Tuna Tartare Recipe

By Jeri Mobley-Arias
May 3, 2022 | Updated on May 3, 2024

This tuna tartare recipe is easy and sure to please your tastebuds. Made with raw sushi-grade ahi tuna, soy sauce, garlic, mirin, sugar, sake, and sesame oil, then layered atop mashed avocado and served with fried wontons. A delicious appetizer that is easy to make.

If you are looking for more tartare recipes, then check out my Smoked Salmon Tartare recipe, next!

tuna-tartare-recipe

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Tuna Tartare Recipe

My husband and I are big fans of this tuna tartare recipe. It’s a lovely balance of flavors; slightly sweet, a hint of heat, fresh, light and absolutely delicious.

When paired with fresh avocado and fried wontons, it is a flavor bomb that keeps us scooping for more.

What is Tuna Tartare?

Yellowfin tuna tartare is a dish that is typically served as an appetizer. It consists of raw tuna, that is diced or minced and mixed with seasonings and ingredients.

tuna-tartare

Do I Need to Use Sushi-Grade Tuna?

In short, YES. Since this is a tartare recipe, the main ingredient–yellowfin tuna–is served raw, and you want to make sure it’s of the highest quality.

A guaranteed way to get your hands on sushi-grade yellowfin tuna is by going to your local fishmonger you trust and having them slice the desired amount for you.

Make sure the fish is fresh! It should smell like the ocean, not have a fishy smell. The texture should be silky, not slimy and have a deep red color.

Ingredients to Make This Tuna Tartare Recipe

What makes this tuna tartare recipe so unique is the flavor that comes from the sauce. All of the ingredients marry well together creating a balance of sweet, salty and umami.

Let’s breakdown what you will need:

  • Yellowfin Tuna – Also referred to as Ahi Tuna. Be sure to use sushi-grade tuna loin cut into ½-inch cubes.
  • Sake – Japanese alcoholic beverage made of fermented rice. This recipe only calls for a small amount of junmai sake.
  • Mirin – Japanese rice wine that is higher in sugar and lower in alcohol content compared to sake.
  • Soy sauce – A base that adds balanced saltiness to the tuna tartare.
  • Sesame oil – To give just a hint of nuttiness.
  • Garlic – Just a small amount of this aromatic balances the saltiness of the sauce.
  • Avocado – Serves as the base when making the tuna tartare tower and creates a lovely mouthfeel.
  • Thai Chili – This is added after half of the sauce is divided to marinate the tuna. When ready to serve, the last of the sauce is topped over the tuna.
  • Wonton wrappers – These will be cut in half, fried and used as the vessel to scoop up the tuna goodness.
  • Black and White (toasted) sesame seeds – Used to garnish the tartar just before serving.
  • Kosher salt – Used to season the avocado.
tuna-tartare-recipe-closeup

How to Make Tuna Tartare

Making tuna tartare is easier than you think! It calls for just a few steps, but what’s most important is that you use quality yellowfin tuna, I’m talking sushi-grade, folks.

For this recipe, you will want to get tuna loin, which is ideal for tuna tartare and poke bowls.

Okay, let’s jump into the how-to:

  1. Add mirin, sake, soy sauce, grated garlic, sugar, sesame oil to a bowl and mix until sugar dissolves.
  2. Cut tuna into ½-inch cubes, making sure to cut against the grain. Place tuna in a bowl and add half of the sauce along with an additional ½ teaspoon of soy sauce. Mix well, cover with wrap and place in the refrigerator for 25 minutes to marinate.
  3. Add Thai chili to remaining sauce and mis well. Set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, make fried wontons (see below).
  5. In a bowl, scoop out avocados, lightly mash with a fork and season with kosher salt.
  6. To serve, place avocado into the food mold and gently push down. Next, layer tuna tartare and push to pack it in.
  7. Carefully remove the food mold and top with remaining sauce. Garnish with white and black sesame seeds and serve with fried wontons.
tuna-tartare-recipe-steps

What to Pair with Tuna Tartare

This recipe calls for pairing tuna tartare with fried wontons, but, you can also pair it with:

  • Cucumber slices
  • Prawn crackers
  • Potato chips
  • Crostini
  • Crackers
  • Butter lettuce

How to Make Fried Wontons

Making fried wontons is relatively simple. The hardest part is deciding the shape you want to get those perfectly proportioned scoops of tuna, avocado and sauce.

