The First Step You Should Take To Guarantee Flavorful Tuna Confit

Tuna's versatility and absorbance of flavor allows it to go great with many different things. From Sesame-Crusted Tuna Steaks, Dilly Tuna Casserole, and Ahi Tuna Poke Bowls to Tuna Melt Paninis, Spruced Up Tuna Salad, and Tuna Lettuce Wraps, this is just the tip of the iceberg on the many ways you can incorporate this protein-packed ingredient. Not only that, but the techniques are endless too. Whether you're pan-searing, poaching, macerating in citrus, baking, or even flaking from a can, there's one that gets overlooked: confit-ing.

According to Great British Chefs, to confit is to cook something in fat over low heat for a long period of time. This French cooking method results in an extremely tender, melt-in-your-mouth texture with richer flavor. But because tuna is a lean cut of fish with very minimal fat, to confit it requires another source of fat for cooking but gives the meat a flavor that's worth the trouble. 

If you want to spruce up this method even further, infusing oil adds an extra layer of dimension. 

Make the most of your tuna confit

According to MasterClass, cooking aromatics such as garlic cloves, shallots, fennel, citrus peel, and fresh herbs in the gently heated oil before introducing the tuna will help infuse the fat, which will then flavor the tuna from within. This method makes adding extra flavor to your tuna dish much easier, seeing that if you added your tuna and aromatics to the oil together, it wouldn't have enough time to work its magic.

Another helpful tip for getting the most out of tuna confit is to keep the temperature of the oil low at all times, per MasterClass. While this requires a lot of patience, the incredibly tender tuna will thank you for it later, preventing your aromatics from burning and your tuna from overcooking and drying out. 

Lastly, it's important that the oil is completely covering the tuna. If you have a larger skillet or pot, this would require more oil. If need be, you can add more oil throughout the confit process in order to keep the fish submerged.

If you want to infuse oil to use later on, Chef Rudakova suggests placing whatever aromatic ingredient you're using in a sauce pot, submerging it in oil, simmering it over low heat for 30 minutes, and removing the pot from the heat to bring the oil to room temperature before straining.