Several years ago in a marina in Morocco we were invited onboard a Turkish couple’s boat for sundowners. They served up thin slivers of cured tuna and then shared with us how it was made by themselves from a fish they had caught a few days earlier. The boat and the couple’s names are long forgotten but this method for curing tuna lives on.
- A couple of skinned cylinders of freshly caught tuna
- Chinese five spice powder or any aromatic spice or herb you like
- Granulated Sugar
You will need enough salt and sugar mix to cover the fish well. Start by mixing equal quantities of salt and sugar in a bowl and sprinking in 1/2 teaspoon of five spice powder
Line a plastic box that is just big enough to fit the fish cylinders, with cling film letting it drape over the box sides
Spread half the salt, sugar, spice mix in the box
Lay the fish on top so the cyclinders do not touch and cover with the rest of the mixture
Wrap the clingfilm tightly around the whole bundle and place a weight on top. A beer can usually is sufficient but if your fish is bigger you might need to upgrade to something longer!
Place in the fridge for 24 hours then unwrap, rinse and dry
Repeat the whole process at least once more til no more liquid comes out of the fish. You should now have an aromatic, fishy delight that can be served cut very thinly with either soya sauce or wasabi. Kept cool it will last for weeks if the skipper doesn’t get to it. Cheers!
PS: If you don’t know how to fillet tune into cylinders try this video clip