A lot can be read about the history of Tartare, some ideas are fantastic, others a little far-fetched.
Contrary to popular belief, it is not a French dish!. The Germans will say that they invented it, though the Russians will claim that the Germans stole it from them. The Italians would say that it is named after their word “Tartari”, meaning Raw Steak, though others will say that it is named after the fierce tribe the “Tartars”.
What is clear about Tartare, is that it is best enjoyed with fresh raw meat (yes, there are cooked Tartares too).
It seems that every restaurant is serving Tuna Tartare nowadays. The recipe is completely different to the better known beef or horse versions. I guess by serving dressed Tuna, calling it a Tartare is an indication to the diner that it will be raw.
We have been making Tartares and Larbs in different forms over the last few seasons, using various ingredients.
When we use Tuna, we make sure that it is Sashimi Grade and mix it with a dressing made from Yuzu Juice and Soy Sauce. The choice of herbs and aromatics we use depend on what we have at hand.
One of our simple versions uses Red Peppers, Chopped Shallots and shredded Coriander, Parsley and Mint.
These are mixed with Tuna, which is cut by hand, never by machine.
Yuzu Dressing is then mixed with a little Padek sauce, the former giving it its tangy aroma, and the latter providing the saltiness. To bind it all together we use Ground Roasted Sticky Rice, which also lends it a savoury flavour.
For me a Tartare is not complete without a raw egg yolk.
To eat, simply break the yolk and give it a final mix before enjoying. 🙂