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Growing up, I was indifferent to tuna in a can, but the first time I had canned tuna in Spain, I completely changed my tuna tune. And as I’ve said earlier, we must be careful to choose the right tuna (i.e., not bluefin).
I like to fold preserved tuna with homemade all i oli and sliced cucumbers for a delicious tuna salad sandwich. Even a piece of preserved tuna on toast is great. Or toss it in a salad with cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, walnuts, and arugula.
Click here to see Seamus Mullen Shares His Hero Food.
- 1 Pound kosher salt
- 1 Pound sugar
- 1 Tablespoon pimentón
- 1 Pound freshest available yellowfin or bonito tuna
- 4 Cups olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic
- 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 8 guindilla peppers
- Zest of 4 lemons, shaved with a vegetable peeler
Homemade Canned Tuna Fish
Fresh tuna is a versatile and delicious fish. By preserving it, you can use it over the course of a couple of weeks, instead of eating it all right away or freezing it. Preserving tuna is an ancient art, perfected by the Italians thousands of years ago. Even today, the finest canned tuna comes from Italy and Spain what separates these cans of tuna from most of the varieties on the grocery store shelf is that they are preserved in olive oil instead of water.
Albacore is the primary species used in canned tuna. Commercial canners often steam their albacore, but a far more luxurious result is achieved thanks to a slow poach of the fish in olive oil. This is a process that the French call confit. It's an easy process, that only requires a deep pan, thermometer, and a cheesecloth or a fine mesh. Your preserved tuna will then keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. If you'd like actually canned tuna, you must pressure-can it in a steam canner.
Use high-quality albacore or yellowfin tuna, or this recipe yields great results with other kinds of fish like mako shark, halibut, swordfish, or sturgeon.
This homemade canned tuna is great in recipes like tuna salad or this innovative pasta dish with tuna, but it's best au naturel. Use it in a Nicoise salad, open-face sandwiches, flatbreads, or as your main protein alongside potatoes, rice, or quinoa.
Canned Tuna Recipe | Cook the Book
I love a good tuna sandwich, and I make them at home all of the time. I always buy the fanciest imported Italian tuna packed in olive oil, usually the one that comes in the best looking can. Some mayo, chopped capers, and olives and it's done and delicious. I never spent a considerable amount of time thinking about the process in which the tuna gets from the ocean and into a can.
Truthfully, I never really thought that canned tuna was something that you could make at home. Eugenia Bone, home-canner extraordinaire, and author of Well-Preserved cans her own tuna and uses it to make great warm-weather dishes, such as pasta salads and Vitello Tonnato. The canned tuna needs to rest for 3 to 6 months in order for its flavor to mellow. After this period of rest, your tuna takes on a delicate flavor that has not the slightest fishiness.
If you're going do a lot of preserving at home, it's a good idea to invest in a pressure canner, which will bring your preserves up to a temperature high enough to kill off any bacteria that might have snuck in to your cans.
Canned tuna. I love the word. In Spain everybody likes tuna in oil or escabeche. in a salad, in stuffed eggs, in a pincho, oozing juices on the bread. mmm, I get carried away. All peculiar people in the world who don't like canned tuna, please stop reading this post, because it deals with how to preserve tuna fish. The concept and recipe comes from the blog Milcolores, although I made a mix with some recommendations from the blog Mercado Calabajío. I love these mixes. first you read 12 recipes about the same dish, then you do the average, you trim here, you add there, add a pinch of salt and check what comes out. Some times it turns out like Frankenstein, but some others the result is a real success, like in this case.
Ah. tuna fish. I'm bound to tuna fish by unbreakable bonds. I still recall a certain tuna fish festival we attended at Burela, Galicia, a few years ago. For a ridiculous price you could get a very elegant plastic plate with tuna empanada, two or three chunks of Galician bread and two or three chunks the size of my fist of tuna fish from Burela in escabeche. and a glass of Valdepeñas wine. The tuna fish was so sturdy that you could feel it soaking your vital juices, but in spite of that the empanada. the sunset. the atmosphere. the wine oozing out the corner of my mouth . I will never forget that tuna fish. I can cry when I recall that tuna. I love you, tuna.
If you want to know about the different species of tuna, check this link. What I used for my tuna fish pie was northern blue fin tuna, and also for this recipe.
