I’ve come to think about recipes lately. It’s a funny thing. I enjoy cookbooks. I love gawking at pictures of food and reading recipes. But I don’t always cook with recipes – more specifically, I’m just too lazy to measure stuff :). Baking is another matter, however. I don’t mind following such recipes as much. As for cooking, I prefer freestyle – especially when it comes to Asian cooking.
Well, we had a beautiful warm spring afternoon today so I wanted to make a light lunch appropriate for such weather. So tuna tartare it was. The best tuna tartare I’ve ever had was at Aqua in San Francisco, years ago when I was a West Coaster. I remember the delicate flavors in the gorgeously presented tartare topped with a raw egg yolk. The restaurant website posted a tartare recipe, but I was there such a long time ago that I’m not sure if this is the same recipe used back then. In any case, I was inspired to create my own tuna tartare.
The following are the ingredients that I used to make my tartare, sans egg. I didn’t measure anything so there’s no recipe. I just tasted and adjusted the seasonings until the flavors were well-balanced. More fun that way.
- Sushi-grade tuna
- Soy sauce
- Ginger, grated
- Lemon (use both the zest and juice)
- Sesame seeds (I used black sesame seeds), toasted – it brings out the flavors
- Sesame oil
- Scallions, thinly sliced
Cut the tuna into small cubes (a super sharp knife helps). In a separate bowl, mix together soy sauce, a bit of wasabi and ginger, some lemon juice and zest, and a small dash of sesame oil (sesame oil can overwhelm a dish if we use too much!). Taste and adjust the flavors to how you like it. I like to taste by dipping a cube of tuna in the dressing. When you are happy with the flavors, pour a bit into the tuna and mix – taste, and add more dressing if needed. Stir in toasted sesame seeds and scallions.