This isn't the spicy tuna you find in most sushi joints. Instead of using the ubiquitous Sriracha-mayo combo, I season the tartare with my Spicy Korean Mustard Vinaigrette. The result is lighter and more vibrant and clean tasting. It also goes very well with lotus root chips: you can either spoon a little on the delicate chips or serve the chips on the side. As always, when consuming raw fish, make sure it's fresh and of the highest quality.
Recipe courtesy of Judy Joo
Episode: Fish and Seafood
Spiced Tuna Tartare
30 min
30 min
2 servings
30 min
30 min
2 servings


Spicy Korean Mustard Vinaigrette:
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil 
  • 2 teaspoons prepared Korean mustard (gyeoja) or English mustard 
  • 1 teaspoon superfine sugar 
  • Kosher salt or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 
Tuna Tartare:
  • 8 ounces/226 grams sashimi-quality tuna, diced
  • Heaping 1/3 cup/75 grams finely diced seedless cucumber 
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions or chives 
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots 
  • 4 teaspoons toasted sesame oil 
  • 2 teaspoons black sesame seeds, plus for serving 
  • 2 teaspoons roasted sesame seeds, plus for serving 
  • 2 perilla leaves (ggaennip), chopped, plus 1 leaf, julienned, for serving 
  • Pinch kosher salt or sea salt 


For the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine the rice vinegar, olive oil, sesame oil, mustard, sugar and some salt and pepper. Whisk until the sugar has dissolved and the vinaigrette is emulsified. Cover and store in the refrigerator if not using immediately. (Makes about 5 tablespoons.)

For the tartare: In a medium bowl, gently toss together the tuna, cucumbers, scallions, shallots, sesame oil, black sesame seeds, roasted sesame seeds, 2 perilla leaves and 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette. Season with salt.

Divide the tartare between two bowls or plates and sprinkle with additional roasted and black sesame seeds and the julienned perilla leaf.

Serve immediately.

Cook's Note

Add more of the Spicy Korean Mustard Vinaigrette, if you like. And feel free to increase the amount of mustard too, if you prefer a bit more kick.

Consumption of raw or undercooked eggs, shellfish and meat may increase the risk of foodborne illness.

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