Spanish Almadraba Bluefin Tuna Loin Steak
Approximately 9 vacuum sealed 1.7 lb. packs, 3-4 pieces per pack, 6-7oz. each (about 12 lbs.)
Bluefin tuna (thunnus thynnus) is highly prized by Japanese sushi chefs. Tuna loin’s high-fat flesh, dense texture, and dark color is often likened to beef.
Spain has a 3,000-year history of catching bluefin tuna, known there as atún rojo (red tuna) for the color of its flesh. Fishing boats along the coast of Cádiz still use the centuries-old almadraba technique of net fishing. Originally, fishermen stretched nets across the Strait of Gibraltar, trapping fish returning to the Mediterranean to spawn. Modern fishing boats use an underwater labyrinth of nets to catch their day’s quota.
Store frozen tuna loins in your freezer until you’re ready to use it, then thaw only as much as you plan on cooking.
RECIPES & TIPS
In Cádiz, tuna loin is often cured and salted, most famously to make mojama, salted and dried tuna loin that is the ocean equivalent of jamón Ibérico. Spanish chefs like to quickly sear fresh tuna on both sides (vuelta y vuelta) on a hot plancha. You also could do this in a cast iron skillet or on a grill. Another typical Spanish preparation is atún encebollado, where the fish is slow cooked in a skillet, smothered in onions sautéed with a touch of sherry vinegar. Raw tuna loin can also be sliced for sushi or chopped for tuna tartare.