This species is also called albacore fish, albacore tuna, albicore, albie, pigfish, tombo ahi, binnaga, Pacific albacore, longfin, longfin tuna, longfin tunny, or even just tuna. It is found in the open waters of all tropical and temperate oceans, and the Mediterranean Sea.
Available wild-caught, it is a free-swimming marine fish found in open ocean around the Australian coast except from Darwin to the tip of Cape York Peninsula (usually in waters above 13°C). Caught mainly by longline as bycatch of larger Tunas, although it has also been targeted for sale to canneries in recent years.
Sold whole, but more commonly as cutlets or steaks and sometimes as smoked fillets. In whole fish look for lustrous skin, firm flesh, and a pleasant, fresh sea smell. In cutlets, steaks and fillets, look for red, firm, lustrous, moist flesh without any dull brown markings or oozing water and with a pleasant fresh sea smell.
Make sure whole fish is gutted and cleaned thoroughly. Wrap whole fish, fillets, cutlets and steaks in plastic wrap or place in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze whole fish for up to 6 months, and fillets, cutlets or steaks for up to 3 months, below -18°C.
Average yield is 70-75%. Has a mild flavour, low oiliness and dark red-brown, medium-firm textured flesh with large flakes and few bones. It tends to dry out quickly if overcooked. The centre bone of cutlets can be removed and a filling placed in the cavity.
Albacore Cooking Methods:
Poach, pan-fry, stir-fry, bake, braise, grill, barbecue, smoke, pickle. Best wrapped in foil or banana leaves if baking or barbecuing, to prevent it drying out. The firm flesh holds together well in soups, curries and casseroles and can be cubed for kebabs.
Albacore goes well with:
Balsamic vinegar, black pepper, char-grilled vegetables (such as eggplant, capsicum and zucchini), chilli, curry pastes, garlic, herbs, lemon, lime, olive oil.
Albacore Nutrition and Summary
Flavour : Mild to Medium
Oiliness : Low to Medium, sometimes High
Moisture : Dry to Medium
Habitat : Saltwater
Texture : Soft to firm, with beautiful coarse grain
Thickness : Thick fillets or cutlets
Bones : Few bones
Season : Available year round.
Size and Weight : Commonly 3-22kg and 50-90cm, but can grow to 55kg and 127cm.
Price : Medium priced.
Family : Scombridae (mackerels).
Other Names : Albacore Fish, Albacore Tuna, Albicore, Albie, Pigfish, Tombo Ahi, Binnaga, Pacific Albacore, Longfin, Longfin Tuna, Longfin Tunny
Relations : Bigeye Tuna, Bonito, Frigate Mackerel, Longtail Tuna, Mackerel Tuna, Northern Bluefin Tuna, Skipjack Tuna, Southern Bluefin Tuna, Wahoo, Yellowfin Tuna and other Mackerels.
Mackerels – Blue Mackerel are often sold whole or as fillets, and the larger Mackerels are usually seen as cutlets or steaks. In whole fish look for lustrous skin, firm flesh, and a pleasant, fresh sea smell. In cutlets, steaks and fillets look for bright flesh that’s dark red in Blue Mackerel, and pinky-white in the larger Mackerels, with Spanish Mackerel virtually white. It should be firm, lustrous and moist without any dark brown markings or oozing water and with a pleasant fresh sea smell.
Striped Marlin – Usually sold as steaks. Look for reddish-pink, firm, lustrous, moist flesh without any brown markings or oozing water and with a pleasant fresh sea smell.
Swordfish – Usually sold as steaks, but also sometimes as cutlets or sashimi. Look for cream-pale pink, firm, lustrous, moist flesh without any brown markings or oozing water and with a pleasant fresh sea smell.
Tunas – Tuna is usually sold as steaks, cutlets or sliced as sashimi. Look for pinkish red to burgundy flesh (colour varies with species and cut) that is firm, lustrous and moist without any dull brown markings or oozing water and with a pleasant fresh sea smell. Always buy sashimi-grade fish if it is to be served raw or rare