Tuna Tataki (キハダ鮪のたたき) is a yellowfin/ahi tuna lightly seared and serve rare with citrus base soy sauce. It’s very easy and quick to prepare, and it is a light yet flavorful appetizer to start a meal.
You may wonder what “tataki (たたき)” means. Literal translation of tataki is “pounded” in Japanese which doesn’t really anything have to do with searing. There are a few theories for the origin of name based on different ways of preparing fish (or meat) in Japanese cuisine.
The first one is when you lightly sear the fish over a hot flame or in a pan and briefly marinate in the citrus based sauce, you would gently “pound” the fish with fingers with marinade.
The other theory says the word comes from the pounding of the fish with knife when you sprinkle salt on the fish prior to cooking, or pounding the fish with grated ginger or green onions to enhance the flavor.
For the sauce, there are several variations for tuna tataki recipe. The most common sauce is simple citrus base soy sauce with choices of shiso leaves, green onion and grated ginger/garlic/daikon.
I used yellowfin (ahi) tuna prepared tataki block from my online store, FishforSushi.com. Since “I” am the one who defrosts the super frozen sashimi, the quality of sashimi is actually better than Japanese grocery stores or sometimes sushi restaurants because their sashimi may be at the counter for several hours or days after they defrost sashimi. If you live in an area where you can’t get high quality sashimi, consider buying online! Besides enjoying the tuna tataki steak by itself, you can also enjoy it over a salad for a fabulous low carb meal.
Here’s the video to show you how easy tuna tataki recipe is. We actually shot this video clip last summer (8 months ago) and it was one of the first videos we shot. We realized there are a lot of missing shots in the clip and definitely not our finest work, but hopefully you think our more recent videos are more entertaining. I hope you enjoy making Tuna Tataki!
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- ½ lb. sashimi grade yellowfin/ahi tuna (buy from FishforSushi.com)
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 green onion/scallion (about 1 Tbsp. chopped green onion)
- 1 inch ginger (about 1 tsp. grated ginger)
- 3 Tbsp. ponzu (or make homemade ponzu)
- 2 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 tsp. soy sauce
- 1 tsp. white sesame seeds
- ½ lemon
- Korean Chili Thread
- Grate ginger and slice green onion thinly.
- Combine the Tataki sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
- Heat olive oil in a non-stick frying pan. When the oil is hot, sear the tuna 30 seconds on each side.
- When all sides are seared, remove from the heat and let it cool. Slice the tuna into ¼ inch pieces. Pour the sauce and serve.