Twenty at the Tower Recipe: Spicy Tuna Tartar

Recipe from chef Jon Bonnell

Serves 4

8 oz Sashimi Grade Ahi tuna, Medium Dice
2 oz Radish, Peeled and Finely Diced
2 oz Cucumber, Peeled Seeded and Finely Diced
1Tablespoon Capers, Chopped
1 Roma Tomato, Seeds Removed and Finely Diced
1 Shallot, Finely Diced
1 1/2  Whole Limes, Juice Only
1Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
½ teaspoon Cayenne pepper
2 Dashes Crystal Hot Sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper  

For garnish:  
3 tablespoons Sour Cream
1 ripe Avocado, diced
1 ounce Caviar (optional)

Combine all ingredients except for the tuna in a bowl and mix well.  Just before serving combine this mixture with the tuna and serve quickly or the tuna will “cook” too much and change appearance and texture.  Season the avocado with just a pinch of salt and a light squeeze of lime, then place one layer in the center of a plate inside a ring mold.  Season the sour cream with a squeeze of lime and a pinch of salt and pepper as well.  Scoop a couple of ounces of the tuna mixture to form the next layer in the ring mold and gently press down with the back of a spoon to smooth out the mixture.  Gently remove the ring mold, then top with a dollop of the sour cream mixture and a few eggs of caviar (optional).

The key to a great tuna tartar is the right balance of acidity, salt and spice.  Although the heat level can be changed, I prefer a little spice to liven up this dish.  Ahi, also called yellowfin, tuna is my preference for this dish, but bigeye tuna or even fresh albacore can be outstanding as well.  The technique is simple, but can earn you big “presentation points” from dinner guests if you can pull off this easy ring mold preparation. 

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