Tuna Tataki

Lure Seafood

Excerpted from Lure: Sustainable Seafood Recipes from the West Coast by Ned Bell with Valerie Howes.

You’ve heard of seared ahi tuna steaks, right? Well that’s essentially tataki. The flesh is flash-seared so it’s crispy on the outside but still rare inside, resulting in a delicious contrast of textures and temperatures. Thinly sliced and arranged on a platter, it makes for an elegant first course, especially when topped with crunchy toasted sesame seeds and tahini vinaigrette. The rich, nutty flavor of the sesame seeds is a perfect match for the rare tuna.

Serves 4

Tahini, lemon, and honey vinaigrette
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
1 tbsp tahini
1 ½ tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp sea salt

1. Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl, whisking until well blended and emulsified. Taste and adjust seasoning with more lemon and salt if desired.
2. Can be made ahead of time; will keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks (although the lemon flavor will start to weaken after a few days).


2 tbsp canola oil
1 ½ lb albacore tuna loin
1 to 2 radishes, thinly sliced, for garnish
Radish sprouts, for garnish
Toasted sesame seeds, to sprinkle
Flaked sea salt, to sprinkle

1. Heat the oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Add the tuna loin, and sear each side for 20 seconds or until golden but still rare to medium-rare on the inside.
2. Immediately transfer the tuna to a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut into ¼-inch-thick slices. Arrange the slices on a serving platter, garnish with the radishes and sprouts, and sprinkle with the sesame seeds and salt. 3. Spoon over the vinaigrette and serve immediately.

For more recipes from Ned Bell’s Lure: Sustainable Seafood Recipes from the West Coast, click here.


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