How to impress your family and friends with an appetiser, that’s how these Crunchy Tuna Tartare Wonton Cups could be called. They’re restaurant worthy with their crunchy wonton base stuffed with an avocado mash and topped with a delicious tuna tartare. The best part? In addition to being mouthwatering, they are incredibly easy to make.
A few years ago my partner surprised me in Oxford with a tuna tartare served over avocado mash (based on his guacamole, which by the way is incredible). I liked it so much that later on I made it to share on Instagram, about 4 years ago now (and what a photo XD, when I see it now… OMG!). We make it relatively often at home, so a couple of months ago I thought about uploading it to the blog since I started to think about more summery recipes.
However, I couldn’t share the tartare as it was, because I had seen the Spicy Scallops Wanton Cups by Nadia from Food my Muse and I was like: I have to make these wonton cups. And hence today’s Crunchy Tuna Tartare Wonton Cups recipe.
Tartare is a dish of raw meat (traditionally) or fish finely minced, which is mixed with sauces and condiments. It’s usually served with toasts (today the wonton cups). The name origin seems to be in the fact that the original version was served with tartar sauce.
Crunchy Wonton Cups
This is how today’s recipe begins, with a crunchy base, and the cool thing is that it’s not a tradition base since it’s made with wonton dough. The wonton dough, wanton, wantan, wantoón or Won ton is a very thin dough from the Chinese cuisine and is generally made with flour, eggs and a bit of salt .
Thanks to it being so thin, wonton sheets are light when either steamed or boiled, or even if (oven-)fried. When baked, it doesn’t fill you up like puff pastry could, for example, but it gets super crunchy making it ideal to serve with today’s tuna tartare.
Raw tuna with avocado are a match made in heaven, so the day my partner made the tuna tartare for the first time, he decided to serve it over an avocado mash base. He added red onion to the mash, which is what we usually add to our guacamole, but I find that it’s a bit too strong in this dish, so I decided to swap it with the white part of a spring onion and I loved it more.
Moreover, to give it extra depth of flavour, it has a bit of lime juice, but you can use lemon if you want. Although I personally find that lime provides more freshness to the soy sauce, sesame oil and tuna combo.
And finally, it has a spicy touch, which is totally optional. I sometimes use tabasco and others siracha, depending on what I have on hand. What do you prefer?
This is the star of today’s recipe, which is why it’s so important to buy fresh and good quality tuna, preferably from the belly part – which is more tender and tastier – or central loin – it has less fat but no grains.
How do I know if the tuna is fresh?
There are several factors to consider:
- Colour: it has to go from an intense red to a more pinkish colour in the fattest areas such as the belly.
- Smell: the tuna has to smell “of sea”. If it smells like ammonia or “fishy,” it’s not fresh.
- Firmness of the meat: the meat has to be firm, if it is flaccid or soft, discard it. We should avoid pieces that are covered by a kind of sticky “slime”, but fresh tuna should present a natural moisture.
In any case, as I always say, what is really ideal is to know a reliable and trustworthy fishmonger. If you tell them that you need the tuna to eat it raw, they will be more than honest. Oh! And ask them if the tuna has been frozen and thawed already or not. If it has already been frozen, you should use it immediately and not refreeze it. On the contrary, if it hasn’t been, I recommend that you freeze it for at least 48 hours for the following reason.
Tuna, even if it’s fresh, should be frozen at home for at least 48 hours to avoid the famous (and feared, at least in Europe) anisakis. To avoid suffering from anisakis both in fresh tuna and any other fish that we want to eat raw or undercooked, we should:
- Freeze the fish for at least 48 hours, at -18°C
- Thaw it in the fridge overnight so that it doesn’t experience sudden temperature changes.
Some Frequently Asked Questions about these Crunchy Tuna Tartare Wonton Cups
Can I Substitute the Wonton Cups?
You can substitute with shortcrust pastry. If store-bought, you will have to bake it as per the package instructions until they are crispy.
Another idea would be with phyllo pastry. Use a cookie cutter to cut the pastry into circles and put 3-4 layers per cup with a little oil brushed between layers.
Can I make them ahead?
You can make the wonton cups up to 5 days in advance and store the crispy wonton cups in an airtight container so they don’t go soft. You can also prepare the tuna tartare the day before and let it marinate in an airtight container. What I do not recommend you prepare in advance is the avocado mash, because it can oxidise and turn black.
In any case, assemble the cups just when you’re ready to eat them, so that you can enjoy its crunchiness.
More Amazing Appetisers
- Crispy Rice Paper Vegetable Cheesy Dumplings
- Crispy Garlic Butter Chicken Wings
- White Bean Dip with Piada Chips and Pistachio Olive Oil
If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and rate it. Hearing from you is everything! Oh, and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram, I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking!
Crunchy Tuna Tartare Wonton Cups
- 1 12-whole muffin tin
- 12 wonton wrappers
- 200 g red tuna - about 2 cm thick (depending on how big the tuna is, sometimes 1 or 2 steaks are needed)
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- A pinch of salt
- 1 avocado - large
- 1 spring onion - the white part, thinly sliced. If it is small you can use more than one.
- Juice of half lime
- 2-3 drops of Tabasco - or Siracha (optional)
- A pinch of salt
- Sesame seeds
- Chives - finely chopped
- 1 jalapeño - serrano pepper or padrón pepper, thinly sliced
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC no fan (190ºC fan-assisted).
- Spray the tin with oil or brush a bit of oil in each cavity. Place a wonton wrapper in each one, pressing gently so as not to break the dough . Spray the wrappers with more oil (or brush with oil) and bake for about 8 minutes (take a look after 5 minutes so they don’t burn, the wonton wrappers are very thin).
- In the meantime, prepare the rest. Start by cutting the tuna into cubes, transfer it to a bowl and mix it with the soy sauce, sesame oil, dijon mustard and a pinch of salt. Taste it and adjust seasoning if necessary. Set aside.
- In another bowl mash the avocado with the spring onion, the lime juice, a pinch of salt and optionally a few drops of Tabasco or Siracha to taste.
- When the wonton cups are golden and crispy, take them out of the oven and remove each cup from the tin so they don’t continue cooking.
- Place them on a tray or plate and fill them. Start with a generous teaspoon of the avocado mash, then another of the tuna tartar. Finally sprinkle some sesame seeds and chopped chives. You can also top some with jalapeño slices. Enjoy!