The Best Tartar de Atun Recipe: A Delicious and Refreshing Dish

Tartar de Atun, also known as Tuna Tartare, is a popular dish that originated in the Basque Country of Spain. This exquisite recipe combines the freshness of raw tuna with a variety of flavorful ingredients to create a dish that is both delicious and visually appealing. In this article, we will explore the history of Tartar de Atun, the key ingredients used in the recipe, and provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to make this mouthwatering dish at home.

The History of Tartar de Atun

Tartar de Atun has its roots in the Basque Country, a region known for its rich culinary traditions. The dish was first introduced in the 1970s by renowned Basque chef Juan Mari Arzak, who is considered one of the pioneers of modern Spanish cuisine. Arzak’s innovative approach to cooking and his use of fresh, high-quality ingredients revolutionized the culinary scene in Spain and put Basque cuisine on the map.

Since then, Tartar de Atun has gained popularity not only in Spain but also around the world. Its simplicity, elegance, and the ability to showcase the natural flavors of the tuna have made it a favorite among food enthusiasts and professional chefs alike.

The Key Ingredients

To make a delicious Tartar de Atun, you will need the following key ingredients:

  • Fresh Tuna: The star of the dish, it is crucial to use high-quality, sushi-grade tuna for the best results. Look for tuna that is bright red in color and has a firm texture.
  • Avocado: This creamy fruit adds a smooth and buttery texture to the tartare, complementing the freshness of the tuna.
  • Red Onion: Finely chopped red onion provides a subtle crunch and a touch of sweetness to balance the flavors.
  • Capers: These small, briny berries add a burst of tanginess and a unique flavor to the dish.
  • Lime Juice: Freshly squeezed lime juice not only enhances the taste but also helps to “cook” the tuna, giving it a slightly firm texture.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: A drizzle of high-quality olive oil adds richness and depth to the tartare.
  • Salt and Pepper: Seasoning with salt and pepper to taste is essential to bring out the flavors of the ingredients.

How to Make Tartar de Atun

Now that we have covered the history and key ingredients, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of making Tartar de Atun:

Step 1: Prepare the Tuna

Start by removing any skin and bones from the fresh tuna. Cut the tuna into small, uniform cubes, ensuring that they are all similar in size. Place the cubed tuna in a bowl and set it aside.

Step 2: Chop the Avocado, Red Onion, and Capers

Peel and pit the avocado, then chop it into small pieces. Finely chop the red onion and drain the capers. Add the chopped avocado, red onion, and capers to the bowl with the tuna.

Step 3: Season and Mix

Add the freshly squeezed lime juice, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper to the bowl. Gently mix all the ingredients together, ensuring that the tuna is evenly coated with the lime juice and olive oil. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Step 4: Let it Rest

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the mixture for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together and the tuna to marinate.

Step 5: Serve and Enjoy

Once the Tartar de Atun has chilled, remove it from the refrigerator and give it a final stir. Serve the tartare on a plate or in a bowl, garnishing it with a sprig of fresh herbs, such as cilantro or parsley. You can also serve it with toasted bread or crispy tortilla chips for added texture.


Q: Can I use frozen tuna for Tartar de Atun?

A: While fresh tuna is preferred for Tartar de Atun, you can use frozen tuna if fresh is not available. Make sure to thaw the tuna completely before using it and pat it dry to remove any excess moisture.

Q: Can I add other ingredients to the Tartar de Atun?

A: Absolutely! Tartar de Atun is a versatile dish, and you can customize it to your liking. Some popular additions include diced tomatoes, chopped cilantro, or a dash of hot sauce for a spicy kick.

Q: How long can I store Tartar de Atun in the refrigerator?

A: Tartar de Atun is best enjoyed fresh, but you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. However, keep in mind that the texture of the tuna may change slightly after being refrigerated.

Q: Can I use a different type of fish for this recipe?

A: While the traditional Tartar de Atun recipe calls for tuna, you can experiment with other types of fish, such as salmon or yellowtail. Just make sure to use sushi-grade fish and adjust the flavors accordingly.

Q: Is Tartar de Atun a healthy dish?

A: Yes, Tartar de Atun is a healthy dish that is packed with nutrients. Tuna is an excellent source of lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids, while avocado provides healthy fats and fiber. However, be mindful of portion sizes and the amount of olive oil used in the recipe.


Tartar de Atun is a delightful dish that combines the freshness of raw tuna with a medley of flavorful ingredients. With its origins in the Basque Country of Spain, this recipe has gained popularity worldwide for its simplicity and elegance. By following the step-by-step guide provided in this article, you can create a delicious Tartar de Atun at home and impress your family and friends with your culinary skills. So, gather the ingredients, sharpen your knife, and get ready to indulge in this refreshing and mouthwatering dish!

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