A small hit of heat from fiery wasabi (Japanese horseradish) perks up the subtle flavour of fresh tuna in this smashingly simple no-cook appetizer.
First cut slices into thin strips, then into 1/4-in. (0.5-cm) cubes. Try to keep as even as possible. Place in a bowl and proceed with the recipe.
Using a knife with a sharp, thin blade, slice tuna into slices 1/4 in. (0.5 cm) thick.
Buy sashimi-grade tuna (also called sushi-grade). Wait until the day of your dinner party to buy. Keep in the coldest part of the fridge.
WORK WITH FRESH TUNA WITH EASE
Creme fraiche is a slightly tangy thickened cream. Its texture and consistency is similar to sour or clotted cream. If you can’t find crème fraiche for this recipe, try stirring 1/3 cup (75 mL) regular sour cream with 2 tbsp (30 mL) whipping cream. Then add wasabi mixture and chives. Stir to mix.
Also called Japanese horseradish, wasabi has a sharp pungent flavour and is sold in both paste and powder form in the Asian section of grocery stores. The powder form is more popular. Mix with just enough water to form a thick paste, about 1 tbsp (15 mL) powder with 2 tsp (10 mL) water. Beware; a little goes a long way.
Sashimi-grade tuna or salmon
Buy sashimi-grade fish – a higher-quality grade than what’s sold at the supermarket – from a fishmonger you trust. Sashimi-grade fish is freshly caught, bled and frozen right on the boat. Storage and shipping containers are carefully maintained at the same temperature until it reaches the market. When shopping, use your senses. Flesh should be firm and it should smell like the ocean, not fishy. Uneven colouring points to poor temperature control and unsafe handling.