Tuna Jerky

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jerkies

This is a fantastic cocktail food. And, of course, because it’s jerky, it’s good on the trail. (Especially if your trail is in Hawaii.) If you are tuna free, this works with any good meaty fish.

Ingredients

2 pounds tuna, snapper, trout, bass, or other firm-fleshed fish, cut into strips about ¼ inch thick

2 cups pineapple, finely chopped (or canned crushed pineapple with the juice)

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated

1 teaspoon unrefined salt—try a Hawaiian salt, like Alaea or Black Lava, Japanese shio, Arabian Fleur de Sel, a smoked salt, or a salt infused with roasted garlic, dashi, seaweed, sesame, Szechuan peppercorns, or chile

Method

  1. Toss all ingredients, toss to coat fish, and refrigerate overnight ( at least 12 hours).
  1. Place a wire rack onto a baking sheet, and coat it well with pan spray. Drain off the marinade and arrange the fish on the rack. Cook at 150° F for 2 hours, then turn the temperature down to 130° F (or open the oven door) and continue cooking for another 2-4 hours, until the fish is dry, but not crisp. They should crack when bent, but should not break easily. Cool completely, then store airtight in the refrigerator.

Variations

Dehydrator and Smoker—This jerky dries better in a dehydrator, and has more flavor when made in a smoker. If you have either of those contraptions, by all means, go for it. Follow the manufacture’s instructions, and use the same guidelines for temperature and doneness.

Commercial sauces – The addition of commercial teriyaki or BBQ sauce into your marinade will certainly work. Most contain a lot of sugar, so consider omitting the brown sugar from the recipe.

Yellowfin with Tomato, Olives, and Capers

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Also known as ahi, yellowfin is a big, delicious tuna. It is so good that is it frequently eaten raw as sashimi or tuna tartar; or cooked just barely – seared on the outside, and rare in the middle.

If you are lucky enough to live near the sea, you may already be familiar with yellowfin. If you are less acquainted, when choosing your tuna, be sure that all you smell is fresh, oceany fish. If the smell is off-putting, leave it be. When you get it home, store it in the fridge loosely covered in paper, preferably in a perforated pan to allow any accumulated juices to drain away. If the fish must be stored longer than 2-3 days, wrap it in paper and an air tight bag for storage in the freezer.

If your fresh fish selection is more limited, check the freezer section. Frozen fish today are of very high quality, usually flash-frozen on board the ship that caught them. When buying frozen fish, be sure it is free of ice and has no signs of having been defrosted and re-frozen. Pieces should be in a natural shape with only a light coating of frost. Look for an expiration date on the packaging as well. Frozen fish should be defrosted slowly in the refrigerator for 24-36 hours. Be sure to place defrosting fish in a colander or perforated pan to separate run-off juices. Smaller pieces can be cooked directly out of the freezer.

This tuna recipe is the perfect meal for a warm evening, especially when made with sweet, ripe tomatoes from your local Farmer’s Market. If you are without a grill, it can be prepared under your broiler.

The flavorful topping of this dish gets lot of salt from the olives and capers. Because of this, use a light hand when salting the fish. It’s easier to add more salt at the table than it is to fix it if over-salted.

Yellowfin Tuna with Tomatoes, Olives and Capers

INGREDIENTS

2 large, ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
1 yellow onion, minced
1/4 cup capers
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar

4 (3 oz.) yellowfin tuna steaks
1/2 cup lemon juice
[1/8] tsp. kosher salt
[1/2] tsp. black pepper

METHOD

  1. Preheat grill on high heat. In a large bowl combine tomatoes, olives, onions, capers, parsley, olive oil and wine vinegar. Toss together and set aside at room temperature.
  2. Coat tuna steaks with lemon juice, salt and pepper, and grill. Cook 5 minutes per side to mark with the grill, or to desired doneness. Serve immediately topped with tomato mixture.

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