Tuna Tartare


5 from 110 votes
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Learn to make the best tuna tartare recipe at home and NEVER buy it at a restaurant again! Deceptively easy to make and with a simple ginger soy dressing, it’s an elegant appetizer that is sure to impress!

tuna tartare.

I love some seafood appetizers. I have a few favorites on hand, including a kani salad, seared ahi tuna, and fried octopus, but I love a good tuna tartare when I want to be extra fancy. 

Table of Contents
  1. What is tuna tartare?
  2. Ingredients needed
  3. How to make tuna tartare
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. How to store leftovers
  6. Frequently asked questions
  7. More recipes using tuna to try
  8. Tuna Tartare Recipe (Recipe Card)

What is tuna tartare?

Inspired by beef tartare, the tuna version is made up of raw tuna cubed and seasoned with soy sauce, ginger, and sesame oil. It’s an elegant appetizer in restaurants and bars and tastes incredible.

Thanks to the growing popularity of poke bowls (hello tuna poke bowl and salmon poke bowl) and tuna sushi, raw ahi tuna is becoming readily available, meaning you can make tartare at home! 

Here is why I LOVE this recipe:

  • No fishy flavor. Like tuna carpaccio, you don’t get the flavor of the raw fish. Light-colored belly albacore color tuna is very mild in flavor, even more so when the sauce and seasonings are added. 
  • Ready in 5 minutes. With no marination time required, this is the appetizer you can whip up immediately. 
  • Healthy and protein-packed. Tuna is super low in calories and packed with protein.
  • Cheaper than restaurants. Because tuna tartare is super trendy, it typically has quite a hefty price tag attached to it. This homemade version comes at a fraction of the price but with a much more generous serving! 
tuna tartare on cucumber slices.

Ingredients needed

Besides the tuna and some seasonings, there isn’t much else that goes into this recipe. Here is what you’ll need:

  • Sushi grade tuna/Ahi tuna steak- You can ONLY use sushi grade or ahi tuna. While regular raw tuna may look appropriate, it has not been farmed the correct way to enjoy it in an un-cooked state. Most fishmongers sell it and I’ve even had success at local Japanese grocery stores.
  • Sesame seeds and green onions– Add some crunch and color. 
  • Fresh ginger- A must when working with any kind of seafood. 
  • Soy sauce– Tamari or gluten-free soy sauce also works.
  • Lime juice– Adding citrus reacts with the sesame oil and soy to ‘cook’ the tuna while also balancing out the salty and rich flavors. 
  • Sesame oil– Just a drizzle to add a layer of richness and delicious sesame flavor. 
  • Salt and pepper– To taste. Only add this AFTER you’ve tasted the dish because remember, we are using salty and flavorful elements already.

How to make tuna tartare

I’ve included step-by-step photos below to make this recipe easy to follow at home. For the full printable recipe instructions and ingredient quantities, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Step 1- cube the tuna. Cut ¼ inch cubes of your tuna and put them in a mixing bowl. I recommend using a very sharp knife and cutting against the grain of the fish, making the slicing so much easier.

Step 2- make the marinade. Add sesame oil, lime juice, ginger, and soy sauce in a small bowl, and mix well.

tuna tartare marinade.

Step 3- Combine. Add this prepared sauce to the tuna bowl, and whisk until absorbed. 

raw tuna in marinade.

Step 4- Serve. Transfer the tuna mixture to the serving bowls and garnish with chopped chives and toasted sesame seeds. 

tuna tartar.

Serving suggestions

Tuna tartare is best served as an appetizer with freshly sliced avocado, over crackers, or as part of a charcuterie board. Keep the carbs down by scooping them up using keto crackers and keto chips.

If you are craving sushi, replace the crab and shrimp in our Alaska rolls and dragon rolls with some of this tuna.

