The fitness crazies in this part of the world have been hard-selling tuna as a “super meat” – low in fat, high in protein, and all that dross. I don’t buy it, though.
I confess that I have no great love for canned tuna. While I grew up eating it in sandwiches and still occasionally have it in a breakfast frittata, I don’t see what all the hype is about. The flavor does nothing for me, the texture even less so. And please don’t ever let me get started on that hideous-tasting corned tuna the bigger canneries have been flogging. If said corned product does not come from a bovine, I am definitely not eating it.
Fresh tuna, on the other hand, is a completely different story all together. Served raw, it’s tender and flavorful without being too fishy. When cooked, it is toothsome, meaty, even buttery-tasting.
O-toro, chu-toro, and maguro cuts as sashimi, maki, or sushi are among my favorites, as is that tempting tempura tuna sashimi tartare served at Teriyaki Boy. When I was a fresh-faced college grad a bit over a decade ago, Tokyo Tokyo’s buttery tuna misono with its nutty-tasting sauce made with soy sauce and fresh garlic was my payday indulgence.
A few weeks ago, I had a slab of grilled tuna loin, as shown above, with a side of properly sauteed veg. It came with a small dish filled with a soy and toasted garlic dip which kept the tuna from getting too dry. It was quite tasty, I must say. It won’t be replacing pork or beef on my lunch plate on a permanent basis any time soon, but it was still a deliciously done dish.
More appropriate for the stormy, blustery, wet weather we’ve been having was the pesang tuna served at my brother’s parish for lunch last Sunday. Reminiscent of nilagang baka (beef cooked with cabbage and potatoes in a clear broth), large tuna fillets were poached in a clear, peppery broth with cabbage and a bit of ginger to remove any off odors or flavors. The end result was a warming soup that wasn’t too rich but was nevertheless hearty – certainly a better meal than any you can think of involving canned tuna.
One other thing: just because football hero Phil Younghusband or hottie Derek Ramsey are selling the product with their respective strumpet-starlets does not mean you’ll end up as hot-looking or as sexy as any of them. Just saying…