Freshly popped popcorn is a fun, slightly crunchy topping for this silky smooth seafood starter.
Have you ever made a dish with raw fish at home?
It doesn’t need to be intimidating! The trickiest part is finding a place to source your seafood.
You’ll need sushi grade tuna for this recipe – don’t just use any piece of tuna from the store!
I found this piece at a sorta-local (but totally worth the drive) Korean market, but many natural food stores also carry it if you don’t have a dedicated seafood shop in your area.
Chef Ruley told me that this dish was something that you could prep ahead of time for a dinner party – just arrange the sliced tuna on plates, cover with plastic wrap and pop them into the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve.
Once it’s time to eat, top them with the relish, garnish, and dive on in!
When I made this at home, I decided to chill one of my serving platter for a bit before I started prepping the fish. When I sliced the tuna, I arranged it right on top of the chilled platter, then topped that with the relish, greens and popcorn.
Another drizzle of oil, a bit of sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper on top and it was ready to hit the dinner table!
Me and my hubby each grabbed a set of chopsticks and went to town on this – directly from the chilled platter. We split the whole thing as dinner for the 2 of us. It was super light, fresh, and surprisingly filling.
We loved the sweet-and-spicy topping, and the tuna absolutely melted in our mouths. The little bit of char from the grill was a great addition to all of the other flavors in this dish.
A few quick notes on my preparation – I didn’t find any micro celery, but I had picked up some Chinese celery at the same shop as the tuna, so I chopped up some of those leaves for garnish. Regular celery leaves would be a good option, too.
I also couldn’t find any yuzu, so I ended up using ponzu with a little squeeze of lime juice instead. It was still delicious, and I’ve since tracked down some yuzu, so I’m excited to try this recipe out again as written.
Chef Ruley used a lot of locally sourced ingredients when he made this dish, so I did my best to work in local goods from The Hudson Valley, where I live, when I made it at home. I used a really nice local Goldenrod honey, corn, popcorn, and sea salt from the farmer’s market, a quality extra-virgin olive oil for the topping, and the freshest peach I could find (which, sadly, was a little mealy).
This dish is deceivingly simple and super elegant. It would be a great way to start off a dinner party, or even just to bring something fresh and upscale up your regular dinner routine.
I’d love to hear what you think if you try this out. Drop me a note in the comments if you do, and definitely let me know if you go full-on with the popcorn garnish, too (I highly recommend it!).