Tartare is one of those dishes you either love or hate completely. There’s really no in-between. It’s essentially chopped raw beef, which is something that everybody has very strong opinions about. If you’ve never seen beef tartare on a menu, you may instead see tuna tartare on many menus. Tuna tartare is typically made of cubed ahi tuna and chopped avocado, flavored with soy sauce and sesame. Sometimes it’s served with fried wonton chips, just like they do at the Cheesecake Factory. It’s super delicious and appeals to sushi and tartare lovers alike.
But what if you want tartare without raw meat or raw seafood?! You crave the fanciness of high-quality chopped ingredients without worrying about raw meat. I’m here to tell you that tartare doesn’t always have to be uncooked. Everybody has to try shrimp and avocado tartare; shrimp lends a sweetness, and buttery avocado adds the richness that traditional tartares have. I had a version of this in France once and it forever changed my mind about tartare. While it’s not traditional by any means, shrimp and avocado tartare is an affordable alternative to expensive beef or tuna tartare, and it’s so simple to make.
Here’s what you need:
Avocado, cooked baby shrimp (or chopped large shrimp), shallots, lemon, mayonnaise, olive oil, and green onions (or chives).
In a small bowl, add a tablespoon or two of mayonnaise. We’re making just enough for two appetizer-sized servings.
Thin out the mayo with some fresh lemon juice. Don’t use bottled lemon juice, it just isn’t the same.
Taste the dressing so far. If it’s too acidic, add a little bit of honey. If you want more acidity and the lemon juice isn’t doing it for you, add a tiny bit of champagne or red wine vinegar to cut the richness of the mayo. To cut the zing, I’m going to add a little bit of honey.
Grab the olive oil — we’re going to bring the vinaigrette together. Pour a thin stream of oil into the bowl while whisking.
The dressing will be light and thin enough to coat your shrimp and avocado.
Adjust the vinaigrette with a little bit of salt and pepper.
Feel free to add any additional ingredients you want, such as chopped fresh tarragon leaves or basil. I’m going to add some finely chopped shallots.
Finely mince a small shallot with a sharp knife.
Add shallots to vinaigrette and whisk until mixed.
Time to dress our ingredients! You can use either cooked baby shrimp or chop up larger cooked shrimp. Just make sure it’s cooked!
I have about 3/4 cup of cooked baby shrimp. Start by adding about 2 tablespoons of vinaigrette, and mix with a spoon to coat the shrimp. Add more vinaigrette, if necessary, to just coat the shrimp, being careful not to drown and overdress them.
To prepare the avocado, halve a ripe avocado lengthwise and remove the pit. Using a small sharp knife, score the avocado and scoop out the uniform cubes into a bowl.
Be careful not to mash the fruit. We want a neat presentation.
As we did with the shrimp, add several teaspoons of vinaigrette and dress the avocado.
Carefully coat the avocado cubes without breaking them up too much. Overripe avocados will turn into mush if you try to do this, so look for perfectly ripe avocados that have some firmness still.
Let’s layer a glass cup with shrimp and avocado tartare! You can also use a sleek martini glass if you have one.
Add a few spoonfuls of avocado to create the first layer. Press the avocado down to pack the fruit into the glass cup.
Next add several spoonfuls of shrimp and spread it out into an even layer.
Repeat the process with another layer of avocado and then shrimp.
Garnish with some chives or chopped green onions. Chill in refrigerator until cold, and serve immediately. The tartare is best eaten with a fork, or toasted baguette slices. Or, like tuna tartare, you can serve it with fried wonton chips. Enjoy!
Shrimp and Avocado Tartare Recipe
Total time: 10 minutes
Prep: 10 min
Cook: 0 min
Yield: 2 servings
1-2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 ripe avocado, cut into 1-centimeter cubes
3/4 cup cooked baby shrimp
Chives, for garnish
In a medium bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, chopped shallots, lemon juice, and honey. While whisking, slowly add olive oil in a steady stream to emulsify vinaigrette. Adjust vinaigrette with salt and pepper to your liking. Add more lemon juice or honey, if desired. For more acidity or a sharper flavor, you may add a little red wine or champagne vinegar.
Add avocado cubes to one bowl and add shrimp to separate bowl. Add several teaspoons of dressing to each avocado and shrimp bowls. Gently toss with a spoon to coat ingredients with vinaigrette, being careful not to mash avocado pieces.
In a small glass cup or a martini glass, create the first layer of tartare by adding several spoonfuls of avocado. Then add one layer of shrimp and evenly spread around to compress ingredients in cup. Add another layer of avocado, then shrimp. Garnish tartare with chives. Store in fridge until thoroughly chilled, then serve immediately.