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Canned Tuna 2.0

Canned Tuna 2.0

Katie Kwan | Chef's Blade

I have nothing against canned tuna, but that ‘chunk light’ stuff is downright fraudulent!

I open it up in hopes for a nutritious shot of protein in my busy day only to dump out 50% of its contents in water weight. What I am left with is the soot of something that once was a fin in the sea. I can’t help but feel hoodwinked.

When I do have it, I covet imported tonno or atun. I use it bit by bit. I stow it in the back of my cupboard. I flake it ever so carefully over salads. I eat it with crunchy pickled onions and sherry vinegar, as in my Andalucian potato and tuna salad. I make sure to use the olive oil that it is packed in too. It is an overlooked luxury — it’s like sucking the marrow of lobster tentacles or eating beef cheeks.

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Now what makes tonno so so good? Well, If you think about it, packed tuna is the result of people attempting to capture and savour the rich flavor of fish before it descends into funkiness. So good tuna and good olive oil are musts.

I used Mario Batali’s recipe, which poaches the fish in a briny mixture of vinegar and spices. I olive oil packed it and allowed it to sit for a luxurious 30 days in order for the proteins to fully relax. I must admit, I was too impatient to wait the full 30 days, and stole pinches of the fleshy fish from time to time — each time getting better.

Please make this tuna and treasure it. It is simply with some lemon or vinegar — perhaps over something crisp, lemon cucumbers?

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