Beer-Battered and Fried Albacore Tuna
There are endless variations on this simple recipe. Albacore fries up beautifully with any batter and/or coating: panko, breadcrumbs, tempura. Change up this simple beer batter in any way that you like and serve the crispy tuna slices on a bun, in a wrap or with fries, for traditional fish and chips.
Dipping sauces offer another opportunity to get creative, from traditional tartar sauce to spicy aioli. If you’re short on time, use mayonnaise as your base and add Sriracha, a finely chopped chipotle and some adobo sauce, or fresh herbs and lemon zest.
Makes 3 to 4 servings
- 2 Tre-Fin Day Boat Tuna loins, approximately 1 pound each
- 1 cup all purpose unbleached flour
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1-1/2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 to 2 egg whites (save the yolks to make a homemade aioli for dipping)
- 1-1/2 (approximately) cups beer
- Vegetable oil for frying
Partially defrost the tuna loins overnight, in the refrigerator, or let them sit out (in the packaging) on the kitchen counter for about 1 hour. The fish should still be somewhat frozen when you slice it; albacore, like most fish, cuts more easily and cleanly when it is slightly frozen.
Cut the in 1/2-inch thick slices. Arrange the slices on a plate and allow them to thaw while you prepare the batter.
To prepare the batter, combine the flour, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl. Add the egg whites and mix thoroughly to combine. Slowly add the beer while whisking gently, until the mixture is the desired thickness. (This is really more of a personal preference; we like a relatively thin batter.)
To fry the fish, a deep fryer is best. But since most home cooks don’t have one, a large skillet on the stovetop works just as well. Add about 1/4-inch oil to a large skillet or cast iron pan and heat it to 365 degrees F (185 deg C). If you don’t have a thermometer, you can estimate by dropping 1/2 teaspoonful of batter into the hot oil. If it sizzles on contact without smoking or browning too quickly, it’s just about right.
When the temperature of the oil is right, dip the tuna pieces in the batter and turn them over to coat thoroughly. Let any excess batter drip off before carefully lowering the battered pieces into the hot oil. Let the tuna cook until the batter is deep golden brown color before flipping it over to cook on the other side. When both sides are crispy and brown, remove the pieces from the oil onto a plate lined with a paper towel to drain.