Spicy-Citrusy Tuna & Avocado Tartare

by leah

Easing back in, I give you citrus and avocado tuna tartare, low-carby and delicious at the same time. I think this one is also paleo-friendly, for you folks who think that eating like a caveman makes you healthier.

This dish is spicy and rich and tart. It’s a good dish to serve to those among us who are squeamy about raw fish as it has none of the fishy-ocean taste. It’s also no-cook (if you skip the parsnip) so it’s great for warm days. It stretches a small amount of tuna a very long way, so it’s a cheap way to enjoy this ever increasingly expensive fish. Oh this dish is a wonder indeed! It does everything. So you should make it.

Serves 4 as an appetiser

There is other stuff in the recipe too but it's just not as pretty as the fresh ingredients!

  • 1 Real fresh tuna steak (approx 300-400g). Ask your fishmonger when the tuna came in. If it’s any earlier than yesterday, don’t buy it. You’re eating it raw, be choosy.
  • 1 Large avocado
  • 1 Fresh shallot or 3 green onions (I have fresh shallots but dried will do)
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 Lime
  • 1/2 Pink grapefruit
  • 1 Large carrot
  • 1 Parsnip
  • 1 Pinch of Japanese red pepper powder, or cayenne, or your powdered spicy pepper of choice
  • 1 Tablespoon of Greek yoghurt
  • Soy
  • Sesame Oil
  • Sriracha or some extra Japanese red pepper powder

If you’re doing parsnip chips, slice your parsnip thinly on the bias and toss in a drizzle of oil, a pinch of salt and the red pepper. Lay out on a baking tray and put in a 340 degree oven while you prep the tartare. Peel and slice the carrots on the bias, squeeze over some lemon and add a tiny pinch of salt. Leave to marinate. You can substitute some little toast points or sliced toasted baguette if that’s your bag, but I do like the cleaner taste of the vegie chips here.

Peel and chop the avocado roughly. Put into a medium mixing bowl with a big squeeze of lime, a little pinch of salt and the yoghurt. Mash it together with a fork till it’s pasty but still a little chunky. Taste and add more salt and acid as you see fit. It shouldn’t be too salty as it has to temper the tart saltiness of the tuna mix. Set aside.

With a very sharp knife, dice the tuna into as tiny a dice as you can manage. Then gently chop it into finer pieces until it starts to hold together as one mass. Tumble it into a medium mixing bowl and squeeze in 1/4 of a grapefruits worth of juice, a tiny drizzle of sesame oil and a tiny splash of soya sauce. Grate in the white part of the shallot with a microplane (if you don’t have one you should get one, seriously) and then finely slice the green part and add to the bowl. Mix it all together, add some salt and then add more grapefruit, soy, and lemon until it tastes right. You got tastebuds, use em. It should be tart but the acid shouldn’t overpower the flavour of the lovely silky fish.

Check your parnsip chips at this point, they should be starting to crisp, if they’re dark, take them out as they burn fast.

Very lightly grease 4 mugs or ramekins with sesame oil. Press in about an inch worth of the tuna mixture and then about the same of avocado on top. At this point, please feel free to refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving. When you’re ready to serve, gently upturn the the ramekins and tap a bit until it demoulds and oozes out (sounds appetizing right? Gotta work on my adjectives a little there…).

Thoroughly mix the tartare together before eating. It's more delicious that way!

Serve on a big white plate with your dipping vehicle of choice.