Crispy Tuna Tar Tar in Heart of Romaine Cups

Makes 1 dozen These easy-to-make appetizers are the perfect complement to vodka- or gin-based martinis, due to the tuna’s affinity for citrus notes that are found in the spirits. The rich, oily nature of the fish also benefits from the spirits’ neutral nature. Throw in some capers and the brininess in both the appetizer and cocktails will sing to one another even more!


  • 1 lb. Tuna Steak, use “FRESH sushi grade” that’s trimmed of all sinew, finely diced
  • 2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 Tbsp. Capers, rinsed, chopped
  • Dash of Hot Sauce
  • 1 tsp. Chives, fresh
  • 1/4 cup Red Radish, finely diced
  • To Taste: Kosher or Sea Salt
  • To Taste: Black Pepper, freshly ground
  • 12 Romaine Lettuce, heart cups, from very inner spears only


  1. As you will be consuming raw tuna, it’s important that you use FRESH sushi grade.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients but the romaine lettuce. Gently fold together until evenly mixed. Add seasoning to taste and chill until ready to use.
  3. To serve, spoon the mixture into the romaine heart cups. Serve immediately (and as cold as possible).



Bar guides from the late 19th century include drinks made of the same ingredients that are used to create martinis. However, legend has it that in the 1860s a bartender at the Occidental Hotel in San Francisco created it for regulars who stopped in before taking the evening ferry to the town of Martinez. Subsequently, a bar in Martinez also claims credit for the drink, as does the Knickerbocker Hotel in New York (circa 1912). The martini experienced a resurgence in popularity due to James Bond movies and the television shows Sex and the City and Mad Men.


  • Note: Because martini glasses have become so large, it’s best to rely on the “parts” recipe.
  • Ice Cubes
  • 12 parts Gin
  • 2 parts Vermouth
  • Olives or Lemon Twist for garnish


Pour ingredients into a mixing glass with ice cubes. Stir well. Strain into a chilled martini cocktail glass. Squeeze oil from the lemon twist into the drink or garnish with olives.


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