By Warren Cameron
From mainstream to upscale, tuna is one of the most popular and fastest growing sales items with consumers at both retail and foodservice restaurants. It’s hard to believe that at the start of the 20th century, tuna was a relatively unheard of source of protein in North America. But with the introduction of new fishing technologies, it quickly became a common ingredient, albeit from a tin. How things have changed since the humble tuna sandwich!
Thanks to the popularity of sushi, this variety of fish is in demand more than ever. The perfect takeaway food, sushi has become as commonplace as the hot dog or hamburger, found practically anywhere — restaurants, QSRs and even the airport and local grocery store.
The latest hot trend for tuna is poke (pronounced po-kay). Similar to sushi or South American ceviche, poke is a food trend that’s taken the West coast by storm and it’s quickly moving east. Renowned in Hawaiian cuisine, poke is a marinated raw fish salad – a mix of raw bite-sized cubes of seafood, often ahi tuna, in a soy-based marinade served on a bed of rice or greens. But chefs have given the classic Hawaiian dish a modern twist. These days you can find the raw ahi tuna served over a bed of kale or quinoa with a myriad of toppings that are a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. These modern pokes are proving to be popular, health-oriented, tasty, protein-packed options for a lunch or dinner that’s definitely a step up from the salad and noodle bowl trends of recent years.
Tapping into all of these trends, tuna from top sushi-quality supplier Anova Food provides operators with a wide variety of convenient formats, including steak, loin, saku block, seared or ground, and now pre-cut poke cubes. Available year-round, Anova yellowfin tuna is sashimi grade. The meat is rich in colour and flavourful, pairing well with many ingredients. It is great for grilling and is often served seared or rare. It can also be baked, broiled, sautéed and even steamed, lending itself to many recipes.
Low in fat and high in omega-3, tuna steaks are a great alternative to beef steaks. Anova’s Seared Ahi Tuna is perfectly seared on the exterior and ready to serve. Starting with a premium quality, sashimi grade block, the meat is already seasoned with cracked black pepper and garlic, seared and sliced. Available in convenient 3 oz. vacuum packed portions, simply thaw and add to an appetizer, salad or entrée for perfect portions every time.
About the author:
Warren Cameron is National Director of Foodservice Sales for Export Packers Company. Export Packers Foodservice is the exclusive Canadian distributor of sustainably sourced, wild-caught Anova® yellowfin tuna. For more information, visit www.oceanjewelseafood.com.