Tuna is the fifth most popular fish in the UK. The majority of tuna we buy comes canned and destined for a tuna sandwich with mayonnaise or vinegar, a jacket potato with mayonnaise or vinegar, a salad with mayonnaise or vinegar…Fresh tuna, however, is a completely different experience. And far more versatile.
To preserve it for a long time in the can, tinned tuna is cooked for anywhere between 45 minutes and 3 hours. This leaves the fish dry and overcooked. Fresh tuna is much juicier and can be served raw, rare or well done like the finest piece of steak.
Fresh tuna is healthy. It counts towards your healthy portion of omega-3 rich fish. Because tinned tuna is overcooked, most of the omega-3 content depletes. To compare, fresh tuna contains 1.5g of omega-3 for every 100g and tinned only 0.202 in oil and 0.272 in water.
A nice way to eat fresh tuna is served pan fried with a simple salad or mixed vegetables. You can take it to another level with a marinade. Fresh tuna has a mild flavour and you can get creative. We’d always start with a few tablespoons of olive oil, the juice of half a lemon or lime and salt and pepper. Then you can add any combination of flavours. Soya sauce works well. Grated garlic and ginger. Fresh chilli and chopped coriander. Thyme and finely chopped up cherry tomato. Orange and dried oregano sounds strange but works really well too. Marinate covered in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and then pan fry to your liking.
That said, the tinned tuna sandwich is a brilliant thing. Simple, quick. But we’ve found a fantastic recipe using fresh tuna that might just reinvent the wheel: Grilled Tuna Sandwich with Lemon-Chili Mayo.