Thai Style Tuna Carpaccio with Zucchini and Apple Som Tam

I make a lot of different styles of tuna carpaccio as it is easy and everyone seems to be a fan of tuna. It is also a great appetizer to serve for guests since it is really quick to get out on the table, and then you can focus on your company and your entrée cooking. I originally snagged this method from my secret chef crush, James Martin, and have since adapted it into almost any cuisine I am doing, just by rearranging the spices and flavored oils. It works very well with Indian and Arabic foods, with a few minor adjustments and obviously changing the salad you serve it with. Try this and then adapt it to your own taste and cuisines, after you understand the base ingredients.

Serves 2.


Two handfuls of Som Tam (please see recipe, however replace the shredded green mango with one shredded zucchini and 1/ 2 an apple)

*In regards to your Som Tam, prepare all dry ingredients first, and add the dressing to toss just before serving. Otherwise it will get soggy.

  • 1  3” x 2” square of tuna (cut off points to form the square)
  • 2 chilis sliced thin
  • 5 garlic cloves sliced thin
  • 2 handfuls of thai basil
  • ½ cup of vegetable oil/grapeseed oil (something neutral)
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 lime
  • handful of crushed peanuts
  • small handful chopped coriander
  • sea salt
  • 1 ½ cups of sunflower oil for frying


First cut down your tuna into a square as best you can. Wrap in cellophane and place in freezer for about two hours or until almost frozen. If you do this ahead this recipe becomes very simple and quick. You do this so it can be sliced as thin as possible.

Prepare your Som Tam. Set aside. Take a pot of boiling water and throw your Thai basil into it for about 30 seconds. Drain and squeeze out excess water. Put into blender and blend with the neutral oil of your choice and the olive oil. Pass through a sieve. Pour your Thai basil oil into a jar. The remaining oil will keep for up to six weeks.

Take your tuna out of the freezer and slice very thinly into small rectangles with a very sharp knife. In a container, put the fish and enough Thai basil oil on top to cover. Put in the fridge to marinate, at least one hour.

Heat your sunflower oil until it is very hot. First add your chilis and fry until hard and crispy but not burned, and then do the same process with your garlic slices. The garlic is ready just as it turns golden. Set aside on paper towels to dry out the oil. Make sure to sprinkle salt over the garlic and chilis as soon as it is out of the fryer.

To assemble, place your Som Tam in the center of a large plate. Take the tuna slices from the oil and arrange around the salad in a circle. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Put the chilis and garlic all around the tops of the carpaccio, as well as the peanuts and a pinch of coriander. Finally squeeze lime around fish. Ready to serve.


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