Although fresh tuna is catching on, about 99 percent of tuna eaten in the US is canned albacore.
Tuna is canned in water, vegetable oil, or olive oil. Most chefs insist on Italian imported tuna in olive oil in recipes using canned tuna - Salade Nioise or antipasto, for instance.
Fresh tuna ranges in color from lighter albacore to the more common dark yellowtail and bluefin, which resemble raw beef. Like quality beef, tuna is best cooked rare to medium, sometimes only seared on each side. Unlike beef, tuna is virtually fat-free - less than 1 percent by weight.
Fresh tuna freezes very well. Look for a moist, smooth appearance with no trace of a "fishy" smell.
Try grilled tuna topped with your favorite salsa or pesto, or serve it cold as you would canned. Swordfish, mahi-mahi, mako shark, and pompano can usually be substituted for fresh tuna.
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