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Acqua California Bistro’s Yellowfin Tuna Tartare

Executive Chef Hermann Schafer
The freshest Yellowfin Tuna is complemented by avocado, crunchy cucumber, three sweet peppers and a playful vinaigrette to dance on your tongue.
Course Seafood
Cuisine American
Servings 4


  • 1- pound sushi-grade yellow fin tuna
  • 1/3 cup very thinly sliced scallions white parts
  • ½ cup Chili Vinaigrette
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
  • 1 ½ ripe Hass avocado
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Coarse salt to taste
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • Chili garlic sauce
  • Soy sauce
  • Canola oil
  • Rice wine vinegar
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
  • Frisee
  • 1 large seedless cucumber unpeeled, elongated ends trimmed off


  • TUNA
  • To prepare the tuna, work quickly and think of slicing, not chopping, the delicate tuna.
  • Using a sharp, thin-bladed knife and an impeccably clean cutting board, slice the tuna into ¼ inch dice.
  • Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Just before serving (otherwise the vinaigrette will “cook” the tuna), mix the tuna, scallions, and vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Dice avocados and season with lemon Juice, salt, and pepper.
  • To julienne bell peppers, halve the peppers and remove the seeds. Lay a pepper half flat, inside up, and remove the rips with a sharp knife.
  • Cut into julienne strips.
  • Place the strips in a bowl of ice water to create pepper curls.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the chili garlic sauce, rice wine vinegar, and soy sauce. Gradually whisk in the oil until the vinaigrette has emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add additional rice wine vinegar or oil to balance the dressing, if needed.
  • Placea ring mold in the center of a chilled large dinner plate.
  • Using a mandolin (or a very sharp knife) cut the cucumber into paper-thin slices.
  • Using the outside edge of the mold as a guide, make a ring of overlapping cucumber slices.
  • Spoon the tuna tartare into the mold, pressing it down lightly, and top it with the avocado.
  • Pile the dressed frisee salad into the center of the avocado, and garnish it with some of the bell pepper curls.
  • Carefully lift the ring mold up and off of the plate.
  • Repeat with the remaining ingredients and plate.