Ribbons of Tuna with Ginger Marinade

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Did you ever think you’d see the day when tuna imitated pasta? Here, the wonderful taste and texture of tuna cut into linguine-like strands is sauced by a refreshing ginger marinade. The natural spiciness of radishes is heightened by the addition of homemade chili oil and tempered by cool avocado. The explosion of fiavors in your mouth is really exciting; people love this.

4 servings


Total Timeunder 1 hour

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionFormal Dinner Party

Recipe Courseappetizer


Five Ingredients or LessYes


Taste and Texturehot & spicy, light, savory, spiced

Type of Dishfirst course salad


  • 1 dried ancho chile, stemmed and seeded
  • dried chipotle peppers, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 whole allspice berry
  • 1 whole clove
  • ¾ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 small piece mace or nutmeg, cracked
  • 1 whole star anise
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup grape seed, corn, or other neutral oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/8 ounce kefir lime leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup peeled and chopped fresh ginger
  • 2½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup champagne or other wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • One 4-inch square, 1-inch-thick piece sushi-grade tuna
  • Salt
  • 1 fresh red Thai chile, seeded and minced
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ripe avocado, seeded, peeled, and diced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 4 small red bunch radishes, stemmed, scrubbed, and cut into ¼-inch slices
  • ½ small daikon radish, stemmed, peeled, and cut into ¼-inch slices
  • ½ small icicle radish, stemmed, peeled, and cut into ¼-inch slices


  1. To make the oil: Put the chiles, allspice, clove, fennel, mace, anise, and cinnamon in a large dry skillet and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and toasted, 2 minutes. Transfer the toasted ingredients to a blender or spice grinder with the salt and blend until finely ground.

  2. Transfer the mixture to a small saucepan and cover with the oil. Set over medium-low heat until very warm, then remove from the heat and cool completely. Strain the oil through a fine-mesh sieve into a container and set aside at room temperature to use immediately, or cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

  3. To make the marinade: Put the sugar, lime leaves, and lime juice in a small saucepan. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature, then strain the lime syrup through a fine-mesh sieve and set aside.

  4. Put the ginger in a blender and blend, adding the olive oil in a slow, steady stream through the feed tube, until the mixture becomes a smooth purée. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl and stir in the vinegar, soy sauce, and reserved lime syrup and set aside.

  5. Cut the tuna into strands lengthwise, ¼ inch thick, so that the cut pieces resemble thick linguine. Place in a bowl. Season lightly with salt, then gently toss with the chile, shallots, and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. In a small bowl season the avocado lightly with salt, then toss gently with the lime juice and the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season the radishes lightly with salt, then toss gently with half the reserved chili oil.

  6. Divide the avocado among four serving bowls and decoratively arrange half the radish slices, then half the tuna strands on top. Stack the remaining radishes and tuna on top, and spoon the ginger marinade around the dish and drizzle the remaining chili oil all around. Serve immediately.



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