Ahi Tuna Tartar

Frying the won ton wrappers makes them like crunchy potato chips but I have also baked them with good results. I place them on a cookie sheet, brush them with vegetable oil then salt them. Bake the chips at 350 degrees for around 8-10 minutes, checking frequently.

Ahi Tuna Tartar

I make this appetizer all the time and my family and friends never tire of it.  The key is to get the freshest tuna available and make sure it is sushi grade.  I scrape the meat off the white sinew, chop it up a bit and add that to my dice. You will never notice the different textures and you avoid the problem of cutting through and eating that tough connective tissue.

Makes 32 pieces or serves 8-10


½ lb. Sashimi grade Ahi tuna, sinew removed and chopped in 1/4 inch dice
½ cup coarsely chopped cilantro
¼ cup minced red or sweet onion
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion tops
2 teaspoons soy sauce mixed with 2 teaspoons wasabi, or to taste
1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
1 teaspoon peanut oil
1 to 2 teaspoons lemon juice

Wonton Chips

16 wonton wrappers cut in half
Peanut or canola oil for frying

For the Tartar:

Place your mixing bowl over a larger bowl of ice and add the tuna, cilantro and green onions; toss to distribute ingredients evenly.  Mix the soy/wasabi mixture with the sesame and peanut oil and add to the tuna; mix well.  Use the tuna cubes to wipe the bowl clean.  Right before you serve add the lemon juice and stir to evenly coat.  The lemon juice will cook the tuna and change the color from a bright pink jewel to a slight grey but the taste will not be affected.

Serve in a decorative bowl surrounded by the wonton chips or place the tuna on the chips directly for a pass-around appetizer.

For the Wonton Chips:

Fill a large saute pan with at least 3/4 inch of oil; heat over medium low heat.  Throw in one wonton wrapper and wait until it turns crisp.  The key to cooking these chips is to do so over a lower heat so they cook slowly rather than a quick deep fry.  You want the chips to be light brown and completely crisp, turning them frequently until they are the desired color and completely crisp.  I play with the heat as I cook to find that sweet spot.  Salt well while they are hot.  You also have a complete package of wontons so no worries about mistakes.

Another techique is to bake them at 350 degrees until they are browned and crisp (my guess is around 7-10 minutes-I have not done this in a LONG time).  I first brush one side with the oil, place them close together on a cookie sheet, salt them then place in the oven for the browning.  Check frequently.  I like the looks of the baked ones but the taste is, well, not fried if you know what I mean.

Enjoy this spectacular recipe any time of year.

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