Southern Bluefin Tuna
Tunas have firm, thick fillets and make succulent meat substitutes. It is importnat to know which cut of the tuna you have when deciding how you will cook or serve it raw. The belly of the tuna will have a much higher fat content, this requires much less heat to bring out the flavours. Caution when grilling this cut on the barbeque as the oil may burn leaving an acrid flavour, it is much better to use the back loin, which has a lower oil content. Cutlets and steaks can be cooked by grilling, barbecuing, baking, smoking, poaching or marinating. Japanese demand for sushi and sashimi has highlighted some species’ superb eating qualities raw. Grilled or barbecued, tunas are best seared and left rare centrally. Highlight with intense flavours such as charred capsicum, eggplant, balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressings on a bed of bitter greens and aioli, roasted garlic, and Japanese wasabi, soy and pickled ginger. Alternatively, prepare a baked dinner of tuna, with a herbed crust to seal in the flavour and prevent it drying out.To marinate, use lemon, garlic oil, vinegar and fresh herbs. Serve as is (the marinade will “cook” the tuna), or slowly braise or poach as a finishing touch, but be careful not to overcook. Sashimi, carpaccio, or tartare blended with Atlantic salmon is ideal for tuna, married with dill, garlic, lemon and pepper. Tuna is also an excellent dish sliced thinly and briefly dropped into simmering “fish stock” or cooked as an Asian “hot-pot” to each diner’s preference. Invite guests to choose the degree to which they want their tuna cooked—just as they would with a steak.