Tuna and watermelon tartare served with basil ice cream

Seedless red watermelon and tuna are diced into equal sizes and topped with fried wonton skin and a salad of micro basil and arugula. It is served with a quenelle of basil ice cream.

Palm oil tip: “I used palm oil to make the chili sauce and also the tuna and watermelon tartare. For the tartare, I whisked everything up and only added the palm oil in at the end. In the past, I used to use olive oil in my recipes but now I’m using more palm oil because it is high in antioxidants and is better for my family members, some of whom have high cholesterol,” said Pan.

Pan experienced some trouble plating her dish of tuna and watermelon tartare with basil ice cream but managed to pull through at the end.


Tuna and watermelon tartare
Tuna – 800g
One whole seedless red watermelon
Shallots – 100g
Capers – 40g
Lemon juice – 100g
Lemon zest – 10g
Two whole lemons
Light soy sauce – 40g
Palm oil – 50g
Finely diced red chilli – 15g
White vinegar – 50g
Finely diced bunga kantan – 50g
Salt & pepper – 1 tsp
Hot chilli powder – 2 tbsp

Basil Ice Cream
Four egg yolks
Sugar – 70g
Salt – 1 tsp
Basil – 50g
Cream – 375ml
Milk – 275ml
Cream – 50ml

Wonton skin
Sifted flour – 355ml
Cornstarch – 118ml
Salt – 1 tsp
One egg
Cold water – 118ml
For rolling – cornstarch 150ml and flour for rolling 150ml
Palm oil – 1 jug

Balsamic reduction
Balsamic vinegar – 2 cups
One cinnamon stick
One bay leaf
Part of an orange rind
Caster sugar – 8 tbsp

Chilli sauce
Four whole red chilies
Eight whole dried chilies
Fine caster sugar – 5 tbsp
Salt & pepper – 1 tsp
Palm oil – 100g

Fried Capers
Capers – 50 pieces

Micro basil – 2 boxes
Micro Arugula – 3 packets

A box of edible flowers


Tuna and watermelon tartare
1. Mix shallots, capers, lemon juice, lemon zest, soy sauce, chilli, bunga kantan, hot chilli powder, salt and pepper. Whisk them together.
2. Dice tuna and watermelon to equal size.
3. Only mix the oil in the mixture when ready to mix the tuna and watermelon.

Basil ice cream
1. Blend basil and sugar in a food processor.
2. Warm cream and milk together.
3. Whisk basil and sugar mix with the egg yolks until they are pale and thick.
4. Pour milk mixture over the egg mixture while whisking. Rinse the saucepan out and tip the egg mixture back in.
5. Heat gently until it forms a thicker custard that will coat the back of a spoon. Add the remaining cream. Allow this to cool but if you can’t wait, put the saucepan in the sink with a little water and whisk till it’s cool.
6. Transfer the mixture into the ice cream machine. Set it for 15 minutes.
7. Take it out and put it in the freezer.

Wonton skin
1. Mix flour, cornstarch and salt into a bowl and make a well in the middle.
2. Add the egg and pour in the water.
3. Mix the wet and dry mixture together with chopsticks.
4. Use your hands to work the dough into a smooth ball, leaving the bowl as free of the mix as possible.
5. Knead the dough on a clean surface until it’s smooth
6. Cut the dough in half and wrap both portions in plastic wrap
7. Set aside for 30 minutes
8. Roll out one portion until thin and even. Cut into squares or circle.

Balsamic reduction
1. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, and then turn down heat to keep at a low simmer.
2. It will take about 10-15 minutes to thicken and reduce. Keep a careful eye near the end as you don’t want to burn it. When it coats a spoon, it will be thick enough.

Chilli sauce
1. Remove all the seeds from the chillies.
2. Blend the mixture together.

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