Be sure to serve this dish in shallow bowls: everyone will want to drink the super-vegetal broth after they've finished the fish.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
1 pound tuna steaks, skin removed
2 tablespoons kosher salt
½ cup dried chamomile or organic chamomile tea (or dried herb of choice, such as basil or oregano)
for the leche de tigre:
1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cucumber, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small beet, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small red onion, cut into ½-inch-thick slices
3 tomatoes, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 serrano chile ¼ cup fresh lime juice (from 2 to 3 limes)
2 cups coconut water, or more to taste ¾ cup fresh grapefruit juice
for the garnishes:
1 Hass avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and thinly sliced
1 grapefruit, suprêmed
½ cup diced peeled, seeded cucumber
2 radishes, julienned
1 jalapeño, thinly sliced
1. Trim away the deep purple blood line that runs through the tuna to remove as much of the iron-tasting blood as you can. Sprinkle with the salt and chamomile, put in an airtight container, and refrigerate for 30 to 45 minutes.
2. Make the leche de tigre: Pass the carrot, cucumber, beet, red onion, tomatoes, and serrano through a juicer. (Alternatively, use a blender: Put the carrot, cucumber, beet, onion, tomatoes, serrano, lime juice, and half the coconut water in a blender and blend on high speed until liquefied, 1 to 2 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve; discard the solids.)
3. Combine the vegetable liquid, lime juice (unless you used a blender), grapefruit juice, and (the remaining) coconut water in a bowl and mix well. Add salt to taste. (If the mixture is too spicy, add more coconut water.) Set aside.
4. Rinse the tuna to remove the chamomile and salt and pat dry with paper towels. Angle your knife at 45 degrees and make thin ¼-inch-thick cuts against the grain. Be careful to make one fluid cut for each slice; cutting in a sawing motion will destroy the flesh. Put the slices in a medium bowl and add the leche de tigre, turning to coat.
5. Remove the tuna slices from the liquid and divide among individual serving bowls. Spoon enough leche de tigre onto each plate to just cover the bottom of the bowl. Garnish with the avocado, grapefruit, cucumber, radishes, jalapeño, and dried chamomile.
Author's Note: Excerpted from Hartwood by Eric Werner and Mya Henry with Christine Mulke and Oliver Strand (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2015. Photographs by Gentl & Hyers.