I’ve heard various terms to refer to raw meat slices served as appetizers – tartare, carpaccio and tataki. What’s the difference between the three?
Tartare is not just raw meat, but it is raw meat that has been finely chopped or minced and may contain a raw egg too. It is usually arranged so that it resembles a small cake (think of the shape of crab cakes) and can be seasoned with things like capers, parsley and onions. While it isn’t 100% certain, some theorize that it originated in Russia.
Carpaccio originated in Italy and is thin shavings of raw beef or meat that has been pounded thinly. It can be flavoured with olive oil, lemon juice or vinegar. However, sometimes it is served with capers and onions too.
Tataki is the Japanese version of serving raw meat or fish, but it tends to be slightly seared on the outside and is raw on the inside. It is normally marinated with a ponzu sauce (a tart, citrus flavored sauce) and topped with scallions and sometimes ginger.
As you can see, all are slightly similar because they’re all raw, but there are some differences as well.