. Combine thoroughly with diced tuna.
  2. You have several serving options. For a cocktail party, you can either place a small scoop of tuna tartare on a spoon topped with diced avocado and mango. Or for our “fish & chips” (an unusual yet complimentary pairing), place a scoop of tuna tartare on a potato chip and top with diced avocado and mango. To serve as a side dish, place a 3-inch ring form on a plate. Add a layer of diced mango, then tuna tartare and avocado. Top with one large potato chip and sprinkle with cilantro. This recipe serves 4-6 people (depending on which presentation you choose).

20 Responses to “Tuna Tartare – Fish & Chips with a Twist”

  • Tangled Noodle Says:

    Lovely to look at and undoubtedly fantastic to eat! Thanks for the link to sushifaq.com – I still have not worked up the nerve to buy and serve fish raw here. Given that we are about as far from either major ocean as geographically possible, I’m not confident of the ‘sushi-grade’ fish that’s available to me. 😎

  • Sook @ My Fabulous Recipes Says:

    I’m always amazed by your beautiful photos. And also a great presentation. You’re an artist.

  • Mimi Says:

    Looks fantastic. My daughter’s BF owns and captains a sports fishing boat, so I rely on him for good fresh fish.
    btw the pasta pomodoro was incredible.

  • penny aka jeroxie Says:

    The colours and the flavours are amazing. I do prepare raw fish and make sushi and sashimi at home as well.

  • Lindsay Says:

    Your photos are fascinating. I get lost in the detail! And your presentation is always restaurant quality. Can I admit to being a bit jealous??!

  • Dhale Says:

    @Tangled Noodle: It was so much photographing and styling this dish because of all the bright colors! Glad you like sushi site – I found so much helpful information on there!

    I guess I can consider myself lucky to have lived near the ocean all my life. Sushi-grade fish at my disposal :)

  • Dhale Says:

    @Sook: If I wasn’t so tanned I’d be blushing 😉 Thank you so much!

  • Dhale Says:

    @Mimi: I’d love to be captain of a sports fishing boat! It sounds like such a cool title :) You can’t get any fresher fish than right out of the water! Alhtough, I did learn from the sushi chef at Yasuda, that sushi tastes best after a few days post mortem. The flavors are more developed. I would have never guessed!

    Glad you had a chance to try the pasta :)

  • Dhale Says:

    @Jeroxie: It was really fun to snap photos of the tartare. The bright colors make my job easy :).

    I’m really excited to take our sushi-making class. We’ve already scheduled a trip to the Japanese market on that same day so we can make some at home right away! It’ll be a nice change to have home-cooked sushi. Or rather, home-uncooked?! Lol 😉

  • Dhale Says:

    @Lindsay: Thank you so much for the kind words. It makes me feel like you’re giving me a virtual high-five :)

  • Tiny Urban Kitchen Says:

    Cute! I have considered turning my freezer down to -4 F (-20 C) and freezing my own fish according to the FDA guidelines (7 days!). I’m just not sure what it will do to the rest of my frozen food!

  • Dhale Says:

    @Tiny Urban Kitchen: We’ve considered the same thing but I don’t think the rest of the food would appreciate that :)

  • Joy Says:

    YUM YUM YUM!!! I love tuna tartare, I actually just bought some beautiful avocados, perhaps this weekend I will search for a beautiful cut of tuna!

  • Dhale Says:

    @Joy: I’m so glad I’ve finally conquered my fear of preparing raw fish at home. Now we don’t have to go to a sushi restaurant every time we want tuna tartare. Hope you find some great tuna this weekend!

  • LaSpicyVita Says:

    this looks so freaking delicious! you are braver than i – i’ve even walked up to the fish counter and then chickened out, haha :) one day…

  • Regina Says:

    This looks beautiful! I just did something so very similar the other day. Its a great way to forget about winter for a little while. And thanks for sharing about the fish a lot of people are scared and for good reason but a little knowledge goes along way.

  • Dhale @ Culinary Musings Says:

    @LaSpicyVita: I’ve been trying to work up the courage for quite some time now and so glad I finally conquered my fear! The first night we tried it, my bf and I were actually paying close attention to our stomach symptoms 😉

  • Dhale @ Culinary Musings Says:

    @Regina: Thanks so much! I was scared for a while too until I finally read more about it. So yes, a little knowledge goes a long way, coupled with a lot of bravery 😉

  • Marisa Says:

    I looove raw tuna so much! Thanks for the tip on sushi grade fish – I’ll definitely look into it. Great twist on fish & chips too – the greasy fishmonger down the road will turn in his grave methinks!

  • Dhale @ Culinary Musings Says:

    @Marisa: Lol! I’m sure the English folks would also have a problem with me calling this dish “fish n’ chips”! Glad you found some useful info and it really helps to look deeper into the information that’s available to us out there.

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