2 ratings

Tuna Tartare with Cucumber-Cilantro Broth Recipe


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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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.


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.