Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Spicy Tuna Tartare

Vernon, the fish seller at the Bethesda Central Farm Market, had some Atlantic bigeye tuna (Monterey Bay Aquarium "Best Choice") last week. Just because it was there I had to try it although we weren't sure how we'd eat it. We'd already had a salade Nicoise the week prior so I figured on doing it Asian style with some sesame seeds and a quick sear on each side. I bought a huge bag of snow peas to serve with it. Sometime later in the day, though, I decided to play around. I ended up using the tuna raw as it was so fresh and Vernon so reputable but couldn't decide on any one method. Finally, I made three different dishes for us to sample. One was ceviche style with some lime juice and red onion and a little splash of olive oil. The second, Paul's favorite, was an Italian style crudo - thinly sliced and then just drizzled with a little olive oil and lemon juice and then sprinkled with Maldon sea salt.

The third method tasted a little like a spicy tuna roll. We ate it with great quality taco chips, but would be delicious with fried egg roll wrappers or rolled into a seaweed cone. Even Neva-Betta crackers.

Spicy Tuna Tartare

(serves 4 - 6 as an hors d'oeuvre or appetizer)

1/2 Cup Mayonnaise ( I used Hellman's Light Mayo and it was fine)
2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3/4 pound piece of really fresh tuna from a reliable source
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
2 stalks very thinly sliced green garlic (or 1 fat garlic clove, minced)

1. Mix first three ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

2. Dice up the tuna as finely as you can without shredding it.

3. Place cut up tuna into a medium bowl, add the onion and garlic, and then add about 2 or 3 tablespoons of the Sriracha mayo and gently mix. Add more mayo bit by bit until you get a taste and consistency you like. Save the leftover mayo for another dish!

4. Serve with good quality taco chips or fried wanton skins, or make a roll with a seaweed cone.

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