Dining In 1 minute 15 November 2022

Recipe: Citrin's Ahi Tuna Tartare

Chef Josiah Citrin of One Star Citrin and Two MICHELIN Star Mélisse in Santa Monica offer this recipe for ahi tuna tartare.

Citrin is located in the same building as chef Josiah Citrin's sister restaurant Mélisse, but the offerings here afford more choice, with a modest prix-fixe alongside à la carte options. Here's how to make Citrin's ahi tuna tartare at home. Presented in partnership with Gaggenau.


Ahi Tuna

  • 1 lb sashimi-grade ahi tuna
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced shallots
  • 2 tsp minced chives
  • Fleur de sel
  • 1 knife point of either piment d’espelette or cayenne pepper


  • 1 large English cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced into small pieces
  • ½ cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 knife point of piment d’espelette or cayenne

Avocado mousseline

  • 1 medium avocado
  • 1 tablespoon crème fraîche
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • Sea salt
  • Piment d’espelette or cayenne

Yuzu vinaigrette

  • 2 oz yuzu juice
  • 1 oz water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1½ tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 1½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil


  • 1 Roma tomato, peeled, seeded, and diced into small pieces
  • 1 tsp minced chives
Citrin © Jeff Couch/Citrin
Citrin © Jeff Couch/Citrin

Ahi tuna

  • Dice the tuna into small pieces and put into a bowl. 
  • Add the chives, shallots, 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, and season to taste with fleur de sel and espelette pepper. 
  • Toss gently but thoroughly and refrigerate until ready to use.


  • In a small sauce pot, combine the rice vinegar, sugar, and water, and bring to a boil.
  • Add the diced cucumber. 
  • Remove from heat and chill in fridge.

Avocado mousseline

  • Cut the avocado in half lengthwise. 
  • Remove the pit and use a spoon to scoop out the avocado, as close to inside the skin as possible.
  • In a blender, combine avocado, crème frâiche, lime juice, sea salt, and espelette pepper. Blend until smooth and velvety.
  • Adjust seasoning to taste.

Yuzu vinaigrette

  • Bring the sugar and water to a boil.
  • Combine the sugar water and yuzu in a bowl.
  • Season with salt and espelette pepper.
  • Gradually whisk in the oils to emulsify.
  • Transfer to a small container with a tight fitting lid.
  • For each serving, lightly oil a 2-inch ring mold and place it in the middle of a shallow bowl.
  • Using a slotted spoon, scoop out the cucumbers (about 2 tablespoons per plate) and put a layer in the center of the ring mold.
  • Pack the tartare into the mold up to 1/8” from the top of the mold.
  • Spoon the avocado on top of the tuna and, using an offset spatula, evenly spread the avocado.
  • Remove the ring mold, clean it, and repeat the process.
  • While pulling up the ring mold, you may need to insert a small knife into the center to keep the molded stack from lifting off the plate.
  • Garnish each stack with 3 pieces of diced tomato, minced chives, and a little fleur de sel. Shake
    the dressing well and spoon 2 tablespoons around each one.

Chef Josiah Citrin
© DYLAN+JENI/Citrin Hospitality

Hero image: Chef Josiah Citrin's ahi tuna tartare
© Citrin Hospitality

Presented in partnership with Gaggenau
Presented in partnership with Gaggenau

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