  1. Just before you are ready to start frying, slice the wonton wrappers diagonally (creating triangles) or in half (creating long rectangular strips).
  2. Next, add avocado oil to a medium saucepan, making sure the oil measures 1½ inches deep. Heat oil over medium-high heat until temperature reaches 360°F.
  3. Carefully add a few strips at a time and pay close attention as the wontons cook relatively fast. Use a spider strainer to scoop out fried wontons and place on a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat until all wontons wrappers are fried.
tuna-tartare-closeup

Tips and Tricks

  • When cubing tuna, be sure to cut against the grain. This will cut the muscle fibers into smaller pieces, making it easier to chew.
  • Ask for tuna loin cuts from the belly as dorsal loin cuts are not as tender.
  • This tuna tartare appetizer is best when served immediately. Best to consume within one hour after preparing.

More Recipes with Fish

If you love this simple tuna tartare recipe, then you may also like these favorites:

Loving This Tuna Poke?

We can’t get enough of this tuna tartare with avocado, either! Leave a comment below and share your love for this recipe on Instagram and tag @whisperofyum #whisperofyum. We love to see you get down in the kitchen. Happy eating!

tuna-tartare-recipe

Tuna Tartare Recipe

This tuna tartare recipe is easy and sure to please your tastebuds. Made with raw sushi-grade tuna, soy sauce, garlic, mirin, sugar, sake, and sesame oil, then layered atop mashed avocado and served with fried wontons.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chill Tuna 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 2 people
Author Jeri Mobley-Arias
Course Appetizer

Equipment

  • 3-inch biscuit cutter

Ingredients

  • ¼ pound ahi tuna, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • ½ tablespoon plus ⅙ teaspoon, soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sake, I use Sho Chiku Bai sake
  • 2 teaspoons mirin
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic, grated
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon Thai chili, minced

Fried Wontons

  • 12 wonton wrappers, cut in half, rectangle slices or triangles
  • Avocado oil, for frying

Avocado

  • 1 medium avocado, lightly mashed
  • Kosher salt to taste, Diamond Crystal brand

Garnish

  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Black sesame seeds

Instructions

Tuna Tartare

  • Add mirin, sake, soy sauce, grated garlic, sugar, sesame oil to a bowl and mix until sugar dissolves. Do not add Thai chili, yet.
  • Cut tuna into ½-inch cubes, making sure to cut against the grain. Place tuna in a bowl and add half of the sauce along with an additional ⅛ teaspoon of soy sauce. Mix well, cover with wrap and place in the refrigerator for 25 minutes to marinate.
  • Add Thai chili to remaining sauce and mix well. Set aside.
  • In a bowl, scoop out avocados, lightly mash with a fork and season with kosher salt. Set aside and start on fried wontons.

Fried Wontons

  • Just before you are ready to start frying, slice the wonton wrappers diagonally (creating triangles) or in half (creating long rectangular strips).
  • Next, add avocado oil to a medium saucepan, making sure the oil measures 1½ inches deep. Heat oil over medium-high heat until temperature reaches 360°F.
  • Carefully add a few strips at a time and pay close attention as the wontons cook relatively fast.
  • Use a spider spatula to scoop out fried wontons and place on a paper towel lined plate. Repeat until all wontons are fried.

To Serve

  • To serve, place avocado into the food mold and gently push down with the back of a spoon. Next, layer tuna tartare and push again to pack it in. Carefully remove food mold and top with remaining sauce. Garnish with white and black sesame seeds and serve with fried wontons.
Did you make this recipe?Leave a comment below and tag @whisperofyum on Instagram and hashtag it #whisperofyum!
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jeri-mobley

Hey, I'm Jeri!

At Whisper of Yum, we explore ALL cuisines - comfort foods, classics, elevated originals. If you love food like me, I invite you to settle in to this place, where swoon-worthy food is attainable + inspo for your next meal awaits.

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