We were gifted a whole tuna last summer. A beautiful beautiful tuna! It took months before we got around to dealing with it (beyond wrapping it whole and putting it in the freezer) and here’s a little tutorial of what we did!
Tuna are born with a built in diagram of how to fillet them, too neat eh!
It’s important to get the skin off right away, and the whole process is easier if the fish is still a little frozen.
Start by cutting along the back, then the belly line, and then by the neck.
See where he cut on the neck? There is a line where you’re supposed to cut on the neck too! Stabbing your knife into the head helps for better grib in the slippery slippery bathtub. (All people fillet tuna in the bathtub, right?) Pulling the skin takes a bit of muscle, but thats why we keep Cowboy around. That and I love him so darn much!
Be sure to have a trusty good helper there for moral support, of course.
You then cut down the middle of the belly, again, there is a line! Then slice them out and really I don’t remember the rest of what he did, he’s the fish cutter, not me!
With any luck, you might end up with fillets like these! This was the first time we had done a tuna, we being used very, very loosely. He trimmed them up more before they went in the smoker, making them look prettier.
We then smoked it in our Little Chief smoker. We love this baby for smoking fish! You can do two regular sized cookie sheets full in it. We do tuna, salmon and trout. Unfortunately, because we’ve done so much fish in it, when I try to do jerky, it ends up smelling like fish, no matter how much I scrub it! Cowboy thought that this smoked tuna was God’s gift to him and practically drools at the thought of taking a chunk out of the freezer to eat!
Oh, and I forgot to mention, I don’t even like eating fish!