Tuna crudo

A crave-inducing appetizer!

I’ve long been a fan of well-prepared raw fish, having first tasted excellent sushi on a trip to New York City in the early 1980s. Not long after, I was delighted to discover ceviche – an intoxicating blend of fish, citrus juice and chilies that hails from Peru. Next up was my first just-plucked-from-the-sea raw scallop. New to me this year was another variation on raw fish, known simply as crudo (Italian for ‘raw’) which I discovered at Supply and Demand, a delicious eatery in Ottawa which was just named number 4 on the respected enRoute magazine’s list of the top new restaurants in Canada. My husband loves Supply and Demand’s tuna crudo so much that I was determined to come up with my own version. As with all raw fish dishes, be sure to use the best quality tuna you can find, and purchase it from a reputable fishmonger.

Ingredients

  • 1 slightly stale baguette
  • 3 – 4 tablespoons (45 – 60 mL) olive oil
  • 1 pound (454 grams) albacore or ahi tuna loin
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) coarse sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1 medium shallot, minced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) capers, drained well and chopped
  • 1/2 red chili pepper (Thai or birdseye), seeds removed and very thinly sliced (or 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 mL) crushed red pepper flakes)
  • 12 leaves basil OR small handful fresh chives, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon (at least 2 tablespoons or 30 mL)

Method

  • Preheat oven to 375F.
  • To make crostini, slice baguette thinly (1/4 inch) and lay the slices out on a baking tray.
  • Brush bread slices lightly with olive oil and bake until just beginning to brown (6 – 8 minutes). Flip slices over and bake 3 – 4 minutes longer.
  • Remove from oven and transfer slices to a cooling rack. (NOTE: you can make the crostini several days ahead.)
  • Place the tuna in the freezer for 15 minutes to help it firm up which will make it easier to slice.
  • Use a very sharp knife to cut the tuna into very thin slices (about 1/8 inch thick).
  • As you work, arrange the tuna slices in a single layer on a serving platter. (NOTE: you can do this up to 3 hours ahead of time; cover the platter with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving time).
  • When ready to serve, sprinkle the tuna generously with the salt, then with the shallots, chilis, capers and basil or chives.
  • Whisk the oil and lemon juice together until well blended and drizzle over the tuna.
  • Serve immediately, with the crostini.

Serves 6 – 8 as an appetizer.

 

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I play with words and with food. I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. I'm also an enthusiastic explorer of faraway lands and cuisines.

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