Tuna Tartare with Watercress and Lemon Balm

Allison Hepworth - August 22, 2023

albacore tuna canadian seafood forage local recipe sustainable seafood tuna recipe

Tuna Tartare with Watercress and Lemon Balm

We are happy to share another amazing recipe from our friend, Skipper Otto member and Chef Robin Kort from her amazing new cookbook entitled “The Coastal Forager’s Cookbook: Feasting Wild in the Pacific Northwest.”

One of the delicious recipes is her Tuna Tartare with Watercress and Lemon Balm. It is Robin’s hope that our members enjoy her recipes and start to get creative with the ingredients they use and become inquisitive about what is locally abundant and edible, and of course pair it with delicious BC seafood from Skipper Otto!

Robin shares with us about this recipe and it’s ingredients: “The mustard family of plants can range widely in spiciness depending on the species, the age, and the time of year you harvest. Watercress, which is part of this cohort, bought in the grocery store can be mildly to sharply peppery, so I recommend that you use your taste buds and alter this recipe according to your taste. I like to harvest wild bitter-cress sometimes, because it grows abundantly in my backyard as a ‘weed’. Its seed pods pop when you touch them, spreading them everywhere. Use the flowers of wild mustard if you find any growing in your area. They’re particularly beautiful in this dish.”


  • 6 oz (170g) sashimi grade Skipper Otto albacore tuna loin
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) minced watercress, stems and leaves (or sub arugula)
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) dandelion blossoms, torn into pieces (or sub radicchio) 
  • 1 heaping Tbsp (20 mL) finely ground young lemon balm leaves (or sub fresh oregano)
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) chives, minced 
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) celery leaves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) hazelnut oil
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) lime juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 English cucumber, sliced into 40 (1/4 inch by 1/2 cm) rounds

Spice mixture:

  • 1 tsp (5 mL) sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1/4 tsp ground green sichuan peppercorn
  • 1/2 tsp mardon salt (or sub kelp flakes)

Substitution notes:You can use oregano instead of lemon balm, celery stalk instead of celery leaves, arugula instead of watercress, and radicchio instead of dandelion leaves.


  1. Let the frozen tuna sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes, but don’t let it thaw completely. It will cut more easily if it’s still somewhat frozen
  2. Using a sharp knife, mince the frozen tuna
  3. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the watercress, dandelion blossoms, lemon balm, chives, celery, oil, and lime juice, salt and pepper to taste. 
  4. Place a small spoonful of tartar (aka tuna mixture) on each cucumber slice, and dust with sesame seeds, green sichuan pepper and salt. 
  5. Plate and serve.

Servings: 40 canapés

Recipe shared with us by our friend and member Chef Robin Kort of Swallow Tail Culinary Adventures.
Follow her on Instagram @swallowtailtours or find out more on her website.

If you are interested in purchasing her new cookbook, consider purchasing it from this local bookshop or this local bookshop or your favourite book retailer.

Allison Hepworth - August 22, 2023

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Tuna Tartare with Watercress and Lemon Balm

Allison Hepworth - August 22, 2023

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