BUYING and COOKING ALBACORE
Wild Pacific Albacore is a premium tuna, caught in the waters off California, Oregon, and Washington between June and October. Caught using an environmentally conscious hook-and-line method (troll-caught), it’s an excellent choice for those who appreciate quality seafood. Fresh, frozen, and gourmet custom-canned Wild Pacific Albacore is available year-round at quality retailers. See our BUYING page for details on how and where to buy fresh local albacore.
Wild Pacific Albacore is designated a BEST CHOICE by Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch® program. Pacific albacore can be found on the menu at some of America’s best restaurants, and it’s also quick and easy to cook at home.
Fresh wild albacore can be purchased in season from the following retailers:
- Whole Foods Market
- Santa Monica Seafood
- New Seasons Market
- PCC Natural Markets
- Monterey Fish Company
- Natural Grocers
- Sunflower Farmers Market
- Earth Fare
- Real Food Company
- Paradise Foods
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you currently stock Pacific troll-caught albacore and we’ll add you to our list.
Buying directly from fishermen
During the season, Wild Pacific Albacore is available fresh off the boats! Visit the Oregon Albacore Commission’s website for current Oregon landings, and check out our BUYING page for details on how and where to buy fresh local albacore.
Premium Canned Albacore
This is NOT your average canned tuna! Hand-packed and cooked just once so it retains all its flavor and nutrients, this is nothing like the standard canned tuna you buy in the grocery store. Once you try U.S. custom-canned albacore, you’ll never go back to your old brand!
Check out our BUYING page for a selection of premium West Coast brands. Look for these and others at your local market – make sure the label says “U.S. troll-caught” or “product of the U.S.”
A note on sustainability
The West Coast troll/pole albacore fishery is certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and earns a “Best Choice” rating in the Monterey Bay Aquarium‘s Seafood Watch Guide.
Fresh albacore has a mild to medium flavor with firm flesh and large flakes. When cooked, it has a steak-like texture but is less dense than yellowfin or bigeye tuna. Raw albacore is soft and should be handled carefully to avoid bruising. Wild Pacific Albacore has a higher concentration of Omega-3s than other albacore, which gives it a rich yet mild flavor.
Purchasing and handling tips
- Avoid any fish with a strong “fishy” odor; select albacore that looks moist with no signs of drying on the edges.
- Choose cuts with a uniform color, which may range from light beige to rosy pink. Avoid cuts with bruises that appear as red or brown marks in the flesh.
- If possible, buy frozen albacore when it’s still frozen. If it’s been thawed, ask when and how it was defrosted.
- Always thaw fish and seafood slowly, in the coldest part of a refrigerator. Whole frozen albacore will take up to two days to thaw; other cuts take 8 hours or less.
- Fresh or thawed albacore should be placed in moisture-proof packs and stored in the refrigerator at 32-35F. Plan to use within 1 or 2 days.
Filleting a fresh whole albacore
If you buy a whole albacore tuna, and you’re handy with a fillet knife and don’t have a pro at the docks fillet it for you, here’s how to do it yourself:
Cooking with fresh albacore
Do not overcook albacore! For moist, flavorful albacore, cook it to medium-rare, removing from the heat while still pink in the center (internal temperature of 140F). Check our RECIPES page for menu ideas, or browse the collection of recipes online at the Oregon Albacore Commission website, or this recipe collection from Sunset Magazine.
A delicious, versatile and healthy choice
It’s easy to include more heart-healthy fish in your family’s diet with Wild Pacific Albacore.
Whether you’re buying fresh albacore steaks or gourmet custom-canned, Wild Pacific Albacore is a delicious addition to any meal. Add grilled or canned albacore to salads or pasta for a healthy lunch, or stir-fry albacore slices with vegetables for a quick dinner. Albacore loins and steaks can be marinated and grilled on the barbecue, added to a seafood soup, or made into a healthy burger patty. Custom-canned albacore is cooked just once in the can to retain all its natural flavor – no need to add tablespoons of mayonnaise! Mix with lemon, tomatoes, beans, capers, olives, onion, eggs, or avocado for a delicious tuna salad or sandwich without the added fat.
Our RECIPES section has a collection of tasty recipes for you to try.
With its firm flesh and mild flavor, albacore is perfect for grilling, marinating, poaching, broiling, smoking, and canning, even served raw as sashimi.