Tuna caper tartare with wasabi cream

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15 min


4 servings


  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp capers , finely chopped
  • 2 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 250 g fresh sashimi-grade tuna or salmon , can also use smoked trout
  • 1 cup mesclun greens, baby watercress or sprouts
  • 1 tbsp wasabi powder
  • 2 tsp water
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives


  • In a bowl, stir cilantro with oil, capers and lime juice. Cut tuna or salmon into cubes about 1/4 in. (0.5 cm). If using trout, slice into similar sized pieces. Stir fish into oil mixture until evenly mixed. If making ahead, refrigerate mixture up to 4 hours before serving.
  • Place wasabi powder in a small bowl. Stir in water, a tsp (5 mL) at a time, until it forms a paste. Stir in crème fraîche and chives.
  • To serve, spoon wasabi mixture in centre of 4 salad plates. Spread out to form a large circle. Divide tuna mixture into four portions. Line a small ramekin or a 1/2 cup (125-mL) dry measure or a very small bowl with plastic wrap, leaving ends of wrap to hang over sides. Firmly pack a portion of the mixture into ramekin and unmold in centre of plate on sauce. Repeat with remaining tuna mixture. Top or surround each with salad greens. Garnish with a twist of lime.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 204,
  • Protein
  • 14.3 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 2.7 g,
  • Fat
  • 14.9 g,
  • Sodium
  • 168 mg.

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.


Creme fraiche

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.