Tuna Tartare with Cucumber-Cilantro Broth Recipe

Tuna Tartare with Cucumber-Cilantro Broth Recipe
Staff Writer
Tuna Tartare
Michael's
Tuna Tartare

Very simple but sensational, this dish is easy to make, as the broth can be prepared early in the day and the tuna can be diced and kept refrigerated until ready to mix at the last minute. You don’t want to chop too far in advance, though, or it will get mushy.

One note of caution: Let the tuna shine. Do not over season it.

Adapted from “Welcome to Michael’s” by Michael McCarty. 

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Ingredients

For the broth:

  • 2 hothouse cucumbers, peeled and chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • ½ bunch fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons yuzu juice*
  • 1 tablespoon pickled ginger with its juice, or to taste

For the tartare:

  • 3 ounces ice-cold sushi-grade tuna, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon toasted Asian-style sesame oil, or to taste
  • Approximately ½ cup loosely packed sprouts, preferably kaiware* sprouts
  • Thin flatbread crackers, for serving

*Note: Kaiware sprouts (from daikon radish seeds) and yuzu juice (the juice of a very tart Japanese citrus fruit) are available from Asian markets and some specialty food or health food stores. If you can’t find yuzu juice, you can substitute a mixture of equal parts lemon and tangerine juices or just plain lime juice. If you can't find kaiware sprouts, you can use alfalfa sprouts.

Directions

For the broth:

In a blender, combine the cucumbers, cilantro, basil, mint, and yuzu juice with the ginger and its juice. Process on high speed until very smooth. Do not over process, as you want the liquid to stay bright green in color.

Pour the purée through a fine-meshed sieve into a clean container. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour or until well chilled.

For the tartare:

Put the tuna in a medium bowl. Add the chives and carefully season with soy sauce and the oils, adding only enough to accent the sweet, oily tuna, not overpower it.

Gather 4 shallow soup bowls. Place a 2-inch ring mold at the center of one bowl. Fill the ring about three-quarters full with the tartare, patting it down with the back of a spoon to make a neat, even circle. Carefully lift the ring and continue with the 3 remaining bowls.

Ladle about ¼ cup of the broth around the tuna and garnish the top with the sprouts. Serve with thin flatbread crackers.

Tuna Shopping Tip

Seafood shopping is quite easy in the general sense. Rule of thumb: if it smells fishy, don't buy. Fresh seafood should smell mild and more like the ocean and sea water rather than fish.

Tuna Cooking Tip

Looking for a quick mid-week dinner? Seafood is a safe bet. It's quick to cook and simple recipes can get dinner on the table in 20 minutes.

Tuna Wine Pairing

Most white wines (especially albariño) and rosé with most fish dishes. Muscadet, sancerre, or New Zealand sauvignon blanc with cold fish dishes; chardonnay, pinot gris/grigio, or pinot blanc with grilled or roasted fish; sauvignon blanc or gewürztraminer with baked fish; grüner veltliner with fish pâté; vintage or non-vintage champagne or sparkling wine with light fish dishes; fino or manzanilla with small fried fish; junmai, junmai-ginjo, or junmai-daiginjo with teriyaki fish.