UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 27: Tuna steak with red onion and bell pepper sauce. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)
Food - Drink
The Scientific Reason Tuna Has A Meaty Flavor
Fresh tuna fish is known for its "meaty" taste, and thick slabs of tuna can be as satisfying as a steak; some even consider tuna steaks to be a suitable substitute for beef. There is a scientific reason for why people who usually don't like fish might enjoy the meaty taste of tuna, and it all comes down to a protein called myoglobin.
Myoglobin is a protein that helps a living animal's muscle tissue get enough oxygen, and colors the meat of cattle and tuna a vivid red. Tuna is one of the ocean's most powerful predators, and myoglobin not only keeps the fishes' muscles healthy, making them strong swimmers and hunters, but is also responsible for tuna's meaty taste.
Myoglobin is what makes tuna a "red meat," much like beef, which is why this fish can taste more like a beef burger than a piece of salmon. The darker red your tuna is, the more myoglobin and flavor it will have, so if you want to make sure you're getting the meatiest-tasting tuna at the store, simply look for filets with a dark yet vivid red color.