Jason's solution to the pork dilemma? It's elementary, my dear Watson -- eat fish! When Jason is right, he is right. Besides, it was a perfect chance to try Bea's tuna tartare. Wasabi ice-cream was not going to happen on a Wednesday night, and I improvised a bit with the ingredients, but the key part of Bea's recipe that caught my eye was mixing preserved lemons into the tuna. The reason all the raw fish eaters love tuna so much is it's satiny texture; the flavor is almost non-existent. That's why bright, pungent flavors are essential to a good tuna tartare. Preserved lemons with their salty/sweet brininess were just what my tuna needed.
Tips on buying tuna: Buy your tuna from a reputable source and store it at home in its wrapper on ice (in the fridge, not the freezer). Avoid buying tuna with pearly rainbows (a sign that it was cut a while ago and got oxidized) and eat your tuna the day you buy it, unless you are planning to cook it.
Tips on preserved lemons: You can buy preserved lemons in some Whole Foods markets and specialty stores. They are sometimes sold as Moroccan lemons. You can also make them yourself, or substitute them with lemon zest in this recipe.
Serves 8 as a first course
Thinly sliced baguette
1 Lb fresh tuna steak, finely minced
1/4 cup red onion, finely minced
2 tsp fresh ginger, finely minced
1/4 preserved lemon (skin only), finely minced
1 small garlic clove, mashed to a paste
1 Tbsp capers, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp finely minced cilantro
2 tsp lime juice
1 tsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt, black pepper, and cayenne to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Brush baguette slices with olive oil on both sides and spread on a baking sheet. Bake in the middle of the oven for 5 minutes. Flip, and bake another 5-7 minutes or until crisp.
- In a medium bowl, combine the tuna and the rest of ingredients. Mix well, taste and correct seasoning. Spread tuna on toasts, drizzle with a little olive oil and serve immediately.