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Kids.

Have you ever had tuna tataki?  Or beef tataki?

It’s like, totes delicious.  It’s seared meat or fish in tangy soy sauce!  What’s not to like?

There’s chili oil too. Also wonderful.

Tataki is a staple in many Japanese restaurants, and I see it a lot as a salad or appetizer option.  That’s how we served it the last time we made sushi at home – as a side to accompany all the other yumminess.

I think, though, that this would be SO FREAKING GREAT as a meal with some plain white rice – why the heck not?  So simple and wonderful….you just can’t beat it.

The way I make it is annoyingly simple too, so try to keep up.

Here’s what you need, for about 6 appetizer portions:

  • 1 lb (approximately, sheesh) tuna steaks
  • 2 cups salad greens, your choice (spinach or arugula are my favs!)
  • 1/4 cup ponzu (Asian food aisle.  Try something new.)
  • 1-2 tablespoons chili oil
  • salt
  • light oil, for cooking

Easy, huh?  So great.  Now, if you don’t feel like buying ponzu or can’t find it, use 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.  It’ll work just fine!

So, for the fish, heat a pan to medium-high heat.  Sprinkle the tuna on both sides very lightly with salt.

When the pan is very hot, sear it very quickly on both sides in a drizzle of cooking oil.  Depending on how hot your pan is, 30 seconds to 60 seconds on each side should be more than enough, we just want the outside to barely start cooking.  Raw fish is the best part anyways!

Now, the tuna searing could be done well in advance, just keep the tuna in the fridge until you’re ready to serve!

To assemble the tataki, thinly slice the tuna into 2-inch or so slices.  You can turn the tuna steak as you go to get the pieces all about the same width.  Or not.  It doesn’t matter.

If you’re uncomfortable slicing the tuna, you can cut it into chunks and serve it similarly to tartare – it’ll still taste great!

Lay the tuna on a shallow platter (with a lip so the sauce doesn’t spill), and mound the greens in the center.

Then, drizzle over the ponzu and as much chili oil as you can handle.

How easy was that?  The combo of the sharp greens, tangy sauce, and mild fish…..OMG.  It’s just perfect.  You could also make these in fun individual dishes for a salad course if you’re feeling fancy, but I love the large dish that everyone can just dig into.

If you love Japanese food, feel free to add sliced scallions, grated ginger, daikon, or any other flavors to the greens before you toss add the ponzu to the dish – the options are endless.

Enjoy this one – it’s a tiny bit different but SO wonderful, and a great baby-step for people just exploring the raw fish concept.

Happy weekend!

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