- Here in Spain tuna fish is present in the market mainly in the Summer and it can be specially cheap at the end of it buy a fair amount of tuna whenever you find it at a good price. Ask for the fish to be cut in rounds or on any way that let you fit it comfortably into a large pan. I bought 1,5 kg in rounds of 1 inch thick approx.
- Lay an awful lot of bay leaves on the bottom of the pan. I used an enameled Le Creuset pan.
- Lay the chunks of tuna fish on top of the bay and cover with water. It is important to measure the amount of water added, in order to calculate the salt to be added. The recommended amount is 85-95 g salt per liter of water. I used this ratio and I was satisfied with the result, although saltiness is a very personal thing.
- Cover the fish with another lot of bay leaves. Don't restrain yourself, the bay flavour is not strong in the final result, in spite of adding so many leaves.
- Boil the fish for 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the pieces. Then put off the heat and let it cool.
- When the fish is cool to the touch, take it off the pan, drain it and eliminate skin and bones, in case you have boiled it whole.
- In the meantime you should have sterilized the glass jars you've chosen for the preserving, boiling the jars and lids in water for half an hour. Just drain them on a clean towel, in an upside down position, don't dry them in any way.
- In some blogs there's a recommendation for letting the tuna fish harden in the fridge overnight, wrapped in aluminum foil. I was impatient and I didn't follow this instruction. The result was very good anyway, so I don't deem this step really necessary. Then put the tuna fish pieces on a cutting board and try to cut rectangular pieces that can fit into the jars. The pieces must fit tightly so that you don't need to use a lot of olive oil.
- Once all the tuna pieces are acommodated, fill the jars with olive oil. Some people use sunflower oil, but I think no other oil gives the same flavour.
- Cover tightly with the lids and sterilize again the filled the jars in a pan with boiling water, on bain marie, for half an hour. Use the same water you used for the previous sterilization (recycling!), keep the water level just below the lids. Sterilization can also be done in a pressure cooker, at a higher temperature, but I haven't tried this method.
- Let the jars cool and keep in the fridge, just in case. It shouldn't be necessary if the sterilization has been correctly done, but in my case some jars oozed a little bit of oil when I took them out of the pan, which led me to suspect that maybe they were not tightly sealed. And I prefer to be on the safe side.
Love this tip. It means I may never need to worry about buying too much tuna again.
On the contrary, you should buy a whole cargo of tuna! :-)
I wish I could try this! Tuna and all seafood and fish for that matter is not readily available :( So, my mom and I make due with canned tuna in olive oil that we find on our supermarket shelves. Love it!!
Yes, you know Spain is suposed to be one of the countries where a higher amount of fish is eaten. Fish markets are plentiful. I guess tuna is not so easy to find elsewhere.
This looks so easy - I'm definitely going to try it. Just one question, how long do these unopened steralised jars stay fresh in the fridge?
My IELTS teacher: I must admit. the jars never lasted too long, but properly sterilised and in the fridge they can last for months.
mark. i followed your instructions the tuna turned out delicious my jars are kept on a shelf outside the fridge it is now 4 months and the tuna is still delicious. thank you
Please use Albacore tuna. It's somewhat sustainable.
You're right, David. This post is more than 1 year old as you can see, I'm a lot more careful now with the fish we eat, and unfortunately the types of sustainable fish seem to be less and less everyday.
Great recipe. I can't wait to try it. I bet its a million times better than tin tuna (and i love tin tuna)
Delicious! I used what I had in the pantry and was pleasantly surprised. Definitely great in a pinch and I imagine many variations would be wonderful.
This is a great recipie. I used one small minced garlic per person, added a good pinch of crumbled dried rosemary and used 3 fresh tomatoes to make the sauce, along with the other ingredients. Once it was off the stove I added 2 Tb of dried oregano, which was very welcomed. I'll try it without the tuna as I too suspect it's overshadowed by the anchovies and is not really needed. A keeper!
This was delicious and easy. Next time, though, I might leave out the tuna. I thought that the parts with just the anchovies and olives were delicious. If I have fresh rosemary lying around the next time I make this, I'll certainly add it because I think that it would work very well.
I was kind of worried with the bold flavored ingredients (all in the pantry), but I actually spoke out loud (by myself) when I tasted it: "WOW" . Flavors are very well balanced. Forgot to save the pasta water, but the wine I served (Rose of Sangiovesse) worked just as well.
