The Type Of Soy Sauce You Use For Tuna Tartare Absolutely Matters

Tuna tartare is raw, minced, sushi-grade tuna that is seasoned and served as a cold appetizer. But why do some recipes for tuna tartare seem so much more piquant and nuanced than others? The secret is in the type of soy sauce that you use. Japanese soy sauce brands like Yamasa or Kikkoman are more complex in flavor than other versions, which are simply salty or sweet. 

The success of tuna tartare rests on subtle flavors that are incorporated into the various layers of this dish. Healthy and delicious, tuna tartare with Japanese soy sauce is an elegant, impressive dish. Because Japanese soy sauce — called "shoyu" in Japan — has an intricate natural brewing process that develops its aroma and taste over several months, it boasts an umami-rich pungency. It can contain hundreds of different flavor profiles such as fruits, vanilla, coffee, and whiskey. So, when you choose Japanese soy sauce for tuna tartare, you definitely notice its character.

A recipe for tuna tartare with Japanese soy sauce

Whether you're a culinary expert or have just discovered your inner chef, you can prepare tuna tartare with Japanese soy sauce to make your dish awaken. Begin by sharpening your knife, then finely mince the tuna quickly and with clean strokes to avoid squishing the fish. Dress with Japanese soy sauce, sesame oil, sweet chili oil, rice vinegar, sesame seeds, and salt until evenly but lightly coated. Mince ginger, garlic, and cilantro and add to the tuna mixture. Then, with the fish set aside, chop green onions and avocados and place them in their own bowl; brighten with olive oil and lime juice and prepare the quinoa in another bowl.

Using a mold — you can substitute a straight-sided small bowl or ramekin in a pinch– assemble equal-sized layers. Start with the quinoa, add the green onion and avocado mixture, and end with the tuna. Press firmly, then release the mold. You're ready to serve a delicacy to your guests, who'll swoon over the dish. The secret rests with the way that Japanese soy sauce calls upon all five tastes — umami, sweetness, saltiness, bitterness, and sourness — to bring its companion ingredients to life.