Olive Oil-Poached Albacore Tuna
See how to use the simple technique of oil-poaching to make ultra-tender tuna with this easy recipe.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 4Pacific albacore tuna filets*
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- 3cups extra virgin olive oil (or enough to reach 1/2 inch depth)
- 4garlic cloves (peeled)
- ½teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1bay leaf
- Optional: 2 large strips orange or lemon zest
- Optional: 1 dried hot chile
Step 1Season the tuna by sprinkling it with salt; set the tuna aside while you prepare the oil (this has the added benefit of taking the refrigerated chill off the tuna before cooking it.
Step 2Choose a medium frying pan or large saucepan big enough to hold the fish in a single layer. Add enough oil to come about 1/2 inch up the pan.
Step 3Add the garlic, peppercorns, bay leaf, orange or lemon zest, and chile (if using).
Step 4Warm the oil over medium-low heat just until bubbles form on the sides of the pan. Add the tuna; use a spatula or kitchen tongs to gently lower each filet into the oil, taking care not to drop the fish in or splatter the hot oil.
Step 5The oil should cover the tuna (if it doesn't follow the directions in parentheses). Adjust the heat to maintain those few bubbles on the sides of the pan. Gently simmer until the tuna's cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes for a 1 inch-thick piece of tuna (if the oil doesn't quite cover your filets, you may want to flip the fish over at the half-way point. While the fish cooks, set a cooling rack over a rimmed baking sheet or layers of papers towels; or simply line a plate of a few layers of paper towels.
Step 6Use a spatula or slotted spoon to lift the tuna out of the oil and onto the prepared cooling rack or towels to drain. Serve the filets whole for diners to cut up themselves; slice them to serve; or, flake the filets into something that resembles canned tuna. * Look for line-caught Pacific albacore tuna as it is a well-managed and sustainable fishery . Also, albacore caught this way tend to have very low levels of mercury built up in their systems.