Serious Eats: Recipes

Cook the Book: Giant Tuna or Salmon Tartare

Raw salmon. [Flickr: This Year's Love]

Raw foods isn't just about crudités. Sushi and rare steaks are just the tip of the iceberg, and I have yet to meet a carpaccio, crudo, or tartare that didn't make my day.

As much as I enjoy these raw preparations, in my mind they have always been restaurant dishes. It was an absolute revelation when I saw this recipe for Giant Tuna or Salmon Tartare in Mark Peel's New Classic Family Dinners. Reading through the recipe I realized that while tartare is an elegant dish requiring the best-quality fish, it's one that can easily be made at home.

Aside from a fair amount of dicing the fish into precise cubes, this recipe couldn't be more simple. Peel throws in a few chef secrets that help out immensely. The diced cucumbers (hot house, please) are salted and left to sit for 15 minutes to leech out some of the water and heighten the crunch factor. The onions are finely chopped then soaked in cold water to avoid the oniony stinkiness that can be so off-putting.

I tossed the salted and rinsed cucumbers with the newly odorless onions, some beautiful tuna, fresh dill, lime juice, olive oil, salt and cayenne and mixed it briefly. It was perfect—the kind of tartare that would send my heart aflutter if I ordered it out. I'm not quite sure why I didn't try to replicate this restaurant favorite sooner, but I am beyond pleased to know it's possible.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of New Classic Family Dinners to give away this week.

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