Our neighbors invited us for dinner a little while back, and I volunteered to bring appetizers. They included their adult kids, one of whom was acutely allergic to wheat. It was hot and I didn’t want to cook. So I reached for my playbook of easy-and-refreshing dishes and made this spicy raw tuna tartare.
I’ve been making this Asian-fusion snack since the 1990s, when my friend Maki revealed that the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills put the Rooster brand of chile garlic sauce into its spicy tuna tartare. Maki was a chef at the hotel and was tickled by the high-brow use of a low-brow, ethnic ingredient. I was skeptical but when I tried it out, my tuna tartare went from good to great. The little bit of fermented chile heat added zip.