Learn to make the best tuna tartare recipe at home and NEVER buy it at a restaurant again! Deceptively easy to make and with a simple ginger soy dressing, it’s an elegant appetizer that is sure to impress!
I love myself some seafood appetizers. I have a few favorites on hand including bang bang shrimp and coconut shrimp, but when I want to be fancy, I love a good tuna tartare.
What is tuna tartare?
Inspired by beef tartare, the tuna version is made up of raw tuna cubed and seasoned with soy sauce, ginger, and sesame oil. It’s an elegant appetizer in restaurants and bars, and tastes incredible.
Thanks to the growing popularity of poke bowls and tuna sushi, raw ahi tuna is becoming readily available, meaning you can make tartare at home!
Why you’ll love this tuna tartare recipe–
- No fishy flavor. Like other raw fish recipes, you don’t get the flavor of the raw fish. Light colored belly albacore color tuna is very mild in flavor, and even more so when the sauce and seasonings is added.
- Ready in 5 minutes. With no marination time required, this is the appetizer you can whip up right there and then.
- Healthy and protein packed. Raw meat provides more proteins and enzymes that are lost when the meat is cooked. It not only tastes good but is healthy too.
- Cheaper than restaurants. Because tuna tartare is super trendy, it typically has quite a hefty price tag attached to it. This homemade version comes at a fraction of the price, but with a much more generous serving!
For all the tartare lovers, you will love how easy and delicious this dish is. You won’t believe how easy it is to make, and you’ll never order it at a restaurant again!
For the tartar and toppings
- Sushi grade tuna/Ahi tuna- You can ONLY use sushi grade or ahi tuna. While regular raw tuna may look appropriate, it has not been farmed the correct way to enjoy in an un-cooked state.
- Sesame seeds and green onions– Adds some crunch and color.
For the marinade
- Ginger- A must when working with any kind of seafood.
- Soy sauce– Tamari or gluten free soy sauce also work.
- Lime juice– Adding citrus reacts with the sesame oil and soy to ‘cook’ the tuna, while also balancing out the salty and rich flavors.
- Sesame oil– Just a drizzle to add an extra layer of richness and delicious sesame flavor.
How to make tuna tartare
Cut your tuna into cubes: Make ¼ inch cubes of your tuna and put them in a mixing bowl.
Marinate in a small bowl: Take a small bowl, add sesame oil, lime juice, ginger, and soya sauce, and mix well. Add this prepared sauce to the tuna bowl, and whisk until it gets absorbed.
Serve: Transfer the tuna to the serving bowls and garnish with chopped chives and toasted sesame seeds.
Tips for success
- Use fresh sushi-grade tuna or ahi tuna. This fish can be found at Japanese grocery stores, fishmongers, or specialty seafood stores. You can also buy cuts from traditional sushi shops.
- Don’t marinate the fish for too long, or else the fish will absorb too much flavor and detract from the natural flavors.
- For a spicy tuna tartare, add some chili sauce or red pepper flakes.
Can you keep tuna tartare?
To Store- Keep it in an air-tight container, refrigerated, for up to two days. Do not consume raw fish if kept longer than three days.
To Freeze- Do not freeze tuna tartare or raw tuna, as it will become rubbery and yield a foul smell once thawed.
How to serve tuna tartare
Tuna tartare is best served as an appetizer, either with freshly sliced avocado , over crackers, or part of a charcuterie board. Keep the carbs down by scooping it up using keto crackers and keto chips.
Alternatively, enjoy it as a low carb main dish paired with a simple spinach salad or cauliflower potato salad. You can also give it a Mexican twist by making tuna tartare tacos (we love serving them in keto taco shells).
More seafood recipes to try
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, tuna tartare is healthy. Raw fish has many health benefits, including iron, iodine, and omega 3 healthy fats. You can add other healthy ingredients to the dish, like avocado and cucumber, to make it even healthier.
If the tuna is sushi-grade, it will be translucent, shiny, and bright red. You should look for this color at the core and tail. The bloodline should also be darker red than the meat. If it is black or brown, it is not suitable for tartare.
Tartar refers to a sauce that is often served with seafood. Tartare is a food term describing raw meat or seafood, most often tuna, salmon, and beef, that is finely minced/chopped, seasoned, and served as an appetizer.
Slice your tuna into ¼-inch cubes and place them in a mixing bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together the ginger, soy sauce, lime juice and sesame oil until combined.
Pour the sauce over the tuna and gently mix until incorporated.
Transfer into serving bowls and sprinkle with the chopped chives and toasted sesame seeds.
Serving: 1serving | Calories: 115kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 6g | Sodium: 211mg | Potassium: 169mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 1271IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg