There are few dishes that are more refreshing, tasty and satisfying in the world of seafood than ahi tuna. Poke bowls, tuna salad, and fresh sashimi sushi are just a few ways this healthy and delicious fish can be enjoyed out at a restaurant or within your home.
Many avid fisherman may be lucky enough to reel in an ahi tuna, and when they do, there is so much meat it must be kept frozen.
Whether you caught your ahi tuna fresh from the ocean, bought it at the store, or were gifted some from a friend who plucked it from the ocean themselves, frozen ahi tuna is a great thing to have in your freezer, no matter how you came across it.
Thawing frozen ahi tuna is a simple, easy task that can be done many ways. Ahi tuna can be defrosted in the refrigerator, under cold water, or with the microwave.
How To Thaw Ahi Tuna
Thawing In The Refrigerator
Defrosting ahi tuna in the refrigerator is a quick and easy task that after the first few steps, you can forget about doing while you go about your day. It does take longer, so be sure to begin thawing about eight to ten hours before you plan to cook and serve your fish.
When defrosting tuna in the refrigerator, it is best to remove it from the vacuum sealed packaging first. This eliminates any chance of bacteria growth within the plastic wrapping.
Place the tuna into plastic wrap and rewrap it tightly. Find a dish that is good to catch any condensation that may occur during defrosting, and place the wrapped tuna into this.
Leave your ahi tuna in the refrigerator for eight to ten hours before cooking or serving. If you do not use it within two days, it may be refrozen for later use.
Do not refreeze fish after thawing with any other method. Refrigerator thawing is the only method that allows you to safely refreeze unconsumed or uncooked ahi tuna.
Thawing With Cold Water
If you don’t have time to wait eight to ten hours, or simply don’t want to, thawing ahi tuna with cold water may be the method for you. This method is quicker, easy, and still preserves the quality of your fish for when you cook it later.
To do so, fill a large bowl or other basin with cold water. Make sure the water level is high enough to fully submerge the amount of fish you plan to defrost.
Place the tuna in a resealable plastic bag and remove any excess air from inside. Be sure not to defrost tuna in the original packaging if it is vacuum sealed as this can cause bacteria growth.
Place the bag or bags of tuna into the water, submerging completely. Allow the tuna to sit for thirty minutes before changing the water to fresh cold water.
Defrost for two hours, changing the water every thirty minutes. This ensures the water remains as cold as possible and does not allow temperatures for bacteria growth.
Once defrosted, cook or serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator for up to two days. DO not refreeze ahi tuna that has been defrosted with cold water.
Thawing In The Microwave
Sometimes we need things thawed as quickly as possible in order to make a meal in a rush or time crunch. When you find that is the case with preparing frozen ahi tuna, consider thawing in the microwave.
While this is not the preferred method, given it may impact the quality of the fish when you cook it, it is a perfectly safe and fast way to get the job done.
When choosing to thaw ahi tuna in the microwave, remove it from the freezer and take off any packaging it may have had on.
Place the ahi tuna on a microwave safe dish, and set your microwave to the fifty percent power level. This will help prevent the tuna from drying out while defrosting.
Cook for a thirty second interval. Flip the tuna over, allowing it to defrost evenly, and cook for another thirty seconds.
Your tuna should be ready to cook after just a minute in the microwave. Do not refreeze tuna that has been thawed in the microwave, though you can store it in the refrigerator for up to two days if needed.
Storing Ahi Tuna
In The Freezer
Ahi tuna can be stored for quite a while to be enjoyed later. When freezing ahi tuna, cooked fish will last for up to three months, while raw frozen fish will be good for three to eight months.
Ahi tuna must be frozen at zero degrees fahrenheit or less for best quality. Raw fish can actually be stored indefinitely at this temperature, but the flavor of the fish will be impacted the longer it is stored.
When freezing ahi tuna be sure it is in a resealable, airtight plastic bag. Try and remove all extra air, and if possible, vacuum sealing is best. This will help eliminate freezer burn and maintain quality.
In The Refrigerator
Refrigerated ahi tuna does not last nearly as long as frozen ahi tuna. If you are looking to only store your tuna for one to two days before consuming, the refrigerator is the way to go. This will eliminate the need to thaw.
If you are looking to store ahi tuna after thawing it and before cooking it, it must be stored in the refrigerator. Here it will also be good for one to two days before cooking.
Ahi tuna is a great item to keep frozen on hand for whenever you are craving it. Ahi tuna is delicious when pan seared, baked, or even raw if the quality of fish allows for it.
No matter how you choose to cook your ahi tuna, it is best to defrost it before doing so. Fish cooks very quickly, so defrosting it beforehand will help ensure the quality remains.
The microwave, refrigerator, and cold water are all foolproof and easy methods that will get the job done.