Tuna is a marine predatory fish of the mackerel family. It is found in the subtropical and temperate waters of the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans. At certain periods of the life cycle, it comes across in the Mediterranean, Black, and Japan Seas. Refers to commercial species.
The body is elongated, fusiform, narrowed towards the tail. The size varies from 50 cm to 3-4 meters, from 2 to 600 kg. It feeds on sardines, shellfish and crustaceans. Tuna spends its whole life in motion, capable of speeds up to 75 km per hour. Therefore, tuna has very developed muscles, which makes it taste different from other fish.
Its meat contains a lot of myoglobin, so it is saturated with iron and has a pronounced red color on the cut. Because of this, it has a second name, “sea chicken” and “sea veal.” Highly prized for its nutritional value.
Humanity began to hunt this sea predator 5 thousand years ago. Japanese fishers were pioneers in this matter. In the Land of the Rising Sun, traditional dishes from the meat of the fish are widely popular. And the fact that there is a record number of centenarians among the Japanese confirms that tuna is incredibly healthy. Therefore, you should definitely include it in the diet.
In France, famous for its exquisite cuisine, this fish’s fillets are eloquently called “sea veal,” and they prepare light and tasty dishes from it.
Tuna meat composition
It contains a minimum of fat and does not contain any cholesterol. High protein content. It is a source of vitamins A, D, C, and B vitamins, omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids, selenium, iodine, potassium, and sodium.
Calorie content – 100 kcal per 100 g of product.
- Energy value: 139 kcal
- Carbohydrates 0
- Fat 41.4
- Proteins 97.6
The benefits of tuna have been proven by repeated studies:
- is a dietary product and is effective for inclusion in the menu for weight loss;
- has a beneficial effect on the nervous, cardiovascular, bone, and reproductive systems;
- has a positive effect on the brain;
- prevents aging;
- improves the appearance and condition of hair and skin;
- serves for the prevention of cancer;
- stabilizes high blood pressure;
- strengthens the immune system;
- normalizes metabolism;
- It perfectly breaks down cholesterol.
For all its obvious benefits, tuna also has harmful properties:
- the meat of large individuals accumulates mercury and histamine in large quantities, so it is better to eat small fish;
- not recommended for use by people suffering from renal failure;
- not recommended for pregnant and lactating women;
- prohibited for children under 3 years old.
8 Interesting facts about tuna
- People began to can this fish back in 1903. The beginning of the canning of tuna is considered a sharp decline in fishing for the fish, which is very popular in the United States, sardines.
- Due to the beginning of the shortage of sardines, thousands of fishers were left without work, and many factories for processing and manufacturing cans also suffered losses.
- So, to avoid ruin, one of the largest American canneries decides to take a desperate step and makes tuna its main product. However, tuna was not immediately popular.
- At first, it was not even perceived as a fish. Many were embarrassed and not even satisfied with the color of the tuna flesh – not pale, like all normal fish, but bright red, reminiscent of beef meat.
- But the unique taste of tuna corrected the matter, and the demand for fish soon increased. In its composition, tuna can easily compete even with animal meat. And in this regard, many fishers began to use special fishing tackle specifically for catching tuna. And ten years later, tuna became the main raw material of twelve canneries. By 1917, the number of tuna conservation factories had increased to thirty-six.
- Today, canned tuna remains one of the most popular and demanded foos. In the United States, tuna accounts for more than fifty percent of all canned fish, ahead of farmed and wild salmon.
- The unusual color of tuna pulp, which distinguishes it from other fish, is due to myoglobin production. The tuna moves very fast. The speed of this fish reaches 75 kilometers per hour. And myoglobin is a substance produced in muscles to withstand high loads by the body, and it also stains meat red.
- For comparison, many other fish, in addition to the fact that they already lose some of their weight while in the water, are inactive. Their muscles do not strain so much and, accordingly, produce less myoglobin.
How to chose tuna?
Since tuna is not a fatty fish, you should eat it very fresh. When buying fillets, look for the flesh to be firm, red, or dark red with a meaty flavor. Do not take fillets if they are discolored near the bones or if they are brownish. The thicker the piece of fish, the juicier it will remain after cooking.
The best are bluefin tuna (yes, it is endangered, so when you see it in the store, think about whether you should buy it or not), yellowfin and albacore, or longfin tuna. Bonito (Atlantic Bonito) is a cross between tuna and mackerel, often classified as tuna, and is also considered very popular.
