I recently bought a 4 pound 4oz piece of frozen raw tuna (a whole tuna loin). I want to sear a part of it to make salade nicoise, but I don't want to defrost the whole thing. Any suggestions?

  • Posted by: erinbdm
  • February 9, 2011
  • 1270 views
  • 12 Comments

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ChefDaddy
ChefDaddy February 9, 2011

With a little muscle you should be able to get through it with a knife if you put it in the fridge for awhile. Not to completly thaw but to get to a little softer state rather than rock hard.

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pierino
pierino February 9, 2011

While it's trendy to make salad nicoise with seared tuna, in fact the real thing is made with canned tuna, packed in good olive oil. At least that's how it's done in Nice. I'd save the whole tuna loin for a better purpose, such as grilling it. However this is where your hacksaw might come in handy. Keep the portion you don't use frozen. Is there a bandsaw in your garage?

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ChefDaddy
ChefDaddy February 9, 2011

Does pierino have a brand (of canned tuna) to recommend. I've been using a brand called Genova for years but would love to hear your thoughts. Your anchovie recomendation was great.

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jwolfsthal
jwolfsthal February 9, 2011

a semi-thaw of about 30 minutes will help you cut through it without risking a full thaw and health issues. It will take a littl emuscle, but a shape cleaver shoudl make short work of it.

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pierino
pierino February 9, 2011

ChefDaddy one of my "go to's" for tuna is As Do Mar from Spain. You can also order different grades of Ortiz tuna from Zingerman's. One of their best ones is the Ortiz "conserva" which is line caught and tinned within 24 hours. But supply tends to be short on that, as it actually has a "vintage" date on the box. Perfect for nicoise. In canned tuna terms "Ventresca" is the equivalent of tuna belly or toro and quite expensive.
Genova however as a brand is a perfectly decent everyday canned tuna.

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ChefDaddy
ChefDaddy February 9, 2011

Thanks Pierino!

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Incognito
Incognito February 9, 2011

Genova and Ortiz are the brands of canned tuna I buy most often. If you are interested in sampling another luxury brand tuna give Tre Torri Mediterranean Bluefin Tuna a try. It is ridiculously expensive, but delicious. If you follow the link to Gustiamo.com, an online vendor of specialty Italian foods, there is an interesting description of this Sicilian tuna and how it is processed. In addition to "Ventresca" Tre Torri provides "Tarantello" which is cut from the abdominal muscle and also delicious.

http://www.gustiamo.com/cgi-bin/front_end/prodotto?id=23

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erinbdm
erinbdm February 9, 2011

Thanks pierino--I live in Culiacan, Mexico, so unfortunately I can't get really good canned tuna. I think I'll have to try the short defrost and muscle!

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amysarah
amysarah February 9, 2011

Another Genova user here - basically because it's good, not expensive and readily available at the supermarket. I always have a few cans on hand - money in the bank for a quick meal - pastas, cannellini bean/tuna salads, variations on pan bagnat...one of my favorite pantry items. (Btw, I know it's popular, but not a big fan of fresh tuna in a salade nicoise - not because it's not the classic recipe, just because I think canned in olive oil tastes better there.)

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francesca gilberti
francesca gilberti February 9, 2011

I like Callipo (oil-packed tuna from Calabria) -- it's absolutely delicious, locally produced (if you live in Calabria) and available at places like Formaggio Kitchen.

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CHeeb
CHeeb February 9, 2011

Jars of Tonnino are also exceptional. Amazon.com sometimes carries Tonnino and World Market also has them for a brief moment before selling out.NJoy...ch

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innoabrd
innoabrd February 10, 2011

I absolutely agree that a nicoise is best with canned tuna. My wife agrees, but wouldn't be so polite about it...

Wish I could get good tuna, canned or fresh here...

Pierino's right: a hack saw is probably your best option. Band saw is really the right answer, but unless you've got one just for food, I'd think you'd stand a good chance of adding saw-dust (or worse, metal filings) to your lovely tuna...

If your freezer is properly cold, no other way to get through it without partially thawing it. Yes, you can break a knife in it if you're not careful...

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