If you like sushi, ceviche, and poke, you’ll love this Tuna Tartare. It’s so tasty and only takes 10 minutes to prepare.
I am an unabashed lover of all things seafood, including raw and raw-ish versions like sushi, ceviche, and poke. There’s something about the simple, clean flavors of those foods, where quality and a minimum of ingredients really shine, that really appeals to me.
If you’re a sushi lover as well, this is the appetizer for you. My tuna tartare recipe is simple and is ready in as little as 10 minutes.
Scroll down to read more about how it all comes together or click here to jump straight down to the recipe.
While some tuna tartare recipes go with Asian flavors like soy sauce, sesame oil, and sriracha, I wanted to keep it slightly more simple and let that beautiful tuna flavor shine.
We are going to use jalapeno to get some heat. The other ingredients help balance everything with chives, lemon juice and zest, olive oil, salt, and pepper. And it all comes together so easily and quickly.
Making The Tuna Tartare
Any great tuna tartare starts with great tuna. So go to a good seafood store and buy the best they have. How do you know what’s best? Ask. Expertise is one of the things you’re paying for at a good seafood store.
Other indications of high quality are if a seafood is labeled “sushi grade” or if it’s been flash frozen at sea, meaning it was frozen immediately after being caught, preserving freshness and texture. For more about sushi grade fish, here’s a good article from The Kitchn.
About 30 minutes before you want to make your tartare, put the tuna in the freezer. You want it almost frozen but not solid. This step isn’t critical, but it’ll make the tuna easier to dice. A very sharp knife also helps with slicing it.
In the meantime, get the rest of your ingredients ready and plan to combine it all soon before you plan to serve it.
Serving Tuna Tartare
Speaking of serving, to make it finger food-y, my tuna tartare is served on potato chips. They also give it a nice crunch to contrast with the soft tuna and add a pop of saltiness.
Definitely use ruffle-style chips because they’ll hold up better and longer—they’ll stay crisp for about an hour after they’re topped with the tartare, and will hold together for about an hour and a half.
Do you have to do this? Of course not, but it’s such a fun presentation for a party. You can also leave the tartare in a bowl and serve along potato chips, pita chips, or crackers.
What Wine Should I Pair With Tuna?
A dish that’s as light and bright as this one—both in taste and texture—will go great with a similarly light, bright white wine, like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. Raw tuna on its own would be good with this kind of wine, but I’m sealing the deal by adding the bright tickle of lemon, chives, and even the touch of jalapeno.
More Great Recipes
If you love this tuna tartare, you might also be interested in this other amazing recipes that don’t require you to cook the meat or fish.Print
- 1 jalapeno
- 1–2 lemons, plus lemon wedges for serving
- 8 oz. sushi-grade tuna, finely diced (see notes)
- 2 Tbsp. chopped chives
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. salt, or more to taste
- 1/4 tsp. pepper, or more to taste
- 24 ruffle-style potato chips (see notes)
- Thinly slice about half of the jalapeno and set the slices aside. Stem, seed, and mince the remaining jalapeno.
- Zest a lemon and set the zest aside. Juice the zested lemon, plus a second lemon if necessary, to yield 2 tablespoons of juice.
- In a large bowl, combine the minced jalapeno, lemon juice, tuna, chives, oil, salt, and pepper. Add more lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste.
- Arrange the potato chips on plates or a platter and top with the tuna mixture, reserved sliced jalapeno, and reserved lemon zest.
- Serve with lemon wedges.
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Freezing the tuna for about 30 minutes can make it easier to dice.
The chips will stay crisp for about an hour after they’re topped with the tartare, and will hold together for about an hour and a half.
This post originally appeared in December 2021 and was revised and republished in October 2023.