Making Homemade Tuna Tartare Appetizer

Making tuna tartare is easy. Finding the right piece of fish to serve is the hard part. To be safe serving raw tuna, you have to get intimate with it to feel comfortable. No ordinary supermarket tuna will do. You need to know its story, to understand where it came from, how it was caught and stored. You have to be sure that it is fresh and sushi grade.

Sushi grade tuna
Am I weird to find sushi grade tuna so beautiful?

Last summer my husband and son caught the tuna while deep sea fishing off the coast of North Carolina. They came home with coolers filled with rows and rows of ruby steaks. The fish was on ice and had been swimming in the wild a few hours before we picked the most beautiful ones to chop up into tuna tartare with some ripe avocados. Each bite was pure summer, a little mouthful of ocean goodness:  cool, exotic, and fresh.

Finding gorgeous sushi grade tuna is a little harder in Chicago, but not impossible. It just requires a little driving. We can head South to Mitsuwa Japanese supermarket, East to Issacson & Stein’s Fish Company or West to Supreme Lobster to find the freshest tuna. You won’t need a lot – a half a pound at the most to make an appetizer for six to 8 people. Buying the tuna may not be as thrilling as a day of deep sea fishing, but the end result is just as delicious.

sushi grade tuna chopped
Freeze the tuna for an hour or two to make it easier to chop.

Once you’ve found your tuna, preparing it is the easy part. Put it in the freezer for a few hours to make it easier to cut. Chop it into the smallest pieces you can and toss it with some avocado, wasabi powder, rice vinegar lemon juice and ponzu sauce. I serve it with some Baked Lay’s or Pringles. I don’t see any point in wasting any time trying to prepare some sort of fancy schmancy canape. Such beautiful tuna should not be kept waiting.

Making Homemade Tuna Tartare Appetizer
  • Sushi-Grade Tuna, ½ lb
  • 2 Avocados, diced
  • ¼ Cup Ponzu Sauce
  • 4 Tbsps Rice Vinegar
  • 1 Lemon, Juiced
  • 1 Tsp Wasabi Powder
  1. Place the tuna in the freezer for an hour or two. The cold will make it easier to cut.
  2. Chop the tuna in the smallest pieces you can with a sharp chef's knife.
  3. Slice the avocado in half and dice.
  4. Toss the tuna and avocado together.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix the lemon juice, ponzu sauce, wasabi paste, and rice vinegar together.
  6. Toss the sauce on the tuna and mix well.
  7. Serve in a bowl surrounded by Pringles or Baked Lays. Take your time calling the rest of your party to the table so you can sneak a few tastes alone. Call it quality control if you need an excuse. Go on, you know you want to.

One Response to Making Homemade Tuna Tartare Appetizer

  1. I love tuna and this homemade tuna tartare appetizer sounds delicious. Will have to try this sometime. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

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