Inspired by a dish at Totti's in Sydney, my Italian Tuna Tartare is the perfect starter for an Italian feast. It is ready in just 10 minutes and made with fresh sashimi-grade yellowfin tuna and Italian-style chilli. Serve with a glass of Aperol Spritz and be transported to the beautiful Italian coast.
🐟 What is Tuna Tartare?
Tuna Tartare is a delicious appetizer of raw sushi-grade tuna cut into little cubes and dressed in a bright, acidic dressing made of oil, vinegar/lemon and salt. Because tuna tartare is a raw dish, one must use the freshest ingredients one can find to avoid food poisoning.
On a recent lunch date at Totti's in Sydney, we had the most delicious Italian Tuna Tartare. The dressing was made of a robust olive oil and some kind of chilli. It was so delicious that I had to recreate it at home. I love my version even more and this is why you'll love it too!
- This elegant starter is ready in merely 10 minutes
- Perfect for dinner parties.
- It is healthy and packed with Omega 3 Fatty Acids and protein.
- Can be prepped ahead.
📝 Ingredients & Substitutions
Here is what you'll need to make the most delicious tuna tartare with an Italian twist.
Tuna - I use Yellowfin Tuna. Compared to Bluefin Tuna, it is not only leaner but has a milder taste, making it the healthier choice. It is bright red and turns a mellow brown after cooking or marinating with acids. Buy sashimi-grade tuna from the fishmonger for a truly fresh-tasting recipe.
Capers - Capers add a wonderful briny, saltiness to the dish. With a nod to the Mediterranean, baby capers work well in this recipe and pair beautifully with the tuna.
Olive oil - Use a robust, cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oil for this recipe. The better quality your olive oil is, the richer tasting your recipe will be. Try Cobram Estate's Premium Range featuring Hojiblanca, Picual or Coratina oils.
Chives - Chives really lift up the dish and are easily available. If you can't source them, try thinly sliced spring onions.
Italian style chilli - Also called Italian chilli, fermented chilli, Sicilian chilli and Italian chilli relish. If you haven't tried this delicious, spicy condiment; you are in for a treat. Italian-style chilli is like a fermented chilli relish that is made with red chillies, oil, salt and vinegar. It is spicy, salty and savoury and adds an amazing complexity to dips, pasta and salads. My favourite brand is Bippi. You will find Italian-style chilli at supermarkets, fresh grocers and delis. If you can't source Italian-style chilli, try fermented red chillies or a hot sauce of your choice.
🔪 How to make Tuna Tartare?
Tuna Tartare is incredibly easy to make. This low-effort, raw dish requires no cooking and is a dinner party dream. It is also perfect for prepping ahead where you chop and prep the fish and mix the dressing and store it separately.
If you are wondering why the tuna tartare you order at your favourite restaurant looks so pink and fresh, there is a nifty little trick to achieve that. Add your olive oil to the tuna before adding the dressing. Mixing the tuna with olive oil coats it and prevents oxidization that would otherwise turn the tuna brown. When you later add the dressing, it stays pink and fresh.
- Prepare sashimi-grade yellowfin tuna by slicing the slab into thin pieces.
- Cut each slice into 1 cm pieces with a sharp knife.
3. Add tuna pieces to a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Mix and ensure oil is coating the fish thoroughly.
4. Prepare the dressing by mixing all ingredients together.
5. Add the dressing to the tuna. Mix well.
6. Spoon into a serving bowl and top with extra olive oil and chives. Serve.
🍽️ Serving Suggestions
My boys love Italian food and I often make a three or four-course Italian feast for special occasions. This beautiful Tuna Tartare makes an excellent first course. Serve these Italian dishes as part of the dinner menu
- A delicious Sicilian Chilli Garlic Brussels Sprouts makes a lovely salad.
- Try a Slow Cooked Lamb Ragu With Pappardelle for mains. Or a hearty Gnocchi Puttanesca.
- And finally, finish off with a decadent Tiramisu Martini for the grown-ups. It is a cocktail and dessert rolled into one.
🇮🇹 More Italian Recipes
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- 200 g yellowfin tuna, sushi-grade
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon fermented chilli, Italian-style
- 1 teaspoon capers
- ½ teaspoon flaky salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon chives, finely chopped
- Extra glug of olive oil, to serve
- Toasted Sourdough/baguette slices, to serve
- Dice tuna into 1cm pieces. Add to a glass bowl along with olive oil. Mix well to coat thoroughly. Set aside.
- Prepare the dressing by adding lemon zest and juice, fermented chilli, capers, salt, pepper and half of the chives to a small bowl. Mix well.
- Add dressing to the tuna and mix well.
- Spoon tuna tartare into a shallow serving bowl. Top with the remaining chives and the extra glug of olive oil. Check seasoning and add a tiny pinch of salt if needed.
- Serve immediately with the toasted bread slices.