This is a take on the classic beef Carpaccio using tuna. While beef Carpaccio takes a Mediterranean twist this dish takes a detour through some Asian flavors. The best tool for pounding out the slices of fish is a meat mallet with soft round edges. In a pinch you can use a rubber mallet and a soft touch. You absolutely should avoid the dire classic meat hammer with all of its spikes and prongs which just damage meat.
This recipe uses a spicy citrus and herb vinaigrette. If you wanted a different take you could substitute the vinaigrette with a light drizzle of sesame oil mixed with chili paste and a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds. Just note that the sesame seeds will need to be toasted in advance in a hot dry pan in order to wake up the majority of their aromatic flavor compounds.
This recipe makes enough for 4 people to have as an appetizer or for 2 people to have as an entrée.
½ pound of sushi or sashimi grade tuna steak
2 cups of fresh arugula
½ teaspoons of sea salt
½ teaspoon of fresh cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon of real soy sauce or Paleo friendly soy sauce from the sauces chapter
Citrus and Herb Vinaigrette
2 tablespoons of olive oil
½ cup of fresh squeezed orange juice
The juice from 1 lime
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
1 teaspoon of fresh mint, chopped
1 teaspoon of Thai basil, chiffonade cut
1 teaspoon of fresh cilantro, chopped fine
How to make a Tuna Carpaccio
Step 1: About 10 minutes before you plan to prepare the meal place the tuna steak in the freezer. You are not attempting to freeze the meat you just want to chill it a little to help it firm up for easier cutting. I like to place the serving plates in the freezer as well to keep them nice and chilled.
Step 2: Add all of the ingredients for the vinaigrette to a small work bowl. Whisk continuously until they all come together. Reserve the vinaigrette in the refrigerator.
Step 3: Take the tuna steak out of the freezer. Slice it into 12 to 15 thin slices.
Step 4: Stretch out a significant length of plastic wrap. Spray it very lightly with water.
Step 5: Lay the slices of tuna out on the plastic make sure there is at least 1 inch of room between each and every tuna steak. Spray them very lightly with water.
Step 6: Lay another sheet of plastic wrap over the top.
Step 7: Use a round edge meat mallet or rubber mallet and very gently tap on the steaks to spread them. You will get the best results if you start pounding on the inside of each slice towards the outside. You are looking for them to increase about 1 to 2 inches in total diameter.
Step 8: Wash the arugula and add it to a medium work bowl. Pour half of the vinaigrette over the arugula and toss lightly.
Step 9: Remove the plates from the freezer. Place the arugula as a bed in the middle of the plate. Lay the tuna slices over the bed of arugula.
Step 10: Lightly drizzle a little of the spicy vinaigrette over top. Drizzle the soy sauce then sprinkle the salt and pepper.