Albacore Tuna is also called Tombo Tuna. It is a delicious fish which lends itself best to grilling or searing cooking applications.
Fresh Albacore Tuna Flavor Profile
Fresh Albacore has a mild to medium flavor profile with firm flesh and large flakes. Like other tunas, it has a "steak-like" texture, but less firm than Yellowfin or Bigeye Tuna. It does however have a higher fat content which gives it a richness of taste.
Typical Cooking Methods
Tombo (Hawaiian), Longfin Tuna
Albacore Tuna are known as the "white meat" tuna due to their lighter flesh coloration. Their skin is blue & silver like other tunas. Average commercial size is 10-30 Lbs, but they range in size from 5-100 Lbs. If Tuna are not kept properly chilled from harvest to your receiving dock they can develop histamine which can result in scromboid poisoning.
Storage & Handling Recommendations
Store fresh loins/steaks as close to 33° as possible to maintain highest quality and shelf life. Although ice can be used, the flesh should be tightly wrapped in plastic and placed in perforated pans. The flesh should never come in direct contact with ice or water as this will discolor the meat, leech the oil content, and decrease shelf-life. Tightly wrapping in plastic will also slow the natural oxidation of the meat color which fades from a bright color to a darker, more opaque color.
Typical Wholesale Products
Loins-Skin/On Bloodline-In (7-12 lb Avg.)
Loins-Skin/Off Bloodline-Out (3-5 lb and 5-12 lb Avg.)
Fresh Albacore Tuna Availability
Fresh Albacore Tuna availability chart: green areas show peak availability, light green show limited availability, gray indicates not available fresh. Frozen available all year long.
Albacore Tuna Butchering Yield Percentage and Recovery
|Item||To Skin/On Untrim Loins||To Skin/Off Trim Loins||Notes|
|Whole Head/On gutted||--||39%|
|Whole Head/Off gutted||60% - 65%||53%|
|Skin/On Untrim Loins||--||85%||If you have additional yield info on this fish please leave a comment below.|
|For detailed butchering yield % and recovery see Albacore Yield Percentage|
|Yield % varies according to a number of factors including: size of fish, season, sex, and the skill of your fishmonger.|
Range & Habitat
Albacore Tuna range the oceans world wide except around Central America and arctic waters.
Albacore Tuna Sustainability Info
|Name||Alternate Names||Catch Method||Catch|
|Albacore Tuna, Thunnus alalunga
|| Longfin Tuna, Tombo, Shiro Maguro, Canned White Tuna
||Wild - Pole & Line, Troll
||US & Canadian Pacific||Moderate|
|Wild - Longline||Hawaii||Moderate|
|Wild - Longline||Worldwide (see above for Hawaii)||Elevated|
|Wild - Purse Seine||n/a||Elevated|
|Wild - All methods||North Atlantic||n/a||Moderate|
|Disclaimer: The sustainability info above is accurate to the best of our knowledge. However, each program randomly updates their information without our knowledge. We therefore recommend that you verify the current accuracy of this information.|
= Best Choice/Recommended = Good Alternative = Avoid/Not Recommended
Mercury Levels Special Note: The EDF rates canned white albacore tuna as "Elevated" regardless of region of origin.
based upon a 6 oz (171 grams) raw edible serving
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David Buchanan is a professional chef and author of Chefs-Resources.com, a site geared towards providing chefs and culinarians useful info to help in their kitchens.
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