This is one of those great recipes that is quick and all the ingredients can be on hand. It's not over-the-top outrageous, just a very solid and tasty recipe. I used an expensive, jarred, imported tuna and I think the cost was worth it. This will become a staple, last-minute recipe.
Delicious sauce! My husband deemed it 'restaurant quality.' I added about a teaspoon of crushed red pepper for a little kick and used clams instead of tuna. Served with fettucine rigate for a wonderful Lenten Friday meal. Will definitely make this again and again.
Very nice bold flavors. I used about half the Tuna the recipe called for and added some crushed red pepper flakes for a little zip.
Choosing quality canned tuna
A good canned tuna should feature a light color and it must be tender, compact and firm for the best flavor. The oil quality is also very important choose only tuna preserved in olive oil – preferably an Italian product. If you can, choose tuna preserved in larger containers. The tuna fillets in these larger containers are usually more intact with better quality meat than the ones used in smaller cans.
Tuna preserved in olive oil can be eaten safely even three or four months after the expiration date on the package. In fact, the olive oil helps the tuna to maintain all its nutritional properties (even after the expiration date).
Cooking Blackfin Tuna 101:
Background On The Blackfin Tuna
Blackfin tuna is the smallest "true tuna" or "Thunnus". A VERY large blackfin tuna is a 30-40Lber. Like other tuna they can be found in large schools and eat baitfish voraciously. Blackfin are often found mixed with schools of bonita.
Blackfin Tuna Range
Blackfin tuna can be found as far north as Massachusets , throoughout the Gulf Of Mexico and the Caribean, and as far South in the Atlantic as the coast of Brazil
Targeting Blackfin Tuna
Most blackfin tuna are caught on the trolling lures such as cedar plugs and "feather" lures. Blackfin can also be caught by vertical jigging, drifting with live baits, chunking cut bait, or kitefishing.
Food Quality Of Blackfin Tuna
While blackfin tuna might not be sushi-grade bluefin, it definitely makes a good eat, especially if you know how to cook it. We prefer eating smaller blackfin tuna because you will get better quality meat out of them. We put together a few recipes below on how to cook it. This article is part of a series of articles on how to cook your catch that we hope will help you share your passion for fishing with your family and friends and ultimately spend more time fishing.
How To Cook Blackfin Tuna On A Skillet:
This video posted by Jamie Oliver shows you how to make a great pan seared Blackfin tuna on a skillet. In the video, he is cooking a yellowfin tuna, but multiple types of tuna can work with this recipe. We hope you enjoy the video!
Below "Gregs Kitchen" put up another great video on how to cook your tuna on a skillet.
How To Grill Blackfin Tuna:
Here is "AllRecipes" Blackfin tuna on the grill recipe. This video has a good step-by-step procedure that you can watch while you are grilling your tuna.
Here's a link directly to the recipe.
How To Make Blackfin Tuna Sashimi:
In the video below Cpt. Dave Schugar cleans a Blackfin and preps it for sashimi & eats it right away. Yum! That's how good tuna sashimi can be. However, we recommend that you freeze your tuna and then thaw it out in your fridge before eating your sashimi.
Blackfin Tuna Tips:
Live Baiting For Blackfin Tuna: Spinning or conventional tackle with 20 - 30Lb monofilament.
Trolling For Blackfin Tuna: Conventional tackle with up to 30Lb monofilament.
Jigging For Blackfin Tuna: Spinning Gear with 30LB +braid & 40Lb fluorocarbon leader.
We hope you enjoyed our article on cooking blackfin tuna with tons of recipes! This article was part of a series of articles on how to cook your catch, and part of a bigger goal that Bullbuster has to help you spend more time fishing. If you are committed to spending more time fishing become a bullbuster.net member. Also take a look at our brand direct fishing lines which ship directly from our factory to your doorstep.
We have a number of other recipes for you on the Bullbuster Community for a number of different species. Below we have included a few samples. Fishing recipes are important because they are a way to share your fishing passion with people who might not fish. It is also a way to keep fishing culture living on. We have posted recipes in this article series that have been around in a fishing family for over three generations, we hope that we can keep these traditions alive as part of our mission to help you spend more time fishing.
