Tataki is a traditional method of preparing fish or meat in Japanese cuisine, where it is seared ever so briefly and then thinly sliced and seasoned with ginger. These refreshing bites are perfect for serving at the start of a dinner party, and they taste as impressive as they look.
Makes: 8-10 small bites
Takes: 25 minutes
½ cucumber, sliced into 5mm rounds
150g fresh tuna
2 Tbsp white sesame seeds
2 Tbsp black sesame seeds
1 Tbsp canola oil
½ cup aïoli*
1 tsp wasabi paste
1 spring onion
2 Tbsp pickled ginger
1 sheet nori (seaweed), cut into thin ribbons
Salt & pepper
*click here to see our homemade aïoli recipe
Method: Lay cucumber slices on a paper towel to absorb excess moisture. Place to one side. Season tuna generously with salt and pepper. Place sesame seeds on a shallow plate and press tuna firmly onto the seeds so they adhere to all sides.
Heat a frying pan over a medium heat, and add the oil. Sear the sesame-crusted tuna for 30 seconds per side, turning it in the pan until all 4 sides are seared. Remove from the pan and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
To make the wasabi mayo, mix aïoli and wasabi paste together, tasting and adjusting depending on your preferred level of heat.
To make the spring onion curls, cut the white part of the spring onion into 5cm pieces, and then thinly slice the pieces lengthways. Place in a small bowl of iced water and leave for 10 minutes. The spring onion will naturally curl in the icy water.
When you’re ready to assemble the dish, slice the rested tuna into thin pieces. Top each cucumber round with a dollop of wasabi mayo, a slice of tuna, pickled ginger, a sprinkling of nori and a spring-onion curl. Serve immediately.
Tip: You can sear the tuna in advance. Once it’s rested, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and store it in the fridge. It’ll be even easier to portion thinly if you slice it when chilled.