Ahi Tuna Crudo with Sweet Soy, Wasabi and Cucumber

by formerchef on May 10, 2014

Ahi Tuna Crudo with Sweet Soy, Wasabi and Cucumber on www.formerchef.com

Since the first human caught a fish and realized it was edible, people have had to figure out how to eat it now and how preserve the delicate flesh for eating later.  Smoking, drying, or curing (and sometimes all three) were used to by migrating tribes as a means to carry their bounty with them.  Several ways of eating raw fish in the moment also evolved; sushi, sashimi, ceviche, carpaccio, and crudos are just a few.  Whether a simple sashimi with a splash of soy sauce or a classic ceviche covered in citrus juice, cooks always strive to make it different and better.  Two methods, gravlax and crudo, give us options at opposite ends of the spectrum for enjoying raw fish at its finest.

Crudo’s origins lay with the fishermen of the Mediterranean who would often eat their catch fresh out of the sea with nothing more than a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of sea salt. Today crudos have evolved into mini works of art on a plate typically with colorful ingredients and splashes of color and texture.

Crudo means “raw” in both Spanish and Italian and technically the fish is not cured, but rather, simply served raw and often embellished with other ingredients to enhance the flavor. Think of crudos as being more of flash marinated than “cured”, and closer to sashimi and carpaccio than gravlax. They are also different from ceviche which is covered in citrus juice and left to marinate long enough so that the acid in the juice “cooks” the fish.

It’s easy to think crudos and sashimi are both one in the same. Both are raw, but while sashimi is raw fish at its purist and plain with not much more than a dab of wasabi, crudo is defined by the quality of the ingredients which are there to complement and enhance the simple raw fish. Typically there is some sort of oil and an acid (citrus or vinegar) used to dress it which helps to bring out the flavor of the fish.

Some tips for preparing raw fish crudos:

  • It’s all about the quality of the fish, when eating fish raw always select the highest quality, freshest fish you can find.
  • Use the highest quality ingredients you can find; look for the best extra virgin olive oil and the freshest vegetables and herbs.
  • Prepare all your cut ingredients in advance and keep the fish in the refrigerator until you are ready to cut and serve it immediately.

I’ll have another crudo to share in a future post. Tell me, do you like your fish raw, or will you only eat it cooked?


Ahi Tuna Crudo with Sweet Soy, Wasabi and Cucumber

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 2 portions


  • 6 ounces ahi tuna
  • ½ tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon wasabi paste
  • 1 teaspoon sweet soy sauce (kecap manis sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons daikon sprouts
  • 1 Japanese or Persian cucumber (small)


  1. Slice the cucumber very thin on a mandolin slicer or with a very sharp knife. Lay in overlapping layers on two plates in a 2” by 4” rectangle.
  2. In a small bowl combine the sesame oil and rice wine vinegar. Drizzle about a teaspoon of the dressing over the cucumber on each plate. Reserve the rest.
  3. Slice the tuna into even slices, about ¼” thick. Divide between the two plates, laying the tuna atop the cucumber slices. Dot each slice of tuna with the wasabi paste and the drizzle the remaining sesame dressing over the tuna.
  4. Garnish with a drizzle of sweet soy sauce and the daikon sprouts.


Serves two but can be scaled up or portioned for a party.

There's always a risk in eating raw seafood. If you have heath issues, please check with your doctor before consuming raw fish and other seafood.





1 Tasha May 12, 2014 at 12:51 am

This sounds very familiar perhaps because all the Ingredients are staples at our house. Looks delish- and raw fish is preferred, of course nowadays we need to be mindful from where the fish comes from. Sad to say even here in Hawaii ocean pollution is a problem.

2 formerchef May 12, 2014 at 7:04 am

Thanks! Yes, knowing where your fish comes from is critical, especially when eating it raw!

3 chieko June 5, 2015 at 3:05 pm

Raw raw raw!!! Someone invited me over for a baked salmon dinner. He was quite surprised when I told him I only eat salmon raw.

This recipe looks great. I have some yellowtail jack that I think I’ll do this to! Don’t have sprouts but some green onion and cilantro should be a nice garnish along with a sprinkle of wasabi sesame seeds! Thanks!!

4 chieko June 5, 2015 at 3:07 pm

Wanted to add…I have a large pink Himalayan salt block. This would go great on that!

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