Yellowfin tuna tartare with cucumber

You can remove the fried rice paper from the tartare to make this recipe even easier. I also like it with a bit of shredded raw cabbage for added texture.


  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • Vegetable oil, for deep frying
  • 4 dried ricepaper wrappers
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber
  • 1 spring onion
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Pinch of chilli flakes
  • Pinch of ground ginger
  • 1 tsp black sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 tsp white sesame seeds, toasted
  • 300g sashimi-grade yellowfin tuna
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Small handful micro coriander leaves


Cut lemon in half and squeeze out the juice. Reserve 1 tbsp of the juice and place the remaining juice in a small pot with 1 tbsp salt and the squeezed lemon halves, then add just enough water to cover. Bring to the boil, simmer for about 20 minutes, then leave to cool.

Select a large saucepan with deep sides. Add oil for frying, about 2-3cm deep. Heat oil to 180°C over a medium heat.

Using scissors, cut each rice paper round into 8 wedges. Carefully place a few in the hot oil and fry until crisp – they should only take a few seconds. Remove and drain on paper towels. Repeat for remaining rice paper wedges, making sure the oil is reheated after each batch.

With a paring knife, cut away the flesh and pith from the salted lemons and discard. Finely julienne the lemon skin.

Cut cucumber lengthways and, using a teaspoon, scoop out the seeds. Cut cucumber into small dice. Very finely slice the spring onion into rounds.

In a small bowl, combine the sea salt, chilli flakes, ground ginger and toasted black and white sesame seeds.

Dice tuna into 1cm pieces and place in a medium-sized bowl. Dress with extra virgin olive oil and reserved lemon juice. Add spring onion and cucumber and combine.

Place the mixture on to four plates. Garnish with the spice mix, coriander leaves and a small amount of the salted lemon. Serve the tuna with a bowl of the rice crisps to share at the table.

NOTES: Want something to drink?
Try the 2015 Coriole Fiano, McLaren Vale SA, Australia.

Hailing from southern Italy, Fiano is a grape variety that thrives in a Mediterranean climate, making it highly suitable for McLaren Vale. Its aromatics of mandarin, fennel and lemon complement the tuna dish's salted lemon, the crunch of the cucumber and the freshness of the tartare.

First published in the Good Weekend.

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