A wonderful meaty fish with a subtle flavour, perfect for char-grilling. Wild tuna are large, impressive fish with smooth, bullet-shaped bodies, deeply forked tail fins and thick, glossy (and sometimes patterned) skin.
Tuna is widely available, but can sometimes see a dip in availability due to the monsoon season and where the tuna has been landed. Various types of tuna – particularly yellowfin and skipjack tuna – are also used for the canning industry.
Serious sustainability issues surround this fish, particularly when whole shoals are caught using large nets (such as with the purse-seining method). It is widely agreed that albacore tuna caught by pole is the best option as these fish are landed individually. Bluefin tuna - the most prized and the most vulnerable - should be avoided. Skipjack tuna, used in tinned tuna is the most sustainable of all the tuna species.
Tuna is cleaned, skinned and cut into loins upon capture; there are very rarely any residual bones, so the fish requires a minimal amount of preparation. For cooking it is best brushed with oil and lightly seasoned; pan-frying, chargrilling and barbecuing are the best methods of cooking. Tuna is often cooked ‘tataki’ style: the fish is seared very quickly on the outside and served completely raw in the middle. A dressing of soy and sesame with nam pla, ginger and chilli all work brilliantly with tuna. Good-quality tuna is also used for Japanese sushi and sashimi.
Article by CJ Jackson
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