Albacore Tuna Story

An abundance of Albacore awaits us in Half Moon Bay.

An abundance of Albacore awaits us in Half Moon Bay.

We’re doing a little cross-promotion this week with our FishLine app as we’re having Grilled Albacore Tuna for this week’s tailgate.  Dan went to Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay a little while ago and bought a whole Albacore.  He then went to Princeton Seafoods (one of our FishLine sponsors) and had them carve up the Tuna for our dining pleasure tomorrow.  Here’s the whole story.

Fresh Albacore, Right Off The Boat

I was wondering what I might bring to our Cal vs. Ohio State Tailgate Party, when the most positively synergistic option came to our minds: Fish!  You see, Joe & I have this excellent mobile app called FishLine, that shows you where to find fresh, local, sustainable seafood; and it doesn’t get any more fresh than right off the fishing boat at the harbor!

Mid-September is the peak of Albacore (tuna) season, and there are plenty of fish available.  I checked our FishLine app, and I could see that there were a few fishermen selling Albacore for $4.00/lb.  That’s a steal!  I went to Barry Day, who operates the F/V (Fishing Vessel) Rosella out of Pillar Point Harbor, just North of Half Moon Bay.

Capt. Barry Day of the F/V Rosella, with our tuna

Capt. Barry Day of the F/V Rosella, with our tuna

Barry pulls one of his fish out of the ice. It’s 14 lbs, so I hand Barry $60 in cash, and he comes back with a little change.

It's a 14-pounder, just caught yesterday.

It’s a 14-pounder, just caught yesterday.

When the fishermen sell off the boats, they’re only allowed to sell whole fish — they can’t cut them.  However, the guys at Princeton Seafood’s Fish Market are so good — and fast — at cutting fish that I  can’t justify taking it home & fighting with it.  It’s just $5 ($7.50 for bigger fish), and in the time it would take me to sharpen the knife & make the first cut, they’re done.

My assistant carries the tuna to Princeton Seafood

My assistant carries the tuna to Princeton Seafood

Randy, the seafood market manager, and Ricky, who cut our fish, are pros at this.  Ricky loined the tuna — separating the meat into four loins.  Our 14-lb Albacore is now about 7 lbs of solid tuna meat.  You can keep the head if you want (it’s great for soups or stews), but today I decline.

Ricky, from Princeton Seafood's Fish Market, finishes the cut for the 2nd fillet.

Ricky, from Princeton Seafood’s Fish Market, finishes the cut for the 2nd fillet.

Ricky hands me a bag with my tuna loins and plenty of ice, I hand him $5, and we’re on our way.  Always bring a cooler when you come to the harbor, especially if you live more than a few miles away!

When we get home, we light the BBQ and make the marinade, because one of the loins is going to be our dinner tonight!  Actually, quite a bit of that loin became our shiro maguro (white tuna) sashimi appetizer!  We do this whenever we buy Albacore off the boat.  The taste is sensational — close to the hamachi (yellowtail tuna), but even fresher than you’d get in a restaurant.  We dip it in the marinade, and the boys & I quickly decide that we need more sashimi, and we consider not cooking any of it!  It’s great to feast on ~$30 worth of sashimi, and still have almost all of the fish left!

It's hard to stop, but it's so good!

It’s hard to stop, but it’s so good!

It’s getting way too late, so I’ll add the pictures of our Albacore on the grill in the morning.

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