So reading the Thomas Keller Book I received he gives his guests at the French Laundry a Salmon tartare Amuse Bouche that he serves in tuile cones with a compound creme fraiche. Well it inspired me, but I simply can’t stand salmon. I just don’t like the taste. I’ve tried it cooked & uncooked by amazing chefs and it doesn’t matter. SO! I had a think, and came up with a change to the recipe. Made it for Erik on Sunday and it was a huge hit. When he woke up Monday and told me was still thinking about the tuna I knew I had a big hit. So here it is.

4 oz Sashimi grade tuna
teriyaki sauce
lemon oil (or if you’re like me the rind of several lemons)
extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
creme fraiche
japanese wasabi (the real stuff)
a piece of candied ginger

I started by trimming the tuna of any undesirable bits with sinew or ‘less than fresh’ look. This left me with a rectangular block that I then cut down into perfect 3mm slices of what would normally be sashimi. Then I sliced those slices again into 3mm strips, and then cut the strips into 3mm brunoise tuna cubes which I placed into the bowl.
Drizzle a few drops of the Olive Oil over the fish, also a few drops of the teriyaki sauce. I mixed the fish gently using my fingers till the fish was evenly coated. The amount of liquid was barely enough to even tell that I had put anything on the fish, but if you tasted you could tell it had a subtle flavor.

At this point, since I didn’t feel like spending $$$ on a bottle of lemon oil, (and I have a tree of lemons) I cut the rind off of a lemon and spent the next 10 minutes judiciously squeezing the rind outside towards the fish in a ‘pinching’ manner to eject the lemon oil onto the fish. After making a pass over all the fish from one third of the lemons rind, I would stir the fish. Then repeat this again 2 more times till complete.

At the end I gently seasoned the fish with a few grains of kosher salt for taste and then put the tuna aside sealed completely in plastic in the refrigerator till dinner time. (Note: Tuna will absorb flavors, and at this point you have to be careful or you’ll end up with a flavor you don’t want.)

I then started with a healthy scoop of the creme fraiche into a bowl (probably 1/3 cup or 70 ml) and whisked it till it formed peaks. (Note: This is physically demanding by hand, use an electric whisk if you are not used to intense whisking on a regular basis.) After whisked I added in wasabi to taste for the amount of cream on hand. For me in this case it was about a tablespoon of wasabi. Start small and taste, the wasabi flavor will bloom into the creme and grow in strength.

At this point I did quite possibly a stupid thing. I attempted to use my microplane to grate the candied ginger. Which did nothing more than make gummi worms out the bottom of the grater. EWWW. So I got out my knife and micro brunoise the ginger and then mixed it with a finger sized blob of the creme on my cutting board and proceeded to use the side of my knife to mash and work the ginger into a paste. If I thought the whipping of the creme was hard, this was nuts. But let me tell you, the flavor was out of this world. After it becomes a literal smooth creme you can add it into the creme fraiche and beat it till it’s combined. I then sealed the creme in plastic till serving time as well.

I have a set of asian soup spoons. Into these I put a small ball of the tuna on the front half of the spoon, then a little larger than pea piped ball of the creme fraiche and sprinkled it with black sesame seeds and a few grains of salt. Erik and I slurped the tuna off of each spoon and then I would replenish the tuna/creme/seed/salt and repeat till we ate all the tuna.

It was absolutely delicious. YUM. I hope you try it. I’ll upload a photo when I get more tuna, we ate the first batch so quickly I didn’t have time to get the camera. :D