Olive Oil-Poached Albacore with Lemon, Fennel and Garlic

Adapted from Dinner in an Instant by Melissa Clark

The confit process for tuna is simple in a slow cooker, Instant Pot, or pressure cooker. Poaching the fish slowly in flavorful olive oil results in a moist and delicious piece of tuna that can be served on the rare side, as an entree, or slightly more well done for tuna salads, tonnato or a traditional salade Nicoise. You can cook the tuna in advance of serving and store it in the poaching oil; it will keep beautifully for a week or more.



  • 2 tablespoons + 1 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary or sage leaves
  • 1 lemon, zested and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1-1/2 pounds albacore, sliced into 1-inch thick medallions
  • Coarse salt, for serving
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


    Combine 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, rosemary, lemon zest, garlic, salt, pepper and fennel seeds in a medium bowl. Add the tuna, toss to combine, cover and marinate for one hour or up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.

    Add one cup of the water to the pressure cooker and place the steamer rack inside. Transfer the tuna to a 1-quart ceramic or glass dish (don’t use metal) allowing for space between the pieces. Add olive oil to cover the pieces, cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and place on the steamer rack. Cook on low pressure for 5 minutes for a rare center, or 6 to 7 minutes to cook through. Release the pressure manually, remove the lid and let cool in the pot for 20 minutes.

    After 20 minutes, lift the dish out of the pressure cooker and place if on a wire rack. Remove the foil and use a slotted spoon to transfer the tuna to a serving platter. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and serve with lemon wedges