Sublime albacore recipes use 5 or fewer ingredients

| September 9, 2014 | 0 Comments

The days are getting shorter, the evenings cooler, and the same changes are happening at the coast and off Oregon’s coastline.

Soon, the albacore tuna season will be over and these swift, majestic fish will head away from our coast, going where their instincts take them and returning next summer.

I never tasted fresh, line-caught albacore until I arrived in Oregon. I didn’t know what the all the fuss was about until I tasted it myself. Call it skepticism. Call it one of Oregon’s lores. Seafood lovers I met after I moved here sang the same chorus: Once you taste freshly caught albacore, you’ll never go back to Charlie or the “chicken of the sea.”

High-quality albacore has a mild flavor, a flaky consistency, and the tenderloins are perfect for pan-searing and smoking.

When smoking, I simply brush on a little oil, lightly season, and then place it in the Traeger wood pellet smoker grill on the smoke setting and leave it alone for 40 minutes to an hour. Smoked albacore tenderloins are great on top of salads or a bed of fresh pasta tossed in olive oil, sautéed garlic, and fresh parsley.

When pan-searing, I use a cast-iron skillet and sear the 1½-inch thick slices of tenderloin a few minutes in some bacon fat. There’s nothing like the combination of bacon fat and tuna. It’s simply sublime. Just a note of caution: Don’t overcook or the fish will be dry. Two or three minutes on each side should be sufficient. It’s fine to eat the fish with the center a little pink.

If you’ve never cooked albacore, the time to do it is now, or you’ll have to wait until next year. Check Fitts Seafood and Roth’s Fresh Markets for fresh albacore tenderloin.

Here are two simple and delicious recipes that use five or fewer key ingredients. Try fresh albacore and you’ll be hooked.

Pan-Seared Albacore with Golden Heirloom Tomato on a Bed of Deconstructed Succotash

Serves 4

  • 4 strips of smoked bacon, sliced into small pieces
  • ¾ to 1 pound fresh albacore tenderloin, sliced into 4 pieces 1-1½ inches thick
  • 1 red bell pepper, cubed
  • 4 ears of fresh corn, with kernels removed from cob by slicing down the cob with sharp knife
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large golden heirloom tomato, sliced into 4 discs


  1. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon, stirring occasionally, until bacon is cooked but not crispy.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon and set aside.
  3. Turn the heat to high and sear albacore tenderloins in the bacon fat, letting it cook no more than 2 or 3 minutes on each side.
  4. Remove albacore to plate and drain oil from cast-iron skillet into a sauté pan. Over medium heat, add cubed bell pepper and cook a few minutes until it begins to turn limp. Add corn and stir to incorporate. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Divide the corn and bell pepper into 4 servings and mound onto each plate. Place a disc of tomato on top of the corn and bell pepper and season with a little salt and then place an albacore tenderloin on top of the tomato disc.
  6. Sprinkle the cooked bacon over the dish, placing a few pieces on top of the albacore and serve.

Soy-Mirin-Ginger Marinated Grilled Albacore with Grilled Zucchini, Pineapple and Mango

Serves 4

  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon mirin (Japanese rice wine vinegar)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ¾ to 1 pound fresh albacore tenderloin, sliced into 4 pieces 1-1½ inches thick
  • 1 large zucchini sliced into diagonal discs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon garlic seasoning
  • ¼ of a pineapple, peeled core removed and sliced into long pieces
  • 1 mango peeled and sliced into long pieces


  1. Make marinade by mixing together sesame oil, soy sauce, grated ginger, mirin, and orange juice. Place albacore in a sealable plastic bag and pour the marinade over the tuna. Seal bag and gently turn over until tuna is coated with the marinade. Marinate for 2 to 3 hours in the refrigerator.
  2. When ready to cook, toss zucchini in olive oil and garlic seasoning and place on a grill pan, charcoal or gas grill along with albacore, and pineapple and mango slices. Cook zucchini, pineapple and mango slices a couple of minutes on each side and remove to serving platter. Cook albacore 2 to 3 minutes on each side and serve with mango and zucchini slices.


– Vic


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Category: Seafood, Uncategorized

About the Author (Author Profile)

Victor Panichkul is a journalist and writer by training; a cook, wine lover and photographer by passion; and a lover of the outdoors since moving to Oregon more than 10 years ago. He is a native of Bangkok, Thailand.

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