Spice Crusted Seared Carpaccio of Tuna

Nick Nairn's wafer thin slices of tuna marinated in lime, honey and ginger, then coated in aromatic spices taste sensational. Created for Seafood Week
Spice Crusted Seared Carpaccio of Tuna
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes plus marinating and chilling
  • Effort: medium


For the carpaccio of tuna

  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 225 g loin of tuna, taken from a large fish, well trimmed
  • 2 tbsp sichuan peppercorns
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp chinese five spice

For the marinade

  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tbsp clear honey
  • 1 lime, finely grated zest and juice
  • 2 tsp ginger juice, (ginger root pressed through a garlic press)

To serve

  • sprigs coriander
  • wedges of limes
  • pickled ginger

Tips and Suggestions

This is a great dish to experiment with if you're a first timer in the raw fish department, as there is a little layer of cooked meat on the outer edge to disguise the raw texture. Just remember to slice it very thinly. Use sashimi-grade tuna and make sure it's super fresh. You might be lucky enough to find it in a supermarket, but your best bet will be a decent fishmonger.


1. For the marinade: mix together the soy sauce, sunflower oil, honey, lime zest and juice and ginger juice and pour into a shallow dish.

2. To make the carpaccio of tuna: heat a large frying pan until it is very hot and add the oil. Sear the tuna over a high heat, turning it now and then, until cooked all over to a depth of about 5mm.

3. Transfer the tuna to the marinade, turning it occasionally, and leave until cold.

4. Meanwhile, heat a dry, heavy-based frying pan over a high heat. Add the peppercorns and toss for a few seconds until they darken slightly and start to smell aromatic.

5. Tip them into a mortar and coarsely crush them with the pestle. Stir in the sea salt and five-spice powder, and then sprinkle the mixture onto a plate.

6. Lift the tuna out of the marinade (reserving the marinade) and dip it in the spices so that they form a thin, even coating. Wrap the fish tightly in cling film and chill for 24 hours.

7. Remove the tuna from the fridge and unwrap it. Slice the loin across into very thin slices using a long, sharp knife.

8. To serve: lay 3-4 tuna slices on each plate and garnish with fresh coriander sprigs, shredded pickled ginger and a wedge of lime. Serve the marinade separately as a dipping sauce.

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