If you’re craving a refreshing, sophisticated, and easy-to-make dish, this Tuna Tartare recipe is exactly what you need! It showcases sushi-grade ahi tuna and creamy avocado, all tossed in a vibrant, Asian-inspired marinade. Serve it as a light appetizer or entrée accompanied by seaweed or crispy wonton chips.Jump to Recipe
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Refreshing & light: This tuna tartare is an incredibly refreshing and light meal, perfect for a warm summer day or a backyard get-together.
- Easy to make: Despite its fancy presentation, this recipe is quick and easy to make. Seriously, it’s ready in just 10 minutes!
- Versatile: This dish can be served as an appetizer, snack, or light meal, meaning it’s a recipe you should always have in the back of your mind.
- Nutritious: Packed with proteins, healthy fats, and other nutrients, this tuna tartare is not just delicious but also a healthy choice.
Refreshing tuna tartare
Tartare is one of my go-to appetizers whenever I’m in the mood for something fancy but don’t feel like spending hours in the kitchen. I love classic steak tartare, spicy beef tartare, salmon tartare, and of course, tuna tartare — it’s simple, elegant, and vibrant!
Sushi-grade ahi tuna, with its lean, meaty texture and subtly sweet flavor, forms the base of this dish. Paired with creamy, buttery avocado, these two ingredients create a perfect contrast of textures.
The marinade features a mix of ginger, soy sauce, lime juice, sesame oil, and chili onion crunch for a tangy, umami-packed punch that accentuates the fresh, delicate flavors of the tuna and avocado.
For the final touch, I love to add sesame seeds and scallions to create just the right texture and an additional layer of flavor. You can serve your tuna tartare with seaweed or crispy wonton chips for a contrasting crispness.
Ingredients & substitutions
- Ahi tuna: Make sure to ask your local fishmonger if the ahi tuna is sushi-grade (let them know you’ll be consuming it raw). If you can’t find ahi, yellowfin tuna is a great substitute.
- Avocado: Adds creaminess to contrast the meaty tuna. If you’re not an avocado fan, you can replace it with diced cucumbers for a crunch without the creaminess.
- Ginger paste: Provides a sweet-spicy flavor that balances the richness of the avocado and tuna. You can also use freshly grated ginger root.
- Soy sauce: Brings a salty, savory, and umami element to your tuna tartare. For a gluten-free option, try liquid aminos, tamari, or gluten-free soy sauce.
- Lime: Make sure it’s freshly squeezed for the best results. If you don’t have any limes on hand, try rice wine vinegar instead.
- Sesame oil: Creates a toasty, nutty flavor profile. No sesame oil available? Replace it with avocado or canola oil and add extra sesame seeds on top.
- Chili onion crunch: A Trader Joe’s specialty, chili onion crunch provides savory, zesty, rich, and slightly spicy flavors. If you don’t live near Trader Joe’s, just use chili garlic paste or Sriracha.
- Scallions & sesame seeds: These ingredients add the perfect finishing touch. You can also use Chinese chives, regular chives, or chia seeds in a pinch.
How to make tuna tartare
- Prep the tuna and avocado: Pat the tuna dry, dice it up into ½-inch cubes, and toss it into a mixing bowl. Dice your avocado similarly and toss it in with the tuna.
- Whip up the marinade: In a separate bowl, combine the ginger, soy sauce, lime juice, sesame oil, chili onion crunch, half the sesame seeds, and scallions.
- Mix it all together: Pour the marinade over your tuna and avocado mixture. Mix gently until everything is evenly coated, being careful not to mash the avocado. Transfer the mixture to a smaller bowl and pack it in tight.
- Plate and garnish: Flip the mixture onto a serving plate and give it a gentle tap to release. Sprinkle on the rest of your sesame seeds and some extra scallions, and you’re good to go!
Here are some fun and unique side dishes to enjoy with this tuna tartare recipe:
- Wonton chips or crackers
- Lettuce cups
- Crispy nori or seaweed salad
- Steamed rice or quinoa
- Keto baked Asian meatballs
- 5-minute Asian cucumber salad
- On top of a sushi bowl or poke bowl
Frequently asked questions
Yes, you can safely eat raw tuna that’s been frozen. Just make sure it’s sushi-grade and properly thawed.
While Tuna is preferred, you could also use sushi-grade yallowtail, salmon for a salmon tartare recipe.
The ideal marination time is 15 minutes. Longer marination may result in the tuna starting to “cook” in the lime juice, so be mindful of the time!
While tuna tartare is best enjoyed fresh, here’s how you can store it if needed:
- Fridge: Store the leftovers in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for up to 1 day.
- Freezer: Freezing tuna tartare is not recommended as it can ruin the texture of the tuna and avocado.
- Spicy: Add more chili onion crunch or Sriracha for extra spice.
- Tropical: Add diced mango for a fruity twist.
- Herby: Add fresh chopped herbs like cilantro or Thai basil to infuse more flavor.
- Citrus: Mix in some orange or grapefruit segments for more citrus notes.
- Sushi roll: Use this tuna tartare as a filling for sushi rolls or on top of a spicy tuna stack.
- Use fresh ingredients: Using fresh ingredients is essential for the best flavors and food safety, especially when working with raw tuna.
- Don’t over-marinate: You don’t want to over-marinate because this can start to “cook” the tuna.
- Serve chilled: Serving it chilled enhances the refreshing nature of the dish.
- Use a mold: For a professional, restaurant-like presentation, you can use a metal mold to stack your tuna.
- Use sushi-grade tuna: Sushi-grade tuna is safer for consumption and tastes much better anyways!
- Mix gently: To prevent the tuna and avocado from turning mushy, it’s best to mix very gently.
- Serve immediately: The fresher this recipe is the better it tastes, so ensure you serve it immediately.
Looking for more seafood recipes?
If you loved this tuna tartare recipe, be sure to check out some more of my seafood favorites:
- Hamachi Crudo
- Albacore Tuna Salad
- Poached Shrimp Cocktail
- Ahi Tuna Poke Wonton Nachos
- Fresh Salmon Tartare with Avocado
If you try this Tuna Tartare, let me know what you think! Rate and review this recipe in the comments below. Don’t forget to take a picture and tag me on Instagram @lenaskitchenblog!
Quick & Easy Tuna Tartare
- ½ pound Ahi Tuna sushi grade cut into ½-inch pieces
- 1 large avocado diced into ½-inch pieces
- Pat the tuna fillet dry using a paper towel. Cut the tuna into 1/2-inch cubes and add to a mixing bowl. Cut the avocado into ½-inch cubes as well and add to the bowl.
- In a small bowl, add the ginger, soy sauce, lime juice, sesame oil, chili onion crunch, scallions and, half the sesame seeds, whisk together until combined.
- Pour the sauce over the tuna and avocado mixture and gently mix to incorporate. Add to a smaller bowl so the mixture fits tightly.
- Using a larger serving plate, put the plate on top of the bowl and then flip over the bowl, tap to release the tuna mixture, and lift. Top with the remaining sesame seeds and a sprinkle of scallions. Serve with seaweed or crispy wonton chips.