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Mar 27, 2008 04:23 AM

Yellowfin Tuna from Grocery Store


I was at the grocery store late last night, trying to pick up for dinner today, and the yellowfin tuna steaks looked alright. I usually do not buy tuna from the grocery store because I like to indulge in high-quality seared tuna at restaurants or raw in sushi. However, I was really tired, and the price was right. Now I am questioning my decision. I know that it's pointless to cook a tuna steak to "well-done", but how do I know that the tuna from the grocery store is fresh enough to sear safely? It says "previously frozen" on the package; does that mean it's any more or less fresh? What would be the best way to cook this piece of fish and how should I flavor it?

Am I just overthinking this? Any ideas are much appreciated!

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  1. From what I've read almost all tuna is blast frozen at sea. A good idea, since ships are out for long periods. The temperatures are more than low enough to kill any parasites, although I've read that tuna is the only fish not required by the FDA to be frozen when to be eaten raw.

    I've seared grocery store bought tuna. It was fine. I look for those thin white membranes running through the meat. (Connective tissue, or "fascia".) They're tough, but cook out. Look at a piece of served tuna at the sushi bar -- you shouldn't see much - or any - fascia, and what may be there would be very thin. If you've ever chewed and chewed a piece of otoro you'll know what I mean...

    Actually, there are some approaches to cooking tuna all the way through. Mario Batali did at least once on Molto Mario. You may want to look it up - I know I will!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Richard 16

      I should add that the *fewer* and t*hinner* the connective tissue the better!

    2. yep, you're overthinking it a little ;-)
      I sometimes marinate the store-bought tuna for a few minutes since it enhances the flavor a bit (it's never as sweet as the tuna you'd get dining out)...then pat it dry and sear it in a skillet. I'll tend to cook it more to "medium" than "rare" since the quality isn't the same, but you can certainly enjoy tuna a home!

      1. Ask your grocery's fish monger for tuna steaks from in back. Almost all supermarkets receive grade a tuna that is quick frozen at sea in nice 8 oz. or so portions. Never buy previously thawed tuna from a grocer, only buy fresh tuna from a reputable fish market. Depending on the season and where you are located, fresh tuna can be acquired for a price.

        1. I think you are overthinking it a bit, BUT, if you are still worried, how about making oil-poached tuna? You will never go back to canned tuna again after making this. I basically cover the steak (season with salt and pepper first) in olive oil, throw in some garlic cloves, shallots, thyme, bay leaf and whatever aromatics you like. Turn on the stove and bring to just below the point when it starts to bubble. Cook until done (sorry -- I have never timed it). Allow to cool in the oil. Remove and enjoy as you would canned tuna.