Check Out Recipes For Other Species:
If you are looking for recipes for how to cook another type of fish, below are a few of the types of fish we have recipe compilations for. These are just a sample - browse the Bullbuster community for more resources to spend more time fishing.
Best Recipes For Other Offshore Fish
How To Grill Swordfish- This is one of the best tasting fish that swims the ocean. Check out our compilation of recipes on how to grill your swordfish. Learn why you should eat swordfish when its freshest and different styles of grilling.
How To Cook Cobia - Learn how to cook cobia. Cobia, like swordfish is one of those fish that has its own unique taste. Learn the best techniques.
How To Cook Mutton Snapper - One of the better tasting bottom fish out there.
How To Cook Yellowtail Snapper - Fillet 'em or gut 'em and scale em. Get your yellowtail recipes here.
How To Cook Black Grouper: One of the best tasting groupers out there, especially if you know how to cook it!
How To Cook Gag Grouper: Gag grouper just like black grouper are great tasting fish, check out all the recipes we compiled for you.
How To Cook Red Grouper: Try out some cool recipes with red grouper, such as fish head soup!
Best Recipes For Inshore Fish
How To Cook Sea Trout - This is a compliation of the best videos on the web for how to cook sea trout. Everything from sea trout ceviche to cajun baked sea trout.
How To Cook Snook- This is another compilation of recipes for snook from around the web. Learn how to properly filet your snook, and grill out.
For the canned tuna we want the big chunks so for the small ones heres another recipe.
Throw all the small bits into the food processor with a decent amount of mayonnaise, herbs, olive oil, a pinch of salt and any other herbs and spices you fancy.
Note: Put in a container and put straight in the fridge . Only serve when cold with crackers or a slice of bread.
Now grab some recycled jars and throw in all spices and herbs you feel like. Or you can leave it plain simple.
Fill each jar with half olive oil then close it and give it a good old shake. Then start by adding a couple of tuna chunks, then close the lid and shake again. While you grab each chunk, squeeze it gently with your fingers so it opens the chunks for the spices and olive oil can go right into the Tuna for a great flavor.
I know its a lot of olive oil and its not cheap but you can still use that tasty olive oil on your salads or even to fry a beautiful fish fillet(works with any fish).
What can I eat pickled tuna recipe with?
You can consume pickled tuna on its own as a snack. You can also use it as a spread for your tuna sandwich in place of canned tuna.
Now that you have an easy go-to tuna recipe, there's no need to resort to canned tuna for a delicious salad. Make these ahead, then store them in the fridge. Once you find yourself craving some healthy bowl of tuna salad, cut up some greens, tomatoes, and add eggs. Enjoy!
La Mattanza: Sicilian Tuna Tradition
The Mattanza ritual (when the first tuna catch of the season gets underway), albeit vehemently criticized, does have a purpose – it ensures that nothing is caught out of season and rules are adhered to.
Granted it’s bloody, but killing anything is bloody. That said, watching it has always been out of the question for me because not even the pursuit of food knowledge could ever persuade me to attend.
The tradition dates back to the time when Sicily was occupied by one of the bloodiest nations of all time, the Spanish, and has become and important part of the Sicilian tuna fisherman’s culture. Mattanza starts when the local priest says a mass to bless the boats, after which they sail out with the rizza, a system of nets.
They set up various corrals that will be anchored by very heavy rock on the sea bed and in these the tuna will be trapped.
When the first tuna shoals are seen, the raís (the most experienced fisherman) has the honor of formally signalling the actual start of the Mattanza.
They go out by boat and reduce the size of the corrals in which the tuna are found until the fish find themselves in the camera della morte and the raís gives the signal for the harpooning to start.
The tuna are processed extremely quickly and the following delicacies are among the many prepared here:
- Bottarga di tonno– it’s the roe of the female fish.
- Musciuma – tuna fish preserved in salt.
- Occhi rassi – the blue bone around the eye where the best meat bits are found, they are salted in barrels and are really good with pepper and wild fennel.
- The belly (Curri, Surra etc) of tuna fish can be cut into long strips, salted and pressed (my absolute favorite) and I love it raw, cut into sashimi style pieces or turned into carpaccio with lemon and salt – I usually can’t wait for the pepper.
Now that you know a bit of history about Tuna in Sicily, try this delicious tuna steak recipe!