If your definition of “Tuna” is the stuff that comes from a can, you’re missing out on one of the most versatile fish in the sea.
Here on the Gulf Coast, we have two main species: Blackfin Tuna and Yellowfin Tuna. The Blackfins are typically up to three feet long and weighing 40 pounds or less, but the Yellowfins are another story—these beauties can get up to six feet and 400 pounds! (That’s a lot of good eating.)
Just as the size of Gulf Tuna varies, so do the preparation techniques. Some prefer a thick, meaty tuna steak on the grill while others prefer it raw as sushi and sashimi. No matter how you like your fresh Gulf product, it’s certainly much better than the canned version.
Here are a few Tuna recipes that we love from two noteworthy Alabama chefs and a couple of our esteemed Junior League cookbooks.
Chef Scott Simpson at The Depot in Auburn doesn’t go easy on the flavor, and this seared Tuna recipe is no different. Coat your filets generously with the garlic scallion sea salt herb rub, but make sure you don’t cook it too much—just one minute on each side to form a light crust. This will preserve the sashimi style for cutting and plating.
One of the easiest and most popular preparation techniques is cooking and serving whole Tuna steaks, and Chef Brody Olive of Perdido Beach Resort only needs six ingredients for his filets. The most important one, of course, is the whiskey; Chef Olive recommends George Dickel, but feel free to use your favorite brand if you’d prefer.
Gulf Tuna is delicious with a little bit of spice, and this recipe from the Junior League of Mobile brings the heat. Coat your Tuna steaks with a five-pepper blend before cooking, then cool them down a bit with Cognac, heavy cream, and chicken broth afterward. And cook as long as you like, but once they flake easily, those steaks are done.
The Junior League of Birmingham prefers a bit of zest on their Gulf Tuna steaks, and this dish certainly delivers some delightful complementary flavors. The recipe is as easy as it gets too; just put the steaks and the marinade in a sealable plastic bag, let them sit in the fridge for a few hours, and throw ‘em on the grill. Voila!
Looking for more than just Tuna for your upcoming meal plans? Our recipes section has more than 150 for you to choose from.