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Freshly prepared tuna tartare in crispy wonton cups is a bright and elegant crowd pleasing appetizer.
Everyone needs an appetizer recipe in their arsenal that is a universal crowd pleaser. The one that disappears almost as soon as you put it down. And when I tell you that mine is fresh, healthy and simple to prepare? Well, just hold your proposals because I’m already married. And no, I’m not reinventing the wheel. This is my take on tuna tartare.
When preparing tuna tartare, the key is finding the best and freshest ingredients possible. This of course means starting with the freshest fish you can find. Certain rules apply when you’re purchasing fish, especially if you’re planning to eat it raw. First, you should visually inspect it. The fish should be on fresh ice in a single layer and should be bright in color and firm, not dull or slimy. You also don’t want to purchase a tuna steak that has too many white lines running through it as it will make for stringy and chewy bites. Also avoid a piece that has a significant bloodline running through it as you will be discarding that when you prepare the fish. Fresh fish should always smell “of the sea” but not fishy. If you detect an unpleasant, “fishy” odor, it has probably been sitting around too long and won’t have the bright, fresh flavor you want in a tartare.
When you’re dicing the tuna for your tartare, work quickly and keep the fish as cold as possible. I like to cut the fish first, pop it into a bowl nestled over another bowl filled with ice while I prepare the other ingredients. You’ll want to use a nice, crisp cucumber, bright green cilantro and chives and a firm, unwrinkled piece of gingerroot to grate. Once all of your dicing and mincing is complete, gently fold all the ingredients together and serve it right away.
You could serve crispy wonton chips alongside the bowl of tartare and allow guests to help themselves, but I love to spoon the tuna tartare into mini wonton cups. This not only makes for a pretty presentation, but it makes it easy for your guests to grab it and go. Making these cute little wonton cups is ridiculously easy and quick and I’ve included a video below to show you just how simple they are to prepare.
Be sure to keep this recipe handy next time you’re planning a party. These tasty little bites will get snapped up in no time and make you look like a rock star in the kitchen!
- 24 wonton wrappers
- 2 Tbsp sesame oil
- 2 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil
- Kosher salt
- *mini muffin pan
- 1 1/2 lbs sushi grade tuna, bloodline removed and cut into a 1/4 inch dice
- 1 Tbsp (heaping) freshly grated ginger
- 1 tsp wasabi powder
- 3 tsp jalapeno, minced
- 1 cup seedless cucumber, cut into a 1/4 inch dice
- 1/4 cup chives, minced
- 3 Tbsp cilantro, minced
- 1 lime, zested and juiced
- 2 tsp rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil
- 2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- 1 tsp kosher salt and a few turns of freshly grated black pepper
- *toasted sesame seeds and minced chives for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Whisk the oils together and lightly brush oil on one side of each wonton wrapper with a pastry brush, covering completely. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
Place each wonton wrapper, oiled side up, into a mini muffin cup. Gently push the wrapper in to form a cup, the edges will hang over the sides.
Bake for 6-8 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from the pan and cool to room temperature.
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir gently to combine.
Spoon tartare into wonton cups and sprinkle with sesame seeds and minced chives to serve.