Phillip Nordt: This zesty local tuna tartare would make French and Mongolian chefs’ eyes water

Thursday July 09, 2020 Written by Phillip Nordt OTB Restaurant Published in Art
Tartare is an eat-and-serve dish –keeping it for the next day is not recommended! 20070802 Tartare is an eat-and-serve dish –keeping it for the next day is not recommended! 20070802

RECIPE: At the moment we have a lot of young tuna around with a lower mercury content than the large ones and there is nothing better than a tartare.

Sashimi is very predictable, flavour-wise, but with the tartare you can enhance regional flavours.

I think soy sauce can be overpowering and I use lemon ponzu sauce with my sashimi.

Tartare comes from Mongolia, and is also known in Hungary where the warriors known as Tatares put meat under the saddle of their horses to tenderise it. And for meals they stop, chop it raw, up eat it. 

The French claimed the tartare as their dish and it became a signature dish at the Café de la Paix at the Grand Hotel in Paris, Place de L’Opera, and is served with raw egg, chopped onions paprika, caraway seeds, and salt and pepper around it … you mix it all up and eat it with fresh baguette.

This is an eat-and-serve dish – I do not recommend keeping it for the next day!

This is a take on this meat tartare dish made with tuna, a very refreshing starter or a main if you are keen.

There are many ways and flavourings you can use and today I do a little island take on it, but you can be experimental, some use sesame oil and seeds and even garlic soy and ginger (which I think is also overpowering).

Chefs Notes: The key element of this great dish is to get the seasoning of salt and pepper perfect and it pays to use less and taste a few times before plating, the perfect salt amount makes this dish. Do not use iodised salt – I never use iodised salt in my cooking.

Eat with fried plantain fritters, kuru or taro, and enjoy …

With culinary regards, until next time.

Tuna tartare, lemon-infused cucumber, shallots, coconut cream, avocado dressing and chives

RECIPE: serves 4 persons entrée size

400g tuna loin, diced
4 raw shallots, peeled and finely diced
1 lime’s zest
1 sprig of coriander stalks, finely chopped
4 chillis deseeded, finely chopped
1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
¼ nu, finely diced
8-10g rock salt, crushed
(teaspoon for the tartare mix)
pinch of black pepper from the mill


Place all ingredients into a bowl and mix gently with hands or spoons until thoroughly mixed. Then place gladwrap on top and place in fridge while you make the dressing and the cucumber salad

Marinated cucumber slices

1 cucumber
2 Tbsp lemon juice (1/2 lemon)
1 tsp pure cane sugar
salt and pepper to taste


Peel cucumber, slice into thin slices and place in a bowl.


Add all other ingredients and let marinate for half an hour.

Avocado dressing

1 avocado
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp extra virgin avocado oil
salt and pepper to taste


In a blender or hand mixer, blend all ingredients into a smooth dressing, then set aside for plating.

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