Tuna Tartare

With fresh, high-quality tuna now available year-round in most parts of the country, it's easier than ever to make this elegant pink delicacy at home.

Look to a trusted fish purveyor for fresh tuna. It should smell like the sea, not like "fish." Keep it refrigerated until you have mixed the dressing ingredients and prepped the garnishes. Use a very sharp knife to dice the tuna, trying not to touch it for too long (the warmth of your hands can quickly take the chill off it). Be sure to wash your hands, utensils and prep surfaces thoroughly.

Preparation time: Allow 40 minutes.

1 lb sushi-grade tuna, finely chopped*
1 scallion, finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (leaves and stems)
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
2 tsp garlic-chili sauce (such as Sriracha)
1 tbsp ponzu sauce (optional)
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
Chopped fresh cilantro and plain, unsalted Japanese rice crackers
for garnish

In a medium bowl, combine tuna, scallion, cilantro, ginger, garlic-chili sauce, ponzu, sesame oil and soy sauce. Chill 20 minutes.

To serve, place in 6 chilled martini glasses. Garnish each serving with cilantro and place 2 rice crackers into the tuna at an angle. Or scoop 1 tablespoon mixture onto each of 12 spoons and arrange in a circle (handles pointing out) on a serving plate; garnish with cilantro

*Chopping fresh tuna finely by hand is easier if you place it in the freezer for about 20 minutes beforehand.

Makes 12 individual servings or 24 appetizers.

Suggested wine pairing: Chandon Blanc de Noirs