You can buy canned tuna at any time. The best-canned foods are albacore and striped tuna. Canned food contains water, brine, vegetable, or olive oil. The canned food you buy must be labeled “dolphin friendly,” indicating that fishers caught the fish without using a net, which can also catch dolphins and other marine animals. There may also be a “bird-friendly” mark, which indicates that no birds were harmed when fishing for tuna. This happens a lot.
Wipe the tuna fillets with a paper towel and place them on a plate. Tighten the plate with cling film and place it in the refrigerator on the lower shelf. You need to eat fish during the day. It would help if you stored canned tuna in a cool, dark place. After opening the jar, its contents must be poured into a glass jar with a tight lid and stored in the refrigerator for no more than 24 hours.
Tuna is a member of the Mackerel family, whose moderate taste and excellent meat structure are the key reasons for the demand for fish as a fishing object. Chefs love to preserve it and create creative masterpieces.
The most delicious fish meat is in the abdomen. There it is more oily and darker than on other parts of the mascara. The abdominal flesh is divided into several categories depending on the meat’s location and the concentration of fat. The fattest part (o-toro) is in the head region, followed by the middle fat part (toro) and the tail bold part (chu-toro). The fatter the meat, the paler it’s color.
Tuna is a popular staple in Japanese and Mediterranean cuisine. The popular options are sashimi, sushi, salads, teriyaki, fried, grilled, stewed in the East. The Mediterranean zone’s culinary experts prepare carpaccio from fish, pizza, salads, snacks, and pasta.
How to cook tuna?
- Bake on a piece of bread with cheese and herbs.
- Make fish cakes with onions.
- Bake in the oven with mayonnaise and cheese with vegetables.
- Add to a fresh salad with capers, olives, egg.
- Wrap the filling with tuna, herbs, mayonnaise in pita bread.
- Bake on a wire rack, pour over the teriyaki, and season with sesame seeds.
- Prepare a casserole with fish, mushrooms, and noodles.
- Make an Italian mozzarella pizza.
- Boil cream soup or cream soup with fish.
- Prepare soufflé with tuna, eggs, spices, flour.
What foods is tuna compatible with?
- Dairy: cheese (cheddar, edam, parmesan, mozzarella, goat, feta), milk, cream.
- Sauces: mayonnaise, teriyaki, soy, salsa.
- Greens: parsley, onion, celery, lettuce, dill, green beans, coriander, mint, nori.
- Spices, seasonings: ginger, sesame seeds, rosemary, thyme, ground pepper, basil, caraway seeds, mustard.
- Vegetables: capers, tomatoes, peas, potatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, carrots, zucchini.
- Oil: olive, sesame, butter.
- Chicken egg.
- Champignon mushrooms.
- Fruits: avocados, pineapples, citrus fruits.
- Pasta: spaghetti.
- Berry: olives, olives.
- Cereals: rice.
- Alcohol: white wine.
GRILLED Tuna STEAK
INGREDIENTS FOR 3 SERVINGS
- Tuna steak 600 gr
- Lemons 1
- Salt to taste
- Ground black pepper to taste
- Ground red pepper to taste
- Vegetable oil 20 gr
- Wash the tuna steaks and dry them with a paper towel. Salt, pepper, and put lemon slices on top. You can pour lemon juice instead of slices. Leave to marinate for 40 minutes.
- Pour vegetable or olive oil with a high smoke point onto the seasoned fish and rub lightly on both sides. You may fry Steaks, of course, without oil, but this way, the tuna will be dry.
- Preheat the grill pan to the maximum, WITHOUT OIL. It must be dry and scorching – this is very important! Place the steaks on the grill and press a little on top of them.
- Fry on both sides for only 1.5-2 minutes so that the meat is very juicy and does not resemble the so-called dry “sole.”
- Our dish is ready! No, it’s not raw – that’s how it should be! After heat treatment, ready-to-eat steaks, pinkish on the inside and ruddy on the outside. Transferre them to a flat dish or cutting surface. I recommend additionally greasing them with a little olive oil and sprinkling lightly with lemon juice on both sides.
- We give the steaks a couple of minutes to rest, after which we present them to the guests.
- After trying this dish for the first time in a restaurant, I always looked for a recipe that would tell you how to cook tuna in a pan. I must say that at home the fish turned out to be no less tasty, the main thing is to cook it correctly. When serving, you can decorate the dish beautifully so that it looks like a restaurant one.
I advise: under no circumstances heat the grill pan with oil, otherwise you will ruin it!
People love the tuna dishes because the fish tastes great and is also very healthy. It contains various minerals and vitamin complexes that contribute to the proper functioning of the brain. Also, tuna is rich in protein and contains a large amount of muscle tissue, making it taste like meat.
You can choose any side dish for tuna steaks – to your taste.