Tuna Tartare with Coconut and Jerk Peanuts

This flavor-packed, refreshing-yet-assertive tartare of carefully diced raw tuna is tossed with a tamarind-spiked coconut-lime dressing and topped with jerk-spiced peanuts.

Strong flavors like fish sauce, tamarind, and coconut meld effortlessly into a tangy sauce that’s tossed with diced fresh tuna in this lively, intense tuna appetizer from chef Nina Compton of Compère Lapin in New Orleans. Roasted peanuts, covered with pungent jerk spices, add subtle warmth, a touch of spice, and crispy contrast to the dynamic tuna tartare.

Often asked questions
Is tuna tartare raw?
Yes. It’s essential to source sushi-grade tuna when making tartare due to the fact that the fish is served raw.

What is jerk seasoning?
Jerk spices is a cherished spice blend around the globe, usually made from Scotch bonnet peppers, cayenne pepper, allspice, nutmeg, pimento, cinnamon, garlic powder, onion powder, and thyme. It’s featured plainly in lots of Caribbean and Jamaican dishes.

What else can I make with jerk spiced peanuts?
Sprinkle jerk spiced peanuts over salads, grain bowls, or on fish tacos. The peanuts can be made up to 1 week in advance and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

Notes from the Food & Wine Test Kitchen
Keep the tuna really cold, and use a sharp knife with a thin blade to carefully dice the fragile fish.

Tamarind paste and taro chips can be found at the majority of Asian supermarket or online at Jubilee Grocery. Jerk seasoning can be found at a lot of grocery stores, specialized spice shops, or online at Spicewalla.
Tuna Tartare with Jerk Peanuts and Coconut
Recommended pairing
Compton recommends serving this tuna appetizer with McBride Sisters Collection The Great Escape Reserve Chardonnay from the Santa Lucia Highlands. Avoiding the heavily oaked style of lots of California Chardonnays, this wine highlights the natural sophistication and brightness the grape can provide. “The crisp nature of the white wine and the fact that it has simply the right amount of level of acidity provide a fantastic contrast to the richness of the tuna and coconut milk,” says Compton. The Chardonnay’s tidy, fresh flavor and light creaminess, Compton says, imply that “with each sip, the red wine cleanses the palate for the next bite of mouthwatering richness.”

1/2 cup salted roasted peanuts

1 1/2 tablespoons jerk seasoning (such as Spicewalla).

1 tablespoon olive oil.

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk.

1 1/2 tablespoons tamarind paste (such as Neera’s).

1 1/2 teaspoons fish sauce (such as Red Boat).

1 teaspoon grated lime enthusiasm plus 1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice (from 1 lime).

1 pound sushi-grade tuna, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (about 2 cups).

1 large avocado, sliced.

1/4 teaspoon sea salt.

Torn fresh cilantro and fresh mint leaves, for garnish.

Taro chips, for serving.

Toss together peanuts, jerk flavoring, and oil in a medium bowl. Bake in preheated oven until lightly toasted, about 15 minutes. Transfer nuts to a cutting board; let cool entirely, about 15 minutes.

Stir together coconut milk, tamarind paste, fish sauce, and lime zest and juice in a medium bowl. Include tuna; toss to coat. Carefully fold in avocado and toasted peanuts. Divide mix equally among serving bowls; season to taste with flaky sea salt. Garnish with cilantro and mint. Serve with taro chips.

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