Classic Tuna Carpaccio with Arugula, Capers and Pine Nuts

Top view of a plate of tuna carpaccio with arugula in the center.

5 from 1 review

This authentic recipe for tuna carpaccio is as visually stunning as it is delicious and takes just 20 minutes to make. It's topped with with coarse sea salt, buttery pine nuts, tangy capers and a mound of peppery arugula dressed simply with lemon and extra virgin olive oil to really highlight the delicate flavor of raw tuna.


Units Scale
  • 1/2 lb fresh sushi-grade tuna
  • 2 packed cups baby arugula
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • Coarse sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 small shallot, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted


  1. Place the tuna in the freezer for 30-60 minutes before starting to firm up the flesh and make it easier to slice. 
  2. Use a very sharp knife to slice the tuna against the grain. Slice the tuna as thinly as you can, about 1/4 - 1/8 inch thick. Try to keep the slices as consistent as possible.
  3. Place a slice of tuna between two sheets of plastic wrap. Use a meat mallet or other flat surface to gently pound out the tuna so that it is paper thin and almost transparent. Be careful not to pound too hard or the tuna can tear - go slow and use caution. Repeat with all of the slices.
  4. Remove one piece of plastic wrap and use the palm of your hand to carefully place the tuna onto a plate, then peel off the other piece of plastic wrap. Arrange the tuna slices so that they cover the entire plate, overlapping slightly if needed. This recipe makes enough to cover 2 dinner plates or one extra large platter.
  5. In a medium bowl, toss the arugula with 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper.
  6. Sprinkle the tuna with diced shallots, capers, pine nuts, sea salt and black pepper, then drizzle tuna with remaining 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and plenty of extra virgin olive oil.
  7. Place a mound of arugula in the center, then serve immediately with extra lemon wedges if desired.


  • The quality of your ingredients really matters. Use the freshest, best quality tuna and extra virgin olive oil for the best tasting carpaccio.
  • Keep your tuna cold at all times to maintain freshness. Placing the tuna in the freezer for an hour or so before slicing will make the flesh firmer and easier to cut. 
  • be very careful when pounding out the tuna - it's extremely delicate and can easily tear, so be gentle with it - it's not a chicken breast.
  • If you're short on time and have excellent knife skills, you can skip pounding out the tuna and just slice it as thinly as you can.
  • For a restaurant worthy presentation, chill your plates into the refrigerator or freezer for about an hour beforehand.
  • Do not add the lemon juice or sea salt until right before serving so that it doesn't begin to cook or cure the tuna. 
  • To make in advance, arrange the slices on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 5 hours in advance. When ready, dress and serve.

Keywords: Tuna tartare, tuna crudo, raw fish, sushi, sashimi, salad