This easy Tuna Tartare Recipe features ahi tuna in a simple soy marinade served over wasabi-spiked avocado with ponzu sauce and wonton chips. This is an easy dairy and gluten-free appetizer perfect for seafood lovers!
Tuna tartare may look fancy, but it’s one of the easiest dishes you can make at home!
Use some fresh, sushi-grade tuna and mix with soy sauce, sriracha, ginger, and sesame for a fresh and flavorful mix. Then, throw it on a beg of lightly mashed avocado with Japanese mayo and wasabi and top with cucumber and ponzu. Serve with crispy wonton chips, on lettuce cups, or with rice!
The Best Tuna Tartare Recipe
You’re going to love how simple and flavorful this Tuna Tartare recipe is! It’s a staple in our house during the summer months, but it’s an elegant appetizer perfect for any occasion.
A Tuna Tartare stack is a recipe that I order literally any time I see it on a menu. I love the combination of the flavorful tuna, creamy avocado, and crunchy cucumber. It’s a flavor pairing that’s made in heaven! However, when ordering it at a restaurant, it usually comes with a hefty price tag!
Now, you can make this restaurant-quality tuna tartare recipe at home for a fraction of the cost. Besides, who doesn’t love a no-cook recipe that only takes 20 minutes to throw together? All you’ve got to do is mix everything up, stack it using a ring mold, and dig in!
Important note: Raw fish is not recommended for infants, the elderly, pregnant women, or people with weakened immune systems.
What is Tuna Tartare?
Tuna tartare is a dish consisting of finely chopped raw tuna in a seasoned sauce. Most often, it’s paired with an Asian-inspired soy or mayonnaise based sauce because the flavors match up so well. You can usually find this dish on most menus of high end restaurants as an appetizer.
Traditionally tartare is prepared with beef, however, fish has become extremely popular and makes this dish appealing to a larger audience if you have guests uncomfortable with consuming raw beef.
How to Make Tuna Tartare
You’re going to love how easy this recipe is to throw together! The whole recipe is no-cook and takes 20 minutes to assemble. Invest in a sharp knife which makes cutting the tuna so much easier.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Tuna. Source quality, sushi-grade raw tuna from a reputable source like your local fish monger or from a store like Whole Foods, Central Market, or your local Asian or Japanese market. You could also swap in yellowtail, albacore, salmon, or even chopped raw scallops.
- Soy. Soy sauce adds salt and umami flavor to the tuna.
- Mirin. Mirin is a sweet Japanese cooking wine and adds a bit of balance to the sauce. You could swapa in some sake.
- Toasted sesame oil. Sesame oil adds a nice nutty flavor to the tuna.
- Sriracha. Adding a bit of spice to the tuna adds so much flavor. You could also use chili garlic paste or sambal.
- Avocado. The creamy avocado is a great pairing with the tuna.
- Wasabi paste. Serving wasabi paste with sushi is a given, and adding some to the avocado adds tons of flavor!
- Japanese mayo. Mixing a little mayo into the avocado adds a bit more fat and flavor. You could use any mayonnaise you have.
- Cucumber. Thinly sliced cucumber on top adds crunch and fresh flavor.
- Ponzu. Ponzu is a citrus-y Japanese condiment made with citrus, soy, mirin, sugar and salt.
- Wonton wrappers. Fry up some wonton wrappers until golden as the perfect way to serve tuna tartare.
- Fry the wonton chips. Heat 1 inch of oil in a heavy bottomed pot or skillet. Fry the wonton wrappers in batches until golden brown. Season with salt and lay on paper towels to drain any extra oil.
- Dice and marinate the tuna. Cut the tuna into small (1/2″) cubes. Toss with the soy, mirin, sesame, sriracha, ginger, and green onion until well coated. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.
- Mix the avocado. Lightly mash the avocado and mix with the mayo, wasabi, salt, pepper, and a bit of lime juice.
- Assemble. Use a ring mold to assemble. Press the avocado into the bottom of the mold, then top with tuna and press to pack it in. Remove the mold and top with thinly sliced cucumber and sesame seeds. Drizzle with ponzu sauce before serving.
How to Make Fried Wontons
Fried wonton chips are perfect for serving with this Tuna Tartare recipe! They’re so easy to make.
Fried Wonton Chips
- Cut the wonton wrappers into triangles or rectangles.
- Heat 1 inch of oil in a heavy bottomed pot or skillet.
- Line a baking sheet with paper towels and set aside.
- Fry the wonton sheets in batches for about 90 seconds, until just barely golden brown (they brown more as they sit). Use a slotted spoon or spider to remove the wontons from the oil and transfer to the paper towel lined tray to drain excess oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Baked Wonton Chips
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, foil, or cooking spray.
