Anyone have experience of fresh (or frozen) tuna ?
Like most people, I have eaten tuna (mainly canned) since I can remember. In more recent times, I've eaten fresh (aka defrozen)tuna steaks and my favourite - tuna sashimi. Though raw, the sashimi does not smell fishy or have an unpleasant taste and seems to be more about the firm texture.
However, our local hypermarket, French-owned Carrefour, has a big fresh (or defrosted) fish counter selling, amongst others, tuna. Recently, when buying chunks of tuna to make kebabs, my kids complained that the tuna made their mouths and lips itch and tingle. I can't say I noticed it myself.
This weekend, I wanted tuna again for kebabs but they couldn't cut up 2 feet-long yellow-fin tuna for me. They asked me to wait and brought through a whole monster tuna. They called it an elephant tuna (I believe it's called a blue-fin tuna) at least 6 feet long and very thick-bodied. They proceeded to carve it up from just behind the head / gills and gave me a lump of it. I took it out of the ref next day and noticed an unpleasant smell. It wasn't the smell of rotting fish but was a strong odour. I washed the big chunk and put it on the cutting board. I noticed that as well as the dark firm flesh (some of which seemed to de-laminate slightly) there was also an area of very dark, loose squishy flesh (furthest away from the skin) which I cut off and discarded.
Now, I have sensitive skin on my hands etc which reacts to things like lemon juice, becoming very itchy and irritated, turning red. I was amazed to find this time that cutting up the tuna was doing the same thing to my skin. My hands tingled and itched excrutiatingly and I had to wash them under running water. I did the same with the tuna and it lost some of its smell and pungency. Funny enough, the salmon I had also bought did not react with my skin in the least and smelled like fresh salmon.
I marinated the tuna (lemon braai marinade) and cooked the kebabs on the barbie. The result, everyone who tried the tuna had the same itchy sensation again, even me this time, though for me it was more of a sharp flavour on my tongue than an itch. It wasn't the marinade which I've used before on other things with no problem. It was definitely the fish. We abandoned eating the tuna as it wasn't a pleasant experience.
BTW the salmon was fine.
Has anyone experienced anything like this with tuna ? I was even wondering if it was a mercury blast or radiation ! Perhaps the size of the fish means the flesh is intensely flavoured compare to smaller tuna, I don't know.
That tuna is now off our menu. Yellow-fin from now on (if we eat tuna).
Last edited by Lachlan09; 29th June 2014 at 10:11.