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Red tuna tataki (traditional Japanese recipe)

Tuna tataki recipe Japan

Have you ever tried the Tuna tataki? If you have done it, surely you have been surprised and fallen in love with the taste of this dish of Japanese origin.

But let’s go step by step, because as usually happens with the japanese gastronomywhere cooking techniques that are foreign to our Mediterranean cuisine are used, many doubts arise.

What is tataki?

tuna tataki recipe

He tataki is a world-renowned Japanese cooking technique. It consists of putting a thick piece of raw fish or meat on the fire and marking it over high heat so that it is sealed on the outside and raw on the inside, thanks to Maillard’s chemical reaction. Fatty fish such as bluefin tuna or salmon, or meat such as beef are normally used.

Hered tuna tataki is made withRaw Fish as in the case of sashimi eitherTuna tartare, although it is sealed on the grill, coated with sesame and can also be marinated or accompanied by a sauce. With this technique the tuna is juicy, tender and very tasty.

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What is the origin of the Japanese tataki?

There are many theories about this, although it seems that this technique has humble origins, since sashimi was only allowed to be eaten by nobles, and fishermen lightly toasted it and covered it with some herbs to hide that it was raw inside. There is another legend that says that it was invented by a famous samurai from Tosa, in the Kochi prefecture, after seeing some European travelers cook food at very high temperatures.

Whatever its origin, today it is one of the most recognized dishes of Japanese cuisine, along with sushiand those already mentioned sashimi either tartare.

What is the best tuna to make tataki?

Almadraba bluefin tuna

We personally love the Almadraba bluefin tuna gaditano. The almadraba is a fishing technique that forms a maze of nets, and that has been used for a long time on the Cadiz coasts to fish for bluefin tuna or bull tuna, as the Japanese call it.

He Red tuna it is clearly recognizable by its red meat similar to that of a beef entrecote. Bluefin tuna has become a top-level gastronomic claim in recent years and thanks to its tender texture it is ideal to eat raw in the form of sashimi, sushi, tartare or tataki. The bluefin tuna season runs from April to July, and as it is an exclusive piece, its price is high, although really for this type of dish, you don’t really need a lot. As for the best part of making tataki the tuna loin It is the most used piece due to its cleanliness and its low fat content.

However, if you cannot afford bluefin tuna or cannot find it (which is not easy when leaving Cádiz), you can use another type of tuna such as yellowfin tuna or the nice north.

Is it necessary to pre-freeze the tuna?

If you buy the fresh tunawe recommend freezing it for 48 hours to make sure it does not contain anisakis, 24 hours is enough, but 48 hours is better.

How to cut tuna for tataki

The tataki is usually cut into rectangular pieces called “saku”, about 5 centimeters high and 2 centimeters wide. We leave you a video where you can see a Japanese chef how he does it. However, if you do not have experience you can ask your trusted fishmonger to cut it for you.

In this case, it is a very large piece of tuna that, as we have already mentioned, has a high price, so if you only have one slice you can use it completely as we have done, even if it does not look as attractive as in the restaurant, or cut it into a rectangle and use the excess to make a tartare, for example.

How to marinate tuna

Here there are many possibilities, from not marinating it, sealing it directly on the griddle and then accompanying it with some sauce, or using one of these marinades. We have used the third, but any of them will do well:

Marinated with soy sauce, ginger and sugar

  • 100ml soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder

Mix the ingredients and put the tuna in a container with the marinade for at least 1 hour.

Soy, ginger and lime marinade

  • 3 tablespoons of soy
  • 1 lime
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 piece of fresh ginger
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Put the tuna in a bowl, add the lime juice and its zest, the three tablespoons of soy, 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, ½ a clove of garlic and the piece of peeled ginger. Mix and leave to macerate for at least an hour in the refrigerator

Marinated with soy and rice vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 60g soy sauce
  • 30 g of rice vinegar
  • fresh ginger

Tuna tataki recipe


  • 1 red tuna loin
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 60g soy sauce
  • 30 g of rice vinegar
  • fresh ginger
  • Sesame seeds
  • Extra virgin olive oil

How to make tuna tataki

We marinate the tuna

  • Cut, peel and chop the ginger into small pieces.
  • To make the marinade we put the soy sauce and rice vinegar, add two tablespoons of sugar and ginger, mix everything.
  • Pour the marinade over the tuna loins in a bowl and let it rest for 2 hours.
  • Once the marinating time has passed, we remove the tuna and reduce the marinade in a pan over low heat until it thickens. Strain and reserve.

We seal the tuna

tuna tataki step by step e1616691760743 -
  • We put a frying pan on very high heat with just a few drops of oil.
  • Put toasted sesame seeds on a plate and coat the raw tuna loin with the sesame seeds.
  • Sear the tuna loin on all 4 sides for approximately 20 seconds on each side. The exterior will be done and the interior raw.

How to serve tuna tataki

tuna tataki traditional japanese recipe

To serve the tataki, we cut into small fillets barely one finger thick or even thinner if you want and accompany the marinated reduction that we had reserved. You can accompany it with a salad or rice.

does this tempt you Tuna tataki? Here you can see a step-by-step video to make tataki. In it you will see that the tuna is prepared and sealed without marinating it, accompanied by a sauce, which, as we said, is another possible option.

Other Japanese recipes

if you like the Japanese food We recommend that you take a look at this collection of Japanese recipes, where in addition to the classic sushiyou will find dishes like the ramenJapanese pizza or okonomiyakithe Japanese dumplings or gyozasthe traditional Miso soupor any of these recipes with tofu

We also have the recipe to make homemade yakisobahe chicken yakitorithe rice balls or onigirithe octopus balls takoyaki.

And as dessert the famousDorayaki of Doraemon, or the japanese cheese cake.

As you can see, you have a choice!

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The Red Tuna Tataki entry (traditional Japanese recipe) was first published on PequeRecetas

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