Tataki is a way of preparing meat or fish typical of Japanese gastronomy. It consists of marinating the piece we are going to use, with vinegar, ginger, lemon… among others, and then, very quickly, cooking it briefly in a frying pan or on coals. The result is a piece toasted on the outside, with a spectacular flavor thanks to the various marinades that exist, and very juicy and tender on the inside, as it is practically raw. In addition, they are very light dishes, so it is a perfect option for a light dinner, or an exotic and healthy second course. If you want to see how to make Tuna Tataki, do not miss this simple recipe. We will also see some tricks to make it great, and different versions of the marinade.
Although this preparation is associated with fish, we can also find tatakis with meat, for example, with pork, beef, lamb… Although the most popular and typical are the fish ones. For example, with pork, beef, lamb… Although the most popular and typical are those with fish. The most popular are those with tuna, salmon or bonito.
Did you know that Tataki means in Japanese: Stacked, or distributed in pieces? This is the most traditional way in which this dish is served.
To get a perfect Tataki, in addition to the marinade, the key is to cook the pieces on the grill with a very high power. So that it is well done on the outside, and quickly, so that inside, practically not cooked. Although, as in any recipe, we can add our personal touch. And, if we are not convinced by the idea of eating it raw, we can lengthen a little the cooking so that it is cooked very briefly on the inside. In this way, it would not be a conventional tataki, but the grace of cooking is to innovate and adapt the recipes to our own taste.
If you like this type of elaborations, do not miss the Salmon and Avocado Tartar, or the Carpaccio of Iberian prey. Let’s go with the Tuna Tataki recipe:
Tuna tataki recipe
The most important thing for this recipe is the quality of the product. We are going to eat the tuna practically raw, so we must take a tasty and quality piece. So that, in this way, our tataki stands out. We have chosen the Ventresca, which is the belly area of the tuna.
For this recipe we have chosen a very classic marinade, based on soy sauce, ginger and rice vinegar. This is the first thing we have to do for our Tuna Tataki. But there are many more versions. Later we will see other marinades with which you can try your Tataki.
We will leave the piece marinating for at least one hour. After that time it is ready to cook. To do this, we put a pan on the fire, with very little oil, and pass the tuna, previously coated in sesame, for a few minutes. Remember to set the heat on high so that it cooks quickly on the outside and the heat does not reach the center too much.
Once ready, it is common to serve it in small fillets. For this you need a very sharp knife to be able to cut the pieces without damaging them.
Now that we have seen how easy it is to prepare this recipe, let’s see, step by step, how to make Tuna Tataki in a very simple way.
Tuna Tataki Recipe
- 250 g Tuna Belly
- 100 ml Soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp Ginger powder
- 50 ml Rice vinegar
- Extra virgin olive oil
- We begin by preparing the marinade. In a bowl mix the soy sauce, ginger, rice vinegar and a pinch of salt. Mix well and soak the tuna in this mixture. Let stand for one hour. If the marinade does not cover the piece, turn it over after half an hour.
- While we wait for the marinade to take effect, we are going to toast the sesame seeds. We put a frying pan on the fire and put the sesame seeds in it. Cook for about 2 minutes while stirring occasionally.
- We put the toasted seeds in a deep dish, and, when the tuna is ready, we are going to coat it well with the seeds.Now, we put a griddle on the fire, with a pinch of oil well distributed.
- Place over high heat and, as soon as it is very hot, cook the tuna for a few minutes on all sides.Serve cut into small fillets once the dish has cooled down, as it is not common to serve it very hot.
NOTE 2: Use a very sharp knife to cut the tataki before serving.
How to get a perfect Tuna Tataki
What part of the Tuna is used to make Tataki?
The main thing to get a ten tataki is the cut we select. For the Tataki the most used is the tuna sirloin, located in the upper part of the loin, as it is the reddest and most showy part, and has a spectacular flavor. But we can also use the Ventresca as we have done, as it is also a very popular cut for this preparation.
Buy fresh tuna, although, once at home, we should freeze it for a minimum of 48 hours, since we are going to consume it raw. This way we avoid any type of infection in case it contains anisakis. To defrost it, we simply put it in the refrigerator and leave it from one day to the next. This way the piece will thaw slowly.
And, to make it look like in the best restaurants, we can toast the sesame seeds before using them in the tuna. This way we will enhance its aroma and flavor much more.
How to cut tuna tataki?
Once we have prepared our tuna tataki, another of the most important parts is the presentation. It should be served in bite-sized pieces, between 0.5 and 1 cm thick. It is very important that the knife is well sharpened to avoid damaging the piece, and to make the cut in one go.
Different Marinades for the Tuna Tataki
We have already mentioned that we can marinate fish with many different ingredients to make Tataki. It is very common to use ingredients such as soy sauce, lemon juice, sugar, ginger (powdered or fresh). In this recipe we are going to marinate the tuna with ginger and soy. But the marinade can be made with a multitude of different ingredients. If you want to try other types of marinade, take a look at these options that we leave here:
- Juice and grated rind of a lime
- 1 clove of garlic, previously crushed in a mortar and pestle
- 1 piece of grated fresh ginger
- A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
- 50 ml olive oil
- 100 ml lemon juice
- A teaspoon of oregano
- Another teaspoon of thyme
- And a garlic, which, as in the previous marinade, we will have crushed well in a mortar.
- 100 ml Soy Sauce
- Orange and lime juice
- Grated lime or lemon zest
- A little ginger powder
- A little less than half a teaspoon of Mustard (old mustard, if possible).
Marinated with Cumin
- 100 ml. of Soy Sauce
- 2 teaspoons of sesame (we can toast it before or use it raw)
- Half teaspoon of powdered cumin (or whole cumin, previously crushed in a mortar)
- Juice of half a lime.
Now that we know everything about Tataki, it is time to try it at home and prepare this great recipe. Besides, it is a very light and healthy dish, and very original for those of us who are not used to these meals. So it is the perfect dinner for a special occasion and, in addition, very light and healthy. You can’t ask for more.
It is also an ideal dish for all those who follow slimming diets, because it is a delicious snack but with very few calories.
Would you like to try Tuna Tataki? Remember to leave us your comments, ideas, opinions… We love to read them! You can also follow us on social networks to keep up to date with all our publications.
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