Yellowfin Tuna (Ahi)

Yellowfin Tuna Flavor Scale
 Flavor
 Oil
 Texture

Fresh Yellowfin Tuna (Ahi) is a delicious fish which lends itself best to grilling or searing cooking applications. It is best served as sushi or cooked rare to medium-rare. Over-cooked tuna is “dog food”…tough and tasteless like eating cardboard.

Yellowfin Tuna (Ahi) Flavor Profile

Yellowfin Tuna has a medium-mild flavor with very firm texture.  Compared to other Tunas it is less flavorful than Bigeye but more flavorful than Albacore.  The flesh is deep red while raw, is often used for sashimi, and is best not cooked well-done as it looses flavor and becomes like cardboard.

Tuna Grading

Tuna Grading is as follows:
No. 1 “Sashimi-grade” is the best, being the freshest and having the highest fat content.
Sub-grades of No. 1 Sashimi include: #1++ (best), #1+, #1
No. 2 “Grill-grade” is next best. No. 3 and No. 4 are lesser quality.
Sashimi Grade #1++
raw Ahi Sashimi #1++
Sashimi Grade #1+
raw Ahi Sashimi #1+
Sashimi Grade #1
raw Ahi Sashimi #1
Sashimi Grade #2
raw Ahi #2photos by www.honolulufish.com

 

Typical Cooking Methods

  • Bake
  • Broil
  • Deep-Fry
  • Grill
  • Poach
  • Saute
  • Smoke
  • Steam
  • Sushi

Alternate Names

Ahi (Hawaiian). Note: Bigeye Tuna is also sometimes called Ahi, but the term usually applies to Yellowfin.

Description (Thunnus albacares)

Ahi - Yellowfin TunaImage from Wikipidia- licensing info

Yellowfin Tuna have a distinctive yellow dorsal fin and yellow strip along its sides. The second dorsal fin and the, as well as the finlets between those fins and the tail, are bright yellow, giving this fish its common name. The pectoral fins are also longer than the related bluefin tuna, but not as long as those of the albacore. The main body is very dark metallic blue, changing to silver on the belly, which has about 20 vertical lines. It can grow to 300 Lbs but average commercial size is 8-20 Lbs.

Storage & Handling Recommendations

Store fresh loins/steaks as close to 33° as possible to maintain highest quality and shelf life. Although ice can be used, the flesh should be tightly wrapped in plastic and placed in perforated pans. The flesh should never come in direct contact with ice or water as this will discolor the meat, leech the oil content, and decrease shelf-life. Tightly wrapping in plastic will also slow the natural oxidation of the meat color which fades from a bright color to a darker, more opaque color.

Typical Wholesale Products

Rounds
H&G
Loins-Skin/On Bloodline-In (12 – 20 lb Avg.)
Loins-Skin/Off Bloodline-Out
Steaks

Fresh Yellowfin Tuna (Ahi) Availability

Fresh seafood availability chart: green areas show peak availability, light green show limited availability, gray indicates not available fresh. Frozen available all year long.

JanFebMarAprMayJuneJulyAugSeptOctNovDec

 

Ahi (Yellowfin Tuna) Butchering Yield Percentage and Recovery

ItemTo Skin/On Untrimmed LoinsTo Skin/Off B/L- Out LoinTo Skin/Off SteaksTo SashimiNotes
Whole Head/Off gutted70%55%50%35%13% for Poke and 2-piece steaks. Taken from outside edge of the eye.
Skin/On Loins, Blood Line-In83%72%If you have additional yield info on this fish please leave a comment below.
Yield % varies according to a number of factors including: size of fish, season, sex, and the skill of your fishmonger.

 

How to Fillet Ahi Tuna

Here’s a tutorial video of how to break down an Ahi into loins. Notice how clean the carcass is after he finishes!

Range & Habitat

Yellowfin Tuna are found in warm waters all over the world. In US markets the best Yellowfin are harvested from southern California, Hawaii, Mexico, the Gulf of Mexico and Florida.

Yellowfin Tuna Sustainability Info

NameAlternate NamesCatch MethodCatch
Region
Seafood
Watch
Ocean
Wise
Sea
Choice
Mercury
Concerns
Yellowfin Tuna, Thunnus albacaresAhi, Canned White Tuna, MaguroWild – Handline, Pole, TrollUS Atlantic & Pacific, Gulf of MexicoGreen-icon_20.pngGreen-icon_20.pngGreen-icon_20.pngunknown
Western PacificYellow-icon_20.pngGreen-icon_20.pngGreen-icon_20.png
Worldwide except US Atlantic & PacificYellow-icon_20.pngn/aYellow-icon_20.pngModerate
Indian OceanYellow-icon_20.pngRed-Dot_20.pngYellow-icon_20.png
Wild – LonglineUS Atlantic,  HawaiiYellow-icon_20.pngRed-Dot_20.pngYellow-icon_20.png
Worldwide except US Atlantic & PacificRed-Dot_20.pngRed-Dot_20.pngRed-Dot_20.png
Wild – FAD Purse SeineWorldwideRed-Dot_20.pngRed-Dot_20.pngRed-Dot_20.png
Wild – Unassociated Purse SeineWestern PacificRed-Dot_20.pngRed-Dot_20.pngGreen-icon_20.png
Atlantic, Eastern & Central Pacific, Indian OceanRed-Dot_20.pngRed-Dot_20.pngYellow-icon_20.png
Disclaimer: The sustainability info above is accurate to the best of our knowledge. However, each program randomly updates their information without our knowledge. We therefore recommend that you verify the current accuracy of this information.
Green-icon_20.png = Best Choice/Recommended     Yellow-icon_20.png = Good Alternative     Red-Dot_20.png = Avoid/Not RecommendedUpdated
August 2013

 

Nutritional Information

based upon a 6 oz (171 grams) raw edible serving.

* Calories/Calories from fat185
* Protein grams40.1
* Fat grams1.5
* Saturated fat grams.3
* Sodium milligrams63
* Cholesterol milligrams77
* Omega-3 grams.3
more Yellowfin Tuna Ahi nutrition

 

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Jada Tullos Anderson

Hey guys – thanks for the great site. While googling, I saw your tables on Scribd and wanted to make sure y’all were aware and ok that they’re up there: https://www.scribd.com/document/327526482/Fish-Fillet-Yield-Percentages

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