Eric Ripert is the master of fish. He runs the prestigious Le Bernardin, and also hosts my ultimate favorite web series, On The Table. On a low key night, I wanted to create a simple, yet flavorful meal that also happened to be on the lighter side. I was instantly inspired to create Tuna Tartare, and turned to the master for a recipe.
Ripert’s Asian Marinated Tuna Tartare involves a little bit of prep time, to prepare the ridiculously good ginger oil. It takes about two hours to infuse the corn oil with two teaspoons of grated ginger.
After letting the grated ginger and corn oil infuse for over two hours at room temperature, strain the oil (you don’t want any pieces of grated ginger in the tartare). The next steps are extremely simple; carefully slicing the beautiful pieces of sushi grade tuna into smaller cubes, as well as chopping the other ingredients and toasting sesame seeds.
For Tuna Tartare, you cannot buy a piece of raw tuna from your local grocery store. This needs to be sushi grade, the highest quality making it safe to eat the raw fish. I visited my local fish shop in town to pick up the protein.
Carefully slice into 1/4 inch thick pieces, and then cut into cubes. Place into a separate clean bowl.
Whisk together the wet ingredients for the marinate; lemon juice (strained), ginger oil and wasabi powder*. Next add the chopped cilantro, scallions, jalapeno and toasted sesame seeds. Toss together with a large spoon.
Pour the mixture over the diced tuna, gently mixing together.
Tuna Tartare is generally served with some kind of crunchy vessel for eating. I decided to take this dish up a notch, by creating my own potato chips to serve with the tartare. Using Russet Potatoes and a mandolin, I sliced the potatoes thin. Place on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil and a generous amount of kosher salt. Bake on 375º until they turn golden brown.
To get that four star style presentation, without having a fancy round mold, carefully place the a spoonful of the tuna tartare in the middle of a large plate. Begin to add a little more tuna on top to build a tight pile. Place the homemade chips gently on top. Garnish with cilantro.
Beautiful, right? And it tastes even better with the spice from the jalapeno and ginger, and the sweetness from the cilantro and sesame seeds. It’s extremely refreshing, healthy and a pretty easy to create.
I also created a cocktail for the side (yes, this was a pretty adventurous, fancy evening). I created a ginger simple syrup with the left over ginger root from the tartare recipe. It’s a really simple thing to make using ingredients you definitely have; one cup sugar, one cup water, and ginger. That’s it!
Mix the sugar and water until they begin to boil. Add ginger and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and allow for the ginger and sugar-water mixture to seep for 30 minutes to an hour.
Strain, keeping the pieces ginger for garnish. Pour one-two ounces of the ginger simple syrup into the bottom of a champagne flute. Top with prosecco and serve! It’s the perfect bubbling accompaniment to the fancy meal.
With a little bit of planning, you can make an incredibly fancy gourmet meal that requires very little effort. The next time you have no idea what to make for a dinner party, or just a night in, think about a tuna tartare with the volume turned up.
Asian Marinated Tuna Tartare
Recipe by Eric Ripert c/o Food & Wine Magazine
- 1/4 cup corn oil
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- 1 pound sushi-grade tuna
- 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
- 1 teaspoon minced jalapeño
- 1 1/2 teaspoons wasabi powder*
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped scallion
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus half a lemon
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 20 best-quality potato chips (homemade, using Russet Potatoes)
- Combine the corn oil and ginger and let stand at room temperature for at least 2 hours
- Strain the oil
- With a very sharp knife, cut the tuna into 1/4-inch dice
- Whisk together 3 tablespoons of the ginger oil, lemon juice, and wasabi
- Add 3 tablespoons of the cilantro, jalapeño, toasted sesame seeds, and scallions to the oil, lemon and wasabi
- Pour into the diced tuna, mixing gently
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Gently pile the tuna tarare in the middle of a plate, topping with potato chips, cilantro, and a squeeze of lemon juice
*Note: if you cannot find wasabi powder, you can replace with the bottled wasabi, like you would find at a Japanese restaurant. It’s less potent, so you will need to adjust the amount to get the same level of spice. Be sure to whisk well with the lemon juice and ginger oil to make sure it dissolves completely.