Tuna Tartare with Nori Chips
Crunchy homemade nori chips are topped with tuna tartare prepared from diced ahi tuna, cucumber, lime juice, chives, sriracha, and mayonaisse.
Remember that batch of frying oil I told you to save a few weeks ago? Well… it’s time to break it out again. I told you that stuff would come in handy.
While you’re doing that, please excuse me while I go stare out the window and shout expletives at all of the snow plows driving by right now. There is nothing worse than a snow plow on a could-be-please-please-let-it-be snow day.
Anyway, back to the oil. You’re definitely want to break it out, because these tuna tartare nori chips might be one of my favorite appetizers ever. I’m pretty sure you’ll like them too.
They have everything: great texture, acid, a little bit of spiciness, a little bit of saltiness, and…their bite-size. You know how obsessed I am with foods that fit into that category.
Appetizers are my favorite part of any meal.
How to Make Nori Chips:
Let’s discuss the crispy nori (seaweed) chips, shall we? If you’re into nori, you will love these.
The trick to super crispy nori chips is dipping them in a slurry (cornstarch and water mixture) and then frying them briefly in batches. It results in a super light, crunchy, yet thin and delicate chip that is the perfect vehicle for pretty much anything.
This Asian-inspired tuna tartare is my favorite topping of all.
I learned the crispy nori trick during my time at the restaurant, and even though I quickly ended up despising the task (picture cutting, dipping, and frying 300 nori chips for multiple parties over and over again and you can quickly realize why), I still love them a lot.
For the tuna tartare, you’ll want to buy the best-quality Ahi or Yellowtail tuna you can find, as you will be eating it raw. Go to a trusted fish monger–and remember that “sushi grade” or “sashimi grade” labels are not regulated or standardized at all.
Although fresh tuna is generally on the expensive side, you will only need a half pound or less for this recipe (which makes 24 bites). Depending on how many people you’re serving, you can adjust the recipe fairly easily too.
Plus, you’ll have lots of nori sheets left over to make extra chips. And I sort of recommend doing so, because they are really tasty on their own and you might end up snacking on several of them along the way.
But what you’ll really want to do is save them for this tuna tartare, which is a simple combination of diced tuna, cucumber, fresh lime juice, chives, sriracha, and a teensy amount of mayonnaise. Emphasis on the teensy part.
The kick of sriracha and saltiness of the nori totally take these over the top. Hope you love these as much as I do!
Tuna Tartare with Nori Chips
- 6 cups (1.5 quarts) canola oil for frying
- 3 nori sheets
- 1 cup (240 mL) cold water
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- kosher salt
- 8 ounces (½ lb) sushi-grade ahi tuna diced
- ⅓ English cucumber peeled, diced, and seeds removed (about ½ cup)
- 1 heaping tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1-2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon sriracha hot sauce
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- Prepare Nori Chips: Using scissors, cut each nori sheet in half lengthwise. Cut each half sheet into two equal sized squares. Cut each square into two triangles. Each sheet should yield 8 triangles. Set aside.
- Whisk water and cornstarch together in a bowl to create a slurry and set aside. Line a baking sheet with paper towels or a cooling rack and set aside.
- Place the oil in a heavy, straight-edged sauté pan or pot. Using a frying thermometer, heat oil to 375°F (190°C). Dip a nori triangle into the cornstarch mixture (whisk together occasionally if cornstarch starts to settle on the bottom of the bowl) and immediately transfer to hot oil, frying 5-6 triangles at a time. They should bubble immediately once they hit the oil. Be careful, as the oil may splatter a bit as you work.
- Using tongs, flip the nori and continue to fry until oil becomes still and they no longer are bubbling. Transfer the nori chips carefully with tongs to the baking sheet. Salt immediately. Repeat with remaining nori triangles.
- Prepare Tuna Tartare (just before serving): Combine the ingredients in a bowl. Season to taste, adding more salt, lime juice, or sriracha hot sauce as needed. Spoon the tartar onto the nori chips. Garnish with finely chopped chives. Serve immediately.