Alternatively, enjoy it as the main protein in a meal. Pair it with some healthy carbs like an air fryer baked potato or air fryer baked sweet potato. Add some greens in the form of some air fryer broccoli or air fryer asparagus, and you have a well-rounded and healthy meal.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Don’t marinate the fish for too long, or else the fish will absorb too much flavor and detract from the natural flavors. 10 minutes is ample time.
  • When serving this recipe, lightly grease a shallow boil so that the marinated tuna doesn’t stick to the sides.
  • I recommend serving this dish cold so you can chill everything for 15-20 minutes beforehand.
  • Feel free to switch up the marinade with a light Asian-style sauce, like potsticker sauce or eel sauce.
  • For a spicy tuna tartare, add some Togarashi, which is a Japanese chili mixture that isn’t super spicy but packs in a pleasant amount of heat.
  • Add leftovers to a homemade sushi bake or on top of a tuna poke bowl, and don’t forget a drizzle of spicy mayo.

How to store leftovers

To Store- Keep leftovers in an airtight container, refrigerated, for up to two days. Do not consume raw fish if kept longer than three days. 

To Freeze- If you don’t want to use all the tuna for this recipe, you can wrap the fish up tightly (no air pockets whatsoever) and store it in the freezer for up to two months. You cannot freeze the prepared tuna tartare.  

tuna tartare served.

Frequently asked questions

Is tuna tartare healthy?

Yes, tuna tartare is healthy. Raw fish has many health benefits, including iron, iodine, and omega-3 healthy fats. To make it even healthier, you can add other healthy ingredients to the dish, like avocado and cucumber.

How can you tell if tuna is sushi grade?

If the tuna is sushi-grade, it will be translucent, shiny, and bright red. You should look for this color at the core and tail. The bloodline should also be a darker red than that of other fish. If it is black or brown, it is not suitable for tartare.

What is the difference between tartar and tartare?

Tartar refers to a sauce that is often served with seafood. Tartare is a food term describing raw meat or seafood, most often tuna, salmon, and beef, that is finely minced/chopped, seasoned, and served as an appetizer.

More recipes using tuna to try

tuna tartare recipe.

Tuna Tartare Recipe

5 from 110 votes
Learn how to make tuna tartare at home and NEVER buy it at a restaurant again! Deceptively easy to make and with a simple ginger soy dressing, it's an elegant appetizer that is sure to impress!
Servings: 8 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 1 minute
Total: 6 minutes


  • 1 pound fresh tuna sushi grade
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice freshly squeezed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds to serve
  • 1 large green onion finely sliced, to serve


  • Slice your tuna into ¼-inch cubes and place them in a mixing bowl. 
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the ginger, soy sauce, lime juice and sesame oil until combined. 
  • Pour the sauce over the tuna and gently mix until incorporated.
  • Transfer into serving bowls and sprinkle with the chopped chives and toasted sesame seeds.


TO STORE- Keep leftovers in an airtight container, refrigerated, for up to two days. Do not consume raw fish if kept longer than three days. 
TO FREEZE- If you don’t want to use all the tuna for this recipe, you can wrap the fish up tightly (no air pockets whatsoever) and store it in the freezer for up to two months. You cannot freeze the prepared tuna tartare.  


Serving: 1servingCalories: 115kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 14gFat: 6gSodium: 211mgPotassium: 169mgFiber: 1gVitamin A: 1271IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 18mgIron: 1mg
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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5 from 110 votes (102 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    So easy and and quick to make! I made it exactly as in your recipe, except I added some very small diced cucumber to it, mostly to stretch it, as I only had a small amount of tuna on hand. Very delicious and my husband agreed.

  2. 5 stars
    The recipe is fine as I have been making the Poke although if you can use Yuzu instead of Lme, it will stand out more.

    However, there is no such thing as sushi grade tuna as its a marketing gimmick. What you want is a tuna that has been frozen at -20C to kill parasites. Also, even if it said its sushi grade, its not clear if its using the Japanese ikejime killing method and tuna is better if its aged correctly.

  3. 5 stars
    This was so simple and absolutely delicious.
    I used black sesame seeds and served it over a little salted avocado. Perfect!

  4. 5 stars
    Obsessed with this recipe! It’s so light and refreshing and making it at home is so much cheaper! I shared this with friends and it was a huge hit.