Wednesday, June 16, 2004
Grapefruit and Mint Tuna Tartare
I know it's silly, but I just realized WHY (scientifically) when you are making tuna tartare, the tuna is dressed with the oil before adding the grapefruit juice...it's so the fish is coated with the oil to protect it from getting "cooked" by the acid
in the citrus. (The citrus cannot penetrate the fat. Remember that oil and water don't mix? Same principle.) If you don't want to the tuna to turn opaque (cook.) make sure to coat it really well with oil before adding any acid. Every tuna tartare recipe I've ever used does that, but I never though about why until last night. Here is the recipe I developed:
4 Tablespoons fresh grapefruit juice (if not sweet, add 1 teaspoon sugar or sweetener)
4 Tablespoons fresh mint leaves, chiffonade
1 Tablespoon pickled ginger, minced
1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 medium red jalapeno, seeded and minced
One small cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
6 oz sushi grade tuna
6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of salt
Pepper to taste
Combine first six ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.
Toss together cucumber, tuna, oil and salt. Dress with vinaigrette and serve immediately.
Serves four as an appetizer
Additions: Diced Avocado, Grapefruit Segments, Chives, Bell Pepper, Sesame Seeds or Toasted Cashew Pieces.