It's 's heating up here in Queensland and slow-cooked dishes like my beef cheek ragu are slowly turning into lighter salads, raw fish dishes and grilled meats on the BBQ. My tuna Crudo is exactly what's needed on hot humid days. Paired with a glass of Riesling from Dandelion Vineyards and you have the perfect lunch, starter or light dinner.
Why I Love This Recipe
- simple to make
- beautiful to look at
- easy to eat
- dinner party ready!
This tuna Crudo is simply a show-stopper! Quick to cook, beautiful on the plate and super healthy too. Whether you have the girls round for drinks and a late lunch, you are trying to impress that special someone in your life OR like me trying to shed that winter coat but want full flavour, minimal work and maximum taste this tuna Crudo is the dish for you!
What Is Crudo?
Crudo, the Italian word for raw. Typically, when we think of raw fish we think of sushi or sashimi -these are terms used to describe raw fish in Japanese cuisine. Sashimi is raw sliced fish that is usually served with wasabi and soy. Sushi is when fish or vegetables or meat is wrapped in rice and seaweed. Like sashimi, Crudo is also a raw dish. The main difference is Crudo comes served with a dressing or vinaigrette. Aside from a dressing Crudo is often topped with herbs, lettuce or something for texture. This tuna Crudo used a base of avocado, pea & wasabi with texture coming from fresh pea shoots.
This tuna Crudo dish is mainly made with fresh ingredients so it's super clean and healthy to eat. The ingredients are easily found in local grocery stores too so no need to trek off to some fancy shop to source something obscure!
- tuna - it starts here. It wouldn't be tuna crudo without tuna would it? Fresh is best. When making any sushi, crudo or raw dish it's about getting the freshest ingredients possible. I buy mine from a speciality fishmonger as I know the quality is top notch and it's never frozen
- pantry staples - if like me you keep your pantry well stocked then you will always have some of these guys kicking about! fish sauce, palm sugar, soy sauce and nori sheets. All have great shelf lives and can be used in multiple ways
- fruit - lime juice to add the acid to the dressing and cucumber (yes, it's a fruit!) for freshness and texture through the crudo
- vegetables - radish which adds a little spice, texture and crispness to the dish too
To make the tuna Crudo you simply dice up the tuna using a sharp knife, toss the Crudo with cucumber and radish, place the nori sheet on the plate, top with the puree (see below) and use the remaining ingredients to make the dressing. Toss the tuna Crudo in some of the dressing - the acid will cook the fish slightly and then drizzle the remaining dressing over the plate.
Avocado, Pea & Wasabi Puree
To make the puree you only need a few simple ingredients.
- avocado - make sure you find a nice ripa avo. You want one that isn't rock hard but at the same time not too squishy too. If you can't find any soft avos then leave it in a warm place to ripen up or buy the avo a couple days in advance
- lime - a couple tbsp of juice will do the trick
- wasabi - I use wasabi paste which is available at any good local grocery store
- peas - frozen peas work the best. They are all shelled for you already and only take a moment in the boiling water to cook
- salt - a pinch will do the trick to help lift the profile of the puree
- olive oil - a tbsp helps bind it all together and give a silky glossy finish
To make the puree it really is very simple. Blanch the peas in boiling water and then add all the ingredients to a food processor. Blitz it up and the job is done - ready to serve with the Tuna Crudo. My only advice is to make the puree as close to the time you will serve it as the longer it sits the browner in colour it'll turn.
Tips, Tricks & FAQ's
As mentioned before using the freshest fish possible is best. Not only will it taste better but it will eliminate any chance of sickness too. Keep your work surfaces clean and organised and any/all cooking you do will be way easier 😉
You sure can. Instead of using tuna in this dish you could use fresh salmon is probably the best option and most readily available fish to get your hands on too.
You can make some of the elements in advance but truthfully making it just before you eat it is best. The avocado pea puree will start to brown/oxidise after about 1 hour of being made. The tuna can be diced in advance and kept in the fridge, as can the cucumber and radish but if you add the dressing more than 20 minutes before serving the acid will start to cook the fish and it won't taste or look the same.
Simple - cook a tuna steak instead. Tuna when cooked is best served rare or medium-rare but you can simply sear the tuna, add the cucumber and radish to the dressing and drizzle it over the sliced tuna steak. The same could be done with a salmon fillet.
Tuna Crudo Wine Pairing
What's a recipe on my site without a wine pairing? I've been enjoying a few crackers from the guys at Dandelion lately. In particular, now that the weather has warmed up here in QLD I've been polishing off a few more whites than usual with the "boss". This tuna Crudo dish was inspired by 2 things from the guys at Dandelion Vineyards. Firstly their Enchanted Garden Riesling and secondly their vegetable garden!
My wife and daughter have been reading TONS of fairy books so I'm loving the name of the Riesling but more importantly when she goes to bed Mrs AnotherFoodBlogger and I have been enjoying drinking the Riesling too. Elena's Mum grows a substantial garden at their Firehawk Farm property and they have tons of radish & peas right now so we decided on a lighter style dish to have alongside the Riesling but one that was meaty enough to stand up to the wine too. Tuna Crudo came to mind immediately and given the Aussies love affair with avo why not do a pea and avo puree - well, the rest is history 😉
From a wine standpoint our "tasting notes" went a little like this
A great Riesling for the price. It's fresh and lively, crisp red apples, notes of orange blossom with a touch of salinity, grapefruit, citrus zest and beautiful acidity. It's described as fresh-running
Alpine river water from a glacier’s melt and I can totally get that. What I loved about the wine is its length - it went on and on and boy was it good! A wine that will drink beautifully young but like many good Rieslings has aging potential too.
Alternative Tuna Recipes
Inspired by my simple raw tun recipe and fancy making another Crudo or tuna dish? Check out these recipes on my site and on fellow foodies sites too!
Grilled Tuna Steaks w/ Sesame Soy Dipping Sauce by Marissa Stevens of 'Pinch & Swirl'
Sesame Crusted Tuna Buddha Bowls by 'Karen Reinsberg of 'Couples In The Kitchen'
Happy Cooking & Happy Eating Friends!!
- 400 g tuna
- 3 tbsp lime
- 2 tbsp soy
- 1 tsp palm sugar
- 1/2 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 radish
- 1/2 cucumber
- sesame seeds
- 1 sheet nori
- pea shoots
- 1.5 avocado
- 2 tbsp lime
- 3 tbsp wasabi
- 1/2 cup peas
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tbsp lime
- Chef Knives
- Chopping board
- measuring/weighing utensils
- Blanch peas for 1 minute
- Blend peas, avocado, lime, wasabi, salt and oil together
- Store in the fridge until ready to use
- Slice the tuna into 1cm cubes
- Cut cucumber in ½ lengthways and deseed it
- Finely dice the cucumber and radish and mix in with the tuna
- Mix soy, lime, palm sugar, fish sauce and oil together
- Slice the nori into 4 equal sized pieces
- Place a sheet or nori on the plate
- Top with avocado puree and flatten out gently with a spoon
- Place ¼ of the tuna mixture on top
- Spoon 2 tbsp of dressing over the top and a little round the plate
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds and top with pea shoots
- keep the tuna cold in the fridge or in a bowl over ice until ready to serve
- the tuna can be made in advance and left (without the dressing) in the fridge
- the puree can be made in advance but it will start to brown in the fridge the longer it is left – I recommend no longer than an hour in the fridge to keep it’s best colour
- you could substitute salmon for tuna in the recipe if tuna isn’t available