You're perfectly happy eating regular canned tuna until the day you taste the imported, olive oil-packed tuna and realize exactly what you've been missing. You tell people that there's nothing better, but that's not entirely true. There's this. By gently poaching fresh ahi tuna in olive oil, you can create a tuna fish of exceptional quality. The taste and texture are amazing, and you can adapt this in many ways. Besides switching up herbs and seasonings, you can cook the fish to a wide range of doneness.

Recipe Summary

cook:
10 mins
additional:
1 day
total:
1 day
Servings:
2
Yield:
2 servings
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Ingredients

2
Original recipe yields 2 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Let tuna rest at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes.

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  • Combine garlic, thyme, and red pepper flakes in a heavy skillet. Pour olive oil into skillet to reach a depth of 1 inch. Heat oil over medium heat until garlic and thyme begin to sizzle, 5 to 10 minutes.

  • Place tuna gently in hot oil and reduce heat to low. Cook steaks in hot oil, spooning oil over the top of the steaks constantly, until fish is white and hot, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat, transfer steaks to a baking dish, and pour hot oil and herbs over the fish. Cool fish and oil to room temperature.

  • Wrap baking dish tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate steaks for 24 hours. Remove fish from oil and sprinkle sea salt over the top.

Nutrition:

We have determined the nutritional value of oil for poaching based on a retention value of 10% after cooking. The exact amount will vary depending on cooking time and temperature, ingredient density, and the specific type of oil used.

Nutrition Facts

608 calories; protein 66.5g 133% DV; carbohydrates 1.3g; fat 36g 55% DV; cholesterol 108.5mg 36% DV; sodium 271.4mg 11% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (9)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
06/20/2017
In this world there are many fine recipes. Then there are recipes considered a staple for the kitchen. This is such a recipe. What comfort there is knowing when this tuna confit is on hand ready for a variety of sandwich salad and pasta recipes or as a satisfying snack with crackers. Read More
(5)
12 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 10
  • 4 star values: 2
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
06/20/2017
In this world there are many fine recipes. Then there are recipes considered a staple for the kitchen. This is such a recipe. What comfort there is knowing when this tuna confit is on hand ready for a variety of sandwich salad and pasta recipes or as a satisfying snack with crackers. Read More
(5)
Rating: 5 stars
04/25/2016
This was a special delight! I could not believe how tender and tasty it was poaching the Ahi in olio Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
06/26/2018
This was a delicious way to prepare Tuna and one that I will be using again. I look forward to making this for recipes like Nicoise Salad & Spaghetti al Tonno! Read More
(1)
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Rating: 5 stars
08/28/2018
I made this exactly as suggested in recipe then I use for any recipe that calls for canned tuna. I use the oil over and over just for this dish keeping it in refrig. Tuna taste better than canned and things like tuna casserole and tuna sandwiches taste better Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
03/13/2018
Not hard at all! I could not get fresh ahi tuna so I used frozen (thawed) filets. Everything else as written. The finished product had a pale pink tint in the center and was nice and flakey. I used it to make Mac cheese and tuna casserole. It was very good. I will add more herbs to the next batch. I also love that the oil can be strained and reused. Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
04/28/2019
So easy and so good! My husband and I always sear ahi or eat it raw so this was a nice change. For herbs I used garlic oregano and basil -- what I had on hand. I used the leftover oil to make a salad dressing and served the fish thinly sliced on greens with tomatoes. The only hard part was the waiting. Thanks Chef John! Read More
(1)
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Rating: 4 stars
01/30/2018
I followed the directions and enjoyed the tuna. Perhaps my steaks were too thick because they never got cooked in the middle. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
01/20/2019
I used yellowfin steaks and prepared as per recipe. I prepared Tuna Helper with it and it was real tasty. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
04/07/2020
This is my new favorite way of preparing and eating tuna. I don’t think I can eat canned ever again. Read More