Epicure Recipe Card #15: Nori-crusted Tuna

New Year’s Eve 2010 was a quiet affair at home for Monsieur Poisson and I as he had work duties to fulfil from the comfort of our study. Not that we’re terribly exciting people who go out partying to celebrate the event in any case but, as always, calendar occasions call for a celebration with food. And so I set about making a little too much food when there was only the two of us to feed, which resulted in abandoning some of the plans at the last minute.

The evening started off with salmon tartare which was a tad short of what I’d envisaged. I was thinking sexy poached eggs with golden yolk spilling out to enrobe the salmon morsels in a thick creaminess but, uh, although I’d employed the plastic wrap method let’s just say my egg-poaching skills leave a lot to be desired still. Taste-wise it didn’t disappoint, but perhaps learning how to poach an egg properly is something to make a resolution about.

Some pan-fried gyoza followed as well as something from another recipe card which I’d had in mind for entertaining purposes as it seemed extremely simple to make ahead as well as being a little special. The hardest part was finding sashimi-grade tuna at the local fishmongers, and nor is it cheap. Once that was done, there was virtually no preparation involved and just some flash searing in a hot pan before cooling and slicing. Easy! And I decided to do away with encrusting the tuna with nori, instead just snipping a few strips over the end product instead.

Although the recipe card describes it being served with lemon soy, the instructions suggest it can be served with wasabi mayonnaise or the former. Either way it really is one of the most low effort, stress-free things I’ve ever made and will be sure to impress guests with its geometric simplicity and pretty colouring.

Tuna Tataki (serves 2 as a starter)
(adapted from The Age – Epicure 50 Best Recipe Cards, recipe by Jill Dupleix)

·         about 100g sashimi-grade tuna in log form – I’d bought a rectangular piece and just sliced down the middle to get 2 small logs
·         sesame oil, for brushing
·         ½ tsp black pepper, coarsely ground
·         1 tsp black sesame seeds
·         1 tbs light soy sauce
·         ½ tbs lemon juice – I used lime
·         ½ a nori sheet (optional)

  1. Brush sides of each tuna log with sesame oil and sprinkle over pepper and sesame seeds to lightly coat.
  2. Heat a dry, non-stick frypan and sear each side of the tuna for 1 minute. Set aside and allow to cool, then slice thinly. 

  1. Mix lemon juice with soy, adjusting to taste if necessary. Serve with tuna on a bed of shredded cabbage or lettuce, if desired. Snip strips of nori over the top if using.
happy cooking!


  1. That tuna really does sound simple and what wow factor it has too! Looks very pretty too. Sounds like a lovely NYE :)

  2. salmon tartare with poach egg looks good.
    I think if google the right timing on poaching egg might help in future.. :)

    Nonetheless, great meal!

  3. Even when you think you have the traditional method of poaching eggs down pat it bites you in the bum when you don't want it to.

    The tuna tataki looks wonderful, such a great dish, one of my faves.

  4. ooh such sexy tuna. I'm still yet to master the art of poaching so don't worry, you're not alone!

  5. Yum tuna tataki is one of my favourite dishes and yours looks delicious! I can't poach an egg to save my life though I've never tried to do it with the plastic wrap before

  6. I love tuna cooked this way and with the thin strips of nori; I'm sure it adds a nice saltiness to your elegan dish. Love it!

  7. Yeah, that tuna looks AMAZING! i too cannot poach an egg to save my life. One of the hardest kitchen skills out there to master.

  8. Wow that looks amazing! Could go some of that now!

  9. Wow the tuna looks gorgeous! And your poached egg looks fine to me =)

  10. Poaching eggs your way seems far more fool proof and requires far less vinegar, which I've never been fold of how it affects the texture of the whites.

    I like your tuna presentation. Looks like it would have been quite nice :)

  11. Hey hey- sorry for hiatus! I'm back! the tuna is looking awesome. Great idea to just snip the nori over the top.

  12. That looks delicious and after raw, my favourite way to eat tuna - love how pink and rare the center is. Yum!

  13. I love Tuna Tataki and it's so healthy done this way, very little cooking as you say but very flavourful. I think it's worth the cost. We are very lucky that we have a brilliant fishmonger locally who supplies both sashimi grade salmon and tuna. Yay!!

  14. I love tuna! These tuna tataki looks delicious!

  15. wow the tuna tataki looks so delicious yet so simple to make although, anything that touches me will turn out a fail.

  16. It looks mighty FINE...............I love the two-tone hues of the fish. Have a good weekend

  17. the tuna looks great and what a wonderfully simple way to cook it.

  18. That tuna looks damn foiiiine! Twas nice seeing you and meeting Gary on Saturday!!

  19. Woah...when I saw the pics I thought it was from a restuarant- great lookin dish yo. Break me off a piece of that!

  20. Your photographs are stunning - this looks like such a light & beautiful meal... lucky Monsieur Poisson :)

  21. what an awesome dish, are you sure this is not at a fine dining establishment?? lucky monieur poisson!

  22. Hey Joey, thanks =) And so easy too!

    Hey Sarah, definitely something I'll keep in mind when next entertaining.

    Hey ourfoodtales, thanks - I'm just not very good at following instructions sometimes =p

    Hey Sara, it is so far a skill which still eludes me, gaaahhh!

    Hey Helen, haha, lucky the tuna turned out alright though!

    Hey Jacq, tuna tataki is definitely easier than poaching an egg!

    Hey Jackie, thank you for your kind praise! I love eating several types of fish like this but never pictured it being so, so easy to make!

    Hey Reemski, I am so comforted to know I'm not amongst the minority when it comes to failing at poaching eggs =p

    Hey John, so soft...so sensual...so tasty!

    Hey Angie, haha, the eggwhite was fine but the yolk was almost cooked all the way through!

    Hey Simon, theoretically more foolproof with the plastic wrap but still not foolproof enough for me, haha!

    Hey Gastronomy Gal, so good to hear from you again which can only mean things are looking better for you!

    Hey Forager, raw is great and this offers just that bit of textural contrast.

    Hey Gummi Baby, think I might need to venture into the fish markets next time I make this though!

    Hey Ellie, thanks =) But not as impressive as your kingfish!

    Hey sugarpuffi, seriously, so easy to make - you should try it!

    Hey Kitchen Butterfly, thanks, the colours are quite captive, aren't they?

    Hey Thang, if only cooking all fish could be this simple, heh!

    Hey Trisha, good seeing you briefly too! Need proper (girly) catch-up soon =D

    Hey Adrian, haha, you're flattering me! But I can't emphasise how easy it is to make.

    Hey foodie and the chef, thanks for dropping by and your kind comments =)

    Hey Gianna, I love it when something so low effort can yield such impressive results =D

  23. Hi all,

    I think a little break is good for everyone. This would be a good picnic starter- something a little different!
    Thanks a lot!

    Recipe Cards


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