How to Prep Nori Chips Ahead:
- The nori chips can be made 1 to 2 days in advance if needed. They should be stored in an airtight container with a layer of paper towels and a silica gel packets to help absorb any moisture - particularly if you live in a humid environment.
43 Comments on “Tuna Tartare with Nori Chips”
Can I use the dried nori sheets that they sell at CostCo as snacks?
I think this should work! I’ve never seen those, but I don’t see why not.
Hi. Do the nori chips get soggy after I’ve placed the tuna on top? If I want to make a few 100 in advance (with the tuna on top) how long until we lose the cripsyness? Thanks!!
Hi Doug! With anything crispy, you want to avoid putting anything with moisture on them ahead of time, as they will get soggy with time. These nori chips are no exception. I recommend not prepping these ahead of serving – if you DO need to get them ready prior to serving, I would serve the chips and allow people to spoon the tartare on themselves. Hope this helps!
How long do the nori chips stay good for? Can you make them ahead? Can you store them ?
Yes! You can make them ahead. It’s best if you can put them in an airtight container with one of those silica gel packets (to help absorb any moisture). Otherwise the moisture in the air will make them less crisp. I wouldn’t make them more than a day or two in advance if your kitchen isn’t very dry though! Hope this helps!
I.LOVE.THIS. I currently live in Japan and can’t wait to try this unique take on my host countries favorite dish!
Yay! So happy to hear that. Thanks Trisha!
This looks heavenly Laura!! My favourite ingredients!
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looks great! would you know where to get the sushi grade tuna in DC or Alexandria?
Thanks Janet! I know that Whole Foods can carry it sometimes, as well as H-Mart (an Asian supermarket–there are several locations in the DC area). You would also probably be able to find it at the Maine Avenue Fish Market too! Hope this helps!
Can you prepare the nori chips in advance ? How long would they stay good for in an airtight container at room temperature ?
Hi Jake! They should last up to two days in an airtight container at room temperature–they will do even better (and potentially last for longer) if you stored them with some silica gel packs to reduce moisture. Hope this helps!
genius idea, can’t wait to try it out!
Beautiful post, Laura! Looks yummy! I think I could handle this! Hope you and Connor have a wonderful Valentine’s Day evening together and a great weekend!
Even though I’m 99.9% veg, I occasionally eat fish (mostly sushi) would totally make an exception for one of these tartare chips! WHOA. Deeeelicious.
That’s a pretty big compliment, thank you Joanne!
This is some elegant eating. It’s like the fanciest nachos that ever happened. I’m into it.
Haha–you’re a funny lady 🙂
What a great idea for an easy, elegant party appetizer! These look incredible, Laura!
Thanks Georgia!! Have a great weekend!
That looks insanely good. I would never have thought to make crispy nori chips but now that I’ve seen it, I’m definitely going to make that tuna too!!!
Definitely let me know if you do!
these look SO appetizing, legit craving tartare just from looking at your pics 🙂
I can’t tell you how much I LOVE this. The way you’ve prepared the tuna with that sauce and combined it with the cucumber AND those nori chips…well, is pretty much genius.
You are so sweet, Caroline!! Thank you!!!
These look amazing!
Yum, these look delicious but also very healthy too! 🙂
I would straight up DEVOUR these Laura. Well done..
YES! Mission accomplished. Thanks Todd!
I die, I die. I love tuna — tuna sashimi, seared tuna, tuna tartare — so in love. And I was JUST talking about how appetizers are always my favorite part of any meal. I’ve never actually made tartare at home, but I must.
Yes! Try it sometime. Thanks so much Nicole (and for making my tortilla soup, loved your pictures!).
Whhaaat?? This is awesome! I will now be craving these all day!
Your pictures are absolutely gorgeous, I love the styling! And of course, tuna tartare is what I ALWAYS order as appetizers at restaurants (if they have it). Poke’s my favorite!
You are so sweet, thank you! Yes, I am just as obsessed with tuna tartare as you, I think!
Oh my gosh, nori chips sound incredible!! What a great idea!
They are SO good–thanks Tieghan! 🙂
I would love this as part of our Valentine’s Day meal! what a great appetizer!
Thanks so much Christina! Hope you have a great weekend!