Confit ahi is really simple to make and so much better than its grocery store counterpart. It is also a great way of preserving fish if you’ve found yourself with more than expected.
The ingredient list is very simple, tuna, black pepper, lemon, rosemary, salt, sugar, and olive oil. I portioned this ahi into 4-5 ounce blocks, but you could leave it whole or cut into even smaller portions. For more information on portioning ahi please see my post Breaking Down Half an Ahi Tuna. If changing the portion size you will need to adjust the curing time (longer for bigger pieces, shorter for smaller pieces). Simply mix the sugar and salt and generously season the ahi. Cure it in the refrigerator for 6-12 hours. This process adds flavor to your fish and helps to draw out excess moisture. Excess moisture aids in bacterial growth and will make your ahi spoil faster. When the ahi has finished curing, gently rinse the fish and dry on paper towels (again moisture). While the fish is drying, I zest the lemons and gather the rest of the ingredients. I like to use a potato peeler to slice large pieces of lemon zest from the fruit. If necessary, I use a paring knife to remove any of the white pith as it will add bitterness to your dish. Once the fish is dry, place the fish in a shallow pot in an even layer. It’s not a problem if you can’t fit it in one layer, but you may have to add more oil to the recipe to make sure the fish is completely covered. Add all other ingredients to the pot and place it on the stove. Heat over medium heat just until it starts to simmer, then turn down to medium-low to low. The oil should not get above 180 degrees and is ideal around 170 degrees. Cook for 30 minutes or until fish is cooked through. Pull the fish from the oil and strain out all other ingredients. Let the fish and the oil cool separately. Once cool place fish and oil in an airtight container or jar. The ahi will need to be completely covered with the oil to prevent spoilage. The confit will keep in the fridge for at least 2 weeks. If you would like recipes using the confit ahi and the oil please see my other posts below.
- 1.5 lbs Fresh Ahi Tuna
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 each lemon zest
- 1/2 cup Extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp black peppercorn
- 1 sprig rosemary
- Mix the salt and sugar together. Cut tuna into 4-5 ounce portions and sprinkle all over with mixture. Refrigerate for 6-12 hours.
- Rinse and dry the tuna. Place in a shallow pot in one layer. Add lemon zest, peppercorn, rosemary and olive oil. Fish must be completely covered with oil.
- Heat tuna on medium heat until just simmering, then reduce heat to medium low and cook 30 minutes or until fish is fully cooked.
- Remove tuna from pot to cool. Strain oil and let cool.
- When cooled, place tuna and oil in an airtight container or jar. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.