RECIPES: Lakerda with Ras-el Hanout

Recipe | Chef Deniz Tarakçıoğlu · Curator | Hakan Burcuoğlu · Venue | The Dirty Apron · Gear | Leica

Lakerda is a beguiling staple of the meyhane—a Turkish tavern, for the lack of better phrasing. Essentially salt-cured bonito, remarkably, it’s one of the seldom dishes that’s consumed raw across Turkish tables. Coarsely sliced and traditionally served with copious amounts of olive oil and lemon juice [and a forlorn raw onion], its stark [and frankly, quite grotesque] presentation would make today’s food stylists contemplate their very own existence. What it lacks in looks however, it surely makes up in personality—delivering a titillating punch of umami to a drunk patron’s thorax. Here, with a modern, whimsical [and almost blasphemous] rendition of the traditional, Chef Deniz tips his hat to the mystifying meyhane culture that runs deep in his blood. 


1 kg tuna loin [sashimi-grade, deboned, preferably shoulder]
[for spice rub]
20 gr of fine sea salt
10 gr of cumin
10 gr of black pepper
10 gr of coriander
6 gr of fennel seeds
5 gr of ground cinnamon
5 gr of ground ginger
5 gr of chili flakes
1 gr of pink salt
[for tahini sauce]
150 ml olive oil
100ml lemon juice
75 ml tahini
25 ml water

Method [Recipe serves 10 as an appetizer]

Tahini Sauce 

01. Whisk the tahini, lemon juice and water in a mixing bowl. Add a healthy pinch of salt.

02. Whisk continuously while adding in the olive oil, and until mixture becomes emulsified. If too thick, loosen mixture with a splash of water.

Loin of Tuna

01. Gently pat dry the tuna loin with paper towel.

02. Combine spices in a mixing bowl.

03. Apply spice rub, coating the loin uniformly. Shake to expel any excess spice.

04. Transfer tuna into a vacuum sealed bag and leave to rest in a dark corner of the fridge for 7 days. [Tuna will keep in this condition for up to 20 days.]

05. Cut open the vacuum sealed bag, pat the loin dry and slice, across the grain, into quarter-inch slices.

06. Serve on an oval platter with lemon wedges, finely diced red onions and a generous drizzle of premium quality olive oil.

07. Enjoy.

Down the hole!


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