Bait Fish Tartare

By Caroline Hatchett | Antoinette Bruno

By

Caroline Hatchett
Antoinette Bruno
Little Tunny Tartare, Curry Leaf Aïoli, Green Heirloom Tomatoes, and Fingerling Chips
Little Tunny Tartare, Curry Leaf Aïoli, Green Heirloom Tomatoes, and Fingerling Chips

Little tunny is an abundant, undervalued, and misunderstood fish. Lots of folks confuse the small tuna species with bonita and mackerel. Sport fishermen use its oily flesh to lure sharks and marlins to their hooks. Chef Niven Patel has grander plans for the trash fish: little tunny tartare with curry leaf aïoli, green tomatoes, and fingerling chips. Available almost year-round, when Patel’s network of fishermen come across a school, they bring the fish to Michael’s Genuine for $3.50 per pound. Less fatty than yellowfin and likened to pungent bluefish, Patel removes the bloodline to prevent any fish funk from seeping into the flesh. On the plate, the meat is delicate and subtle—and a refreshing alternative to tartare made from expensive and overfished tuna species.

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