Friday, June 29, 2012

Tuna Tartare Two Ways

We don't eat enough fish. We stopped making it regularly somewhere between the day I wrestled half a filet of lemony whitefish from the cat after Looly chucked it off her highchair tray and the onset of Roo's food allergies.
In any event, Starfish brand fish sticks (don't knock 'em till you've tried 'em) and the occasional salmon fillet round out our current seafood rotation. I've been longing for the return of homemade fish tacos and sauteed scallops and finally decided this week that it's time. Bring on the tuna!
I don't normally advocate lying to kids. My children have a firm understanding of lots of difficult topics...poverty, natural disasters, war, death. They know our beloved cat did not disappear last January to go to live on a farm somewhere. And for the most part, they handle it. But raw fish? Let's just say I didn't send a memo before I put it on their plates.

Tuna Tartare for the Wee Ones (grown-up version appears below)

1/4 pound fresh, high quality tuna steak
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tbsp. canola oil

1. Slice the tuna steak into 1/4-inch cubes and place in a large bowl.
2. Whisk together soy sauce, juice, and oil. Pour over tuna. Marinate in the refrigerator for an hour or more. Serve with rice crackers.

So they didn't embrace their first tartare experience with all the gusto I'd hoped for but miraculously, they each chewed and swallowed an entire quarter inch cube of raw tuna before politely expressing their dissatisfaction - a far cry from the days of "Yuck!" and "Are you trying to kill us?!" All that and no one threw up or even gagged a little bit. That's a victory if I've ever seen one.

Whatever the kids don't finish, just toss into the grown-up version below.

Spicy Tuna Ceviche
adapted slightly from Barefoot Contessa

2 pounds fresh, high quality tuna steaks
1/2 cup olive oil
3 limes, zest and juice
1 tsp. wasabi powder
1 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. Sriracha sauce
1 tsp. coarse salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 cup scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and diced
1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds

1. Dice the tuna steak into 1/4-inch cubes and place in a large bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, combine oil, lime juice, zest, wasabi powder, soy sauce, Sriracha, salt, cayenne, scallions, onion, and jalepeno. Stir well. Pour over tuna and toss gently to coat. Marinate in the refrigerate for about an hour. Add avocado and toss gently just before serving. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve with rice crackers, wonton crisps, tortilla chips, or shovel it into your mouth directly out of the bowl with a fork like me.