In the summer I always make tuna in escabeche. Served on top of a nice bed of salad it is a wholesome and delicious dish, good as single course. Perfect for hot weather and nourishing at the same time. Regarding the explanation about the different tuna species included in this previous post, I can tell you I have used both northern bluefin and albacore and the latter works much better.
Tuna fish in escabeche
- 1,350 kg white tuna (the original recipe calls for 1 kg; I had bought three beautiful tuna tails and used them all)
- 1 medium onion
- 1 large carrot
- 3 cloves garlic
- A good dash of virgin olive oil for the sofrito
- 250 g cider vinegar (I prefer cider vinegar to wine vinegar, it is softer)
- 250 g good white wine
- 150 g water
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns
- Salt to taste
This is adapted from a recipe by Thermomix. It calls for steaming the fish with the escabeche sauce. This means that first you prepare the sofrito, then the whole escabeche sauce and then it is used to steam the fish on top of it. The traditional method for escabeche is to boil the fish directly in the sauce. If you use the steaming method, the fish must be allowed to rest in the sauce at least one whole day, so that it soaks the juices and the flavours mingle. Escabeche is always tastier after some days rest.
So… make a sofrito with the onion, carrot and garlic, all finely diced, in the olive oil. When the vegetables are soft, add the liquid ingredients: water, wine and vinegar, along with the bay leaves, the peppercorns and the salt. Put the tuna to steam o directly into the liquid, whichever method you prefer. Bring the liquid to a boil and then leave for 20-25 minutes. The cooking time depends on the size of the fish pieces. Mine took 25 minutes. After 20 minutes, test for doneness (cut the center of a piece so that you can see the inner color). Leave for some more time if it is not cooked. Leave to cool. If you have steamed the tuna, put it now into the sauce. Leave to rest for a day, then enjoy this scrumptious and very Spanish dish. It is superb accompanied by shredded cabbage and carrot.
I put a portion into jars for preserving, which I sterilized in a pressure cooker this time… I don’t know why but I hardly ever use my pressure cooker, it gives me the creeps. It makes no sense, because I’m a chemist and I’ve done far worse things when I was at college. When I use it I need to stay in the kitchen and watch it closely. It seems I want to be there if it explodes and be hit… Should consult my therapist. And this much stress is useless anyway, the preserved escabeche won’t last very long…