- Place the wonton wrappers on the baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray. Season lightly with salt.
- Bake for 6-8 minutes until crispy and beginning to brown.
How to Serve this Tuna Tartare Recipe
I love serving tuna tartare with crispy wonton chips, but there are so many options! Here are some of my favorite ways to serve tuna tartare:
- with cucumber slices
- in an endive or lettuce cup
- with rice crackers or shrimp chips
- inside an avocado
- over crispy rice squares or steamed sushi rice
Selecting the Right Fish for Tuna Tartare
When enjoying fish raw, it’s important to select the right tuna for tuna tartare! The first step would be to stop by your local fishmonger, or the seafood counter at Whole Foods or Central Market.
Communicate what you’re looking to do and they’ll point you in the right direction.
The term ‘sushi-grade’ is actually a bit of a misleading phrase–there is no governing body that regulates the quality of fish. The FDA recommends that fish being consumed raw should be frozen for a period of time to kill any potential parasites in the fish.
Sushi-grade salmon is usually frozen for long enough in cold temperatures to make it safe to eat. As with any food consumed raw (including tartare, carpaccio, and ceviche), you’re assuming some level of risk.
For this tuna tartare recipe, I opted for frozen Ahi tuna from Central Market and it was absolutely perfect. You could also use yellowtail, albacore, big eye tuna, salmon, or even diced raw scallops.
Tips for Working With Raw Fish
Here are all my tips for working with raw fish to ensure safety in eating fish raw.
- Keep your station clean. This is probably the most important step! Keeping your cutting board, knife, and other tools clean prevents the spread of any kind of bacteria.
- Use the right cutting board. When working with meat or raw fish, you never want to use a wooden cutting board. Wood is porous and can absorb odors and bacteria. Opt for a composite plastic cutting board like this one.
- Keep your fish cold. If you’re buying frozen fish, defrost it in the fridge and only pull it out right before serving. Working with raw seafood at room temperature can be unsafe, so keep everything cold.
If you follow these tips, you’ll be enjoying raw fish safely like a pro.
Tuna Tartare Recipe FAQs
Is Tuna Tartare safe to eat?
As with eating any raw protein, there are some risks assumed. But, if you follow my tips above for preparing raw fish safely, and you purchase from a reputable source, eating tuna tartare is quite safe.
What’s the difference between ceviche and tuna tartare?
Tuna tartare is totally raw, whereas ceviche has been cured in lime juice which totally changes the texture of the fish to feel like it’s cooked.
Should you wash raw tuna before serving?
No! You should never wash fish (or chicken or beef) before cooking. It doesn’t do anything to prevent bacterial growth and instead contaminates your sink and utensils.
Can I make tuna tartare ahead of time?
You can mix and marinate the tuna tartare up to 4 hours ahead of time. Store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to serve.
Is Tuna Tartare gluten-free?
This recipe contains soy which can contain wheat. Swap in coconut aminos or a gluten-free soy sauce like tamari to make tuna tartare gluten-free.
Next time you’re throwing a dinner and need an easy appetizer, try this Tuna Tartare recipe! It’s one of my party go-to’s and never fails to impress. If you do give it a try, be sure to let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. Be sure to subscribe to my weekly newsletter and never miss a new recipe! You can also snap a photo & tag @JENNYGOYCOCHEA on Instagram. I LOVE hearing about & seeing your SMF creations!
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- 12 oz raw ahi tuna, fresh sushi-grade
- 1 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste
- 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons sriracha
- 1 tablespoon thinly sliced green onion
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
- 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced
- 1 tablespoon Japanese mayo (kewpie)
- 1 teaspoon wasabi paste
- 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon mixed sesame seeds
- salt and pepper
- 1 baby cucumber, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons ponzu sauce
- wonton chips, for serving
- Dice and marinate the tuna. Cut the tuna into small (1/2") cubes. Toss with the soy, mirin, sesame, sriracha, ginger, and green onion until well coated. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.
- Mix the avocado. Lightly mash the avocado and mix with the mayo, wasabi, salt, pepper, and lime juice.
- Assemble. Use a ring mold to assemble. Press the avocado into the bottom of the mold, then top with tuna and press to pack it in. Remove the mold and top with thinly sliced cucumber and sesame seeds. Drizzle with ponzu sauce before serving with wonton chips.
- For instructions on making your own wonton chips, see above blog post.
- When eating raw fish, it’s important that it be as fresh as possible and of the highest quality. Make sure to use fresh sushi-grade ahi tuna in this tartare recipe.
- Always buy your raw fish from a reputable source.