Bigeye Tuna Flavor Profile

Bigeye Tuna Flavor Scale

Bigeye Tuna are prized for sashimi. They have a moderately pronounced flavor, a high fat content with marbling near the skin and a richer flavor than Yellowfin. Like other tuna, the texture is firm and “meaty” with large flakes. It is best served as sushi or cooked rare to medium-rare. Over-cooked tuna is “dog food”…tough and tasteless like eating cardboard.

Tuna Grading is as follows: No. 1 “Sashimi-grade” is the best, being the freshest and having the highest fat content. No. 2 “Grill-grade” is next best. No. 3 and No. 4 are lesser quality.

Typical Cooking Methods

  • Bake
  • Broil
  • Deep-Fry
  • Grill
  • Poach
  • Saute
  • Smoke
  • Steam
  • Sushi

Alternate Names

Ahi (Hawaiian). Note: Yellowfin Tuna is also called Ahi.
Ahi Sashimi 1 plus

Description (Thunnus obesus)

Bigeye Tuna are similar to Yellowfin in appearance but have a larger eye & head. Commercial average weight is 20-100 Lbs, but they can grow to over 400 Lbs.

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.

Range & Habitat

Bigeye are found in all tropical and temperate oceans with the exception of the Mediterranean Sea. Life span is about 10-12 years. They spend a lot of time in waters as deep as 1500 ft.

Typical Wholesale Products

Rounds, H&G, Loins

Fresh Bigeye Tuna Availability

Fresh seafood availability chart: green areas show peak availability, light green show limited availability, gray indicates not available fresh. Frozen available all year long.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec


How To Fillet Whole Bigeye Tuna

Thanks to Pacific Seafood for allowing me to make this video tutorial showing how to break-down a whole Tuna into loins. Rene is the professional fishmonger giving the demo…I asked him to slow down some and take his time filleting so we could see his technique.


Bigeye Tuna Butchering Yield Percentage

Item To Skin/On Untrimmed Loins To Skin/Off Trim Loin To Skin/Off Steaks To Sashimi Notes
Whole Head/Off gutted 70% 55% 52% 35% Skin/Off Trim = bloodline out. Yield to steaks depends upon side muscle use or not.
Skin/On Untrim Loins 79% 75% If you have additional yield info on this fish please leave a comment below.
Yield % varies according to a number of factors including: size of fish, season, sex, and the skill of your fishmonger.


Nutritional Information

based upon a 6 oz (171 grams) raw edible serving.

* Calories/Calories from fat 182
* Protein grams 40.1
* Fat grams 1.7
* Saturated fat grams 0
* Sodium milligrams 63
* Cholesterol milligrams 77.1
* Omega-3 grams na


Sustainable Info

Name Alternate Names Catch Method Catch
Bigeye Tuna, Thunnus obesus Ahi, Maguro, Toro
Wild – Pole, Troll US Atlantic Green-icon_20.png Green-icon_20.png Green-icon_20.png Elevated
Worldwide except US Atlantic Yellow-icon_20.png Red-Dot_20.png Yellow-icon_20.png Unknown
Wild – Longline US Atlantic Yellow-icon_20.png Red-Dot_20.png Yellow-icon_20.png Elevated
Worldwide except US Atlantic Red-Dot_20.png Red-Dot_20.png Red-Dot_20.png Unknown
Wild – unassosiated Purse Seine US Atlantic n/a Green-icon_20.png Yellow-icon_20.png Elevated
Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean n/a n/a Yellow-icon_20.png Unknown
Wild – FAD Purse Seine Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean n/a Red-Dot_20.png Red-Dot_20.png Unknown
Wild – FAD Purse Seine Worldwide n/a Red-Dot_20.png n/a Unknown
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.
Green-icon_20.png = Best Choice/Recommended Yellow-icon_20.png = Good Alternative Red-Dot_20.png = Avoid/Not Recommended Updated
August 2013


Additional Resources:

National Marine Fisheries Service


David Buchanan is a professional chef and author of, a site geared towards providing chefs and culinarians useful info to help in their kitchens.
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