The Angler's Table

Great seafood recipes shared by great chefs

Smoked Tuna Belly

By Yanni-

2 tuna belly fillets about 1.5 pounds each, frozen

2 cups soy sauce

1 cup white granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup hot sauce

1 gallon of water

Brining For The Smoked Tuna Belly

1. Start by adding the soy sauce, white and brown sugar, and finally the hot sauce into a gallon of water. Mix throughly.

2. Immerse the fillets into the brine. Please note, if your fillets are thawed, you must add 4 cups of ice cubes into the brine. Place a small plate on top of the immersed fillets to keep them under the brine during the brining. Brine for 8-10 hours, or overnight.

Developing A Pellicle Skin For The Smoked Tuna Belly

3. Rinse the fillets and then pat them dry. Place on a rack with a small fan positioned one foot away. Allow the fan to dry the fillets for at least 2 hours. This allows the formation of a dry skin to form around the fillets. The skin is referred to as the pellicle skin. This skin absorbs the smoke flavors generated by your smoker. Don’t skip this step!

Smoking Your Tuna Belly

1. Set your smoker between 220-230F. You need to achieve an internal temperature of 130-150F in the thickest part of your fillet. And, depending on the size and thickness of your fillets, this can take anywhere from 1-3 hours. Start checking the internal temperature after one hour of smoking to get a feel of how much time still is required. Good luck!