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Dec 11, 2007 12:24 PM

How do you feel about rare tuna?

I've never been brave enough to eat sushi or raw tuna - I thought it would taste nasty and have a strange texture. So when we went to lunch today I ordered a grilled tuna salad, and since it didn't say 'seared' and I asked the waiter for 'medium', I thought the tuna would be cooked to a light pink in the center. I over-estimated... and when I cut into the delicious-smelling tuna steak, it was redraw in the center and only pink around the very edges. Instead of chickening out and sending it back for more cooking, I dove in and tried a bite from the edge, pinky bit. And it was delicious! So I decided that I was going to eat it. And it wasn't anything like I expected - I loved it... especially with a kalmata olive on the fork or a tiny dab of spicy mustard for contrast. Yum! DH tried it too, and he also really liked it, so we may be converts!

Now I know that it's not going to kill me to eat 'raw fish', I'm going to try a piece of sushi at my next opportunity. I've only ever had sushi-for-wimps (made with cooked tunasalad instead of anthing raw) - I thought I wouldn't like that either because I hate seaweed and rice, but it doesn't really taste like either of them. I loved the cooked sushi and used to buy it regularly in Australia, but I haven't seen it sold in the US. Now I'll be brave and try the real thing - I wonder if I'll like that too? :)

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  1. Bravo, Kajikit! If it's not rare, you may as well eat canned! ;)

    I did a fish-cooking demo recently, using tuna....Dubious tasters looked at it, asked if it was cooked enough, tried it, and then said, "I never thought I liked tuna!" It's amazing how many people like fish when it's cooked to bring out its best flavor.

    1. Oh I loved seared tuna sandwiches with pickled ginger mayo. But I love raw fish in many ways.

      1. I was pleasantly surprised also, but I must caution that inferior fish is not going to love the seared treatment. I had it the first time in a place I should have known better (small Idaho ski resort). The second time I had it in a decent resto and I loved it. The texture I thought was going to put me off was actually enjoyable. Congrats and enjoy your new experiences.

        1 Reply
        1. re: torty

          This was at a nice restaurant... one reason I decided to try it was because I've liked everything I've had there! It's one of my times for trying new foods...

        2. i love tuna raw, rare, and cooked through..... all have their place in different applications.
          the fattier the better too.

          go to a sushi bar, and tell the chef u want to explore all his various tuna's u will be amazed at the difference in textures and tastes.

          i also like to cook it through w/ capers adn marsala wine... delicious hot, or let it cool and make your tuna salad with tuna you cooked yourself instead of opening a can.

          I saw a beautiful braised tuna dish on TV the other day that i can't wait to try


          3 Replies
          1. re: thew

            I'm a huge fan of seared tuna. I prefer it medium rare so that it is reddish in the center, and pink on the edges, what you originally sent back. You'll get used to the taste and the texture. One nice thing is that a little goes a long way, and if you have it sliced, you will find you prefer that to a big hunk o'tuna.

            1. re: brendastarlet

              Oh no, I didn't send it back... I THOUGHT about asking them to cook it more, but I decided to try eating it first. And then I didn't need to return it because I liked it. :)

            2. re: thew

              My sushi guy does a tuna tasting. He places 4 different types/grades of tuna and has you eat from one end to the other to see/taste the differences. I did this long ago and it got me hooked on toro! Hmmmm...thinking it's time for a sushi run.

            3. Thats the only way to eat tuna. If you have had it overcooked you know how unpleasant an experience that can be. Ceviche can also pass the test.

              2 Replies
              1. re: mattyboy

                Personally, I think lime juice ruins raw tuna ceviche in 20 minutes. I bring wasabi wherever I go, and soy is universally available, except in parts of Central America. To the poster's point; I think "rare" tuna is way overcooked. I think Kajikit has eyes wide open to good experiences, and a good attitude. Tuna sashimi rocks!

                1. re: Veggo

                  Sounds like YOU, kajikit, are on your way to new culinary heights! I applaud you. Though I'll eat well prepared fish of almost any kind, whether broiled, baked, steamed, fried, etc., I always come back to my method of preference, and "raw" isn't really a method at all. It's all about freshness and presentation. It cannot be beat!