Today we learn how to make tuna tartare Hawaiian Style, inspired heavily by my time in Hawaii eating Ahi tuna, poke, and tuna tartare there inspired by Asian flavors. We are making a tuna stack with a quick avocado guacamole and using crispy chow mein noodles for a crispy element. It's delicious, it's easy and it's one of my favorite things.
1/2 Lb Sushi Grade Tuna, diced small (Ahi, Bluefin, Yellowfin)
2 Tablespoons, Red Onion, finely diced
1/4 Cup Scallions Chopped (2 Scallions sliced thin)
1/2 Lime, Juiced and zest
1/4 cup, Crispy Chow Mein Noodles
1/2 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
1/2 Tablespoon Ponzu
1 Teaspoon Sesame oil
Salt and Fresh cracked pepper
1 Tablespoon Sesame Seeds (Optional)
This dish starts with the best piece of tuna you can find. You want to ask for Sushi Grade Tuna. It should smell like nothing and look for tuna that doesn’t have those white lines running through the meat which will make it less pleasant to eat in this preparation.
Depending on the shape and size of the tuna you are given, you’ll cut it a bit different. This is the method for using a tuna steak. Cut it in half against the grain. Then take one half, find the grains and then cut into half-inch plans across the grain. Then cut those planks in half so that they then become the shape of a thick French fry. Then line them all up and dice them into cubes. You’ll almost be able to cut with the grain which will result in these perfect little cubes of tuna. Transfer to a bowl and then keep that bowl on ice to keep it fresh if not using immediately.
Next prepare the guacamole. In a bowl, dice up 1/2 an avocado into small dice. We will mash it slightly but I want it to mimic the tuna a bit and create chunkier guacamole. Add half the red onion, add half the scallions, lime juice, salt and pepper them with a fork, mash it up roughly, just to the point that is sort of holds together. It's like half mashed, half chunky.
Next, it’s time to season the tuna. You don’t want the tuna swimming in sauce. You want enough sauce that the tuna sort of sucks up the seasoning. So we are gonna add a 1/2 tablespoon of soy sauce and a 1/2 tablespoon of ponzu and then taste. If it needs a little more, add another 1/2 tablespoon. Then add 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil. Add the rest of the onion, scallions, a pinch of salt and if you have sesame seeds, add those now too. Mix together well.
To plate, either use a ring mold or a small mug. If using a mold, the order is adding around a 1/4 cup of chow mien noodles, maybe a little less, just use your judgment. Then the guac. Make sure to compress the guac a bit at this point. Finally the tuna. Compress that down as well. If you added the right amounts. There should be about an equal amount of each ingredient stacked on top of each other. Then with the back of the spoon on the top, slowly remove the ring mold. If using a mug, you will do the exact same thing, but the order will be in reverse. Tuna first, then guac, then noodles. Then place a plate over the top of the bowl, then flip right side up and remove the mug just like the ring mold. Garnish with some additional scallions or baby greens or radish sprouts, a little lime zest and you’ve got yourself Hawaiian Tuna Tartare.
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