How To Make Grilled Vegetable Tuna Tartare

The weather is slowly warming up and we're anxious to start grilling! Our friends at ChefSteps wrote in this week with a light recipe that's perfect for warm weather dining. This tuna tartare's smoky flavors come from grilled vegetables, with a hint of brightness from homemade ponzu sauce. This recipe is so quick and simple that you'll come back to it over again. Now, fire up the grill, throw those vegetables on there and get chopping!

Grilled Vegetable Tuna Tartare

Makes a light meal for 2; 30 minutesIngredients:

  • 165 grams low sodium soy sauce
  • 165 grams mirin
  • 30 grams rice wine vinegar
  • 10 grams kombu
  • 50 grams brown sugar
  • 100 grams scallions, divided, thinly sliced
  • 10 grams fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 13 grams garlic, crushed
  • 150 grams fresh lemon juice
  • 150 grams fresh lime juice
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 5 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 scallion, kept whole for grilling
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 lemon, for garnish (optional)
  • 113 grams high grade ahi tuna
  • 2 nasturtium flowers, fresh, for garnish (optional)
  • Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)
  • Equipment:

  • Grill
  • Chef's knife
  • Directions: 

  • Make the ponzu. Combine soy sauce, mirin, rice wine vinegar, kombu, brown sugar, sliced scallions, ginger and garlic in a medium-sized pot. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Cool to room temperature, and then add lemon and lime juices.
  • Prep your grill. All grills differ, so follow the instructions for your specific equipment.
  • It's much easier to grill vegetables whole—or in larger portions—than when they're chopped into small pieces. Cut your zucchini into large, round coins; keep cherry tomatoes and scallion whole; cut the cucumber in half lengthwise; cut the bell peppers in half and deseed them; cut the lemon in half.
  • We always recommend parfreezing seafood because it helps defend the integrity of the flesh against harsh chopping or grinding. The goal isn't to freeze the fish throughout, but rather to firm it up and chill it for easier slicing. Throw the tuna in the freezer while your veggies grill, and it will be ready to handle once they are done.
  • Grill all of the veggies and the (optional) lemon at once until nice and charred—roughly 8–10 minutes on all sides. Once charred, allow to cool to room temperature.
  • Once the vegetables have come to room temperature, dice them into equally sized pieces. Reserve the grilled lemon halves (if using) for later.
  • Take the tuna out of the freezer and dice it. Reserve cold until ready to use. Dicing is our favorite texture for this type of tartare—fatty tuna stands up well to it, and the size and shape is consistent with the vegetables we just grilled. However, there are many ways to make tartare, so feel free to find your favorite.
  • In a chilled bowl, mix diced vegetables and tuna with 1 1/2 tablespoons of ponzu. Finally, plate however you like. We recommend garnishing the dish with toasted sesame seeds to taste, sliced raw scallion, nasturtium or another edible flower, and grilled lemon wedges for an optional spritz.
  • ChefSteps comprises a team of award-winning chefs, filmmakers, scientists, designers and engineers focused on revolutionizing the way people cook by inspiring creativity and encouraging expertise in the kitchen. You can also get access to all of ChefSteps' Premium content — including paid classes and dozens of recipes available only to Premium members for a onetime fee of $39. Classes include Sous Vide: Beyond the BasicsFluid GelsFrench Macarons and more!