Imagine yourself enjoying your own handcrafted tuna jerky. Rich in color and flavors, and each bite is deeply satisfying. If you’re wondering if it’s hard to make, this new recipe is what Fisherman’s Belly is all about: an easy fish recipe!
All you need is your fresh caught tuna and a smoker. Then, some soy sauce, honey and a little bit of spicy goodness is a jar, called Sambal. My new recipe also teaches you the importance of drying out your jerky so it can be stored at room temperature without the potential of bacterial growth (for more information about bacteria, parasites and your fish, check out Understanding Bacteria & Parasites. Finally, this is a perfect recipe to create on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.
Especially if you have a few beers to drink while your smoker is going to town.
Believe it or not, the San Diego fish counts are full of bluefin tuna. And they are only a day-and-a-half, or overnight trip away! Just imagine fishing for tuna while your pockets are full of homemade tuna jerky. Now that’s called inspiration!
- 2-pounds thinly cut tuna fillets (2-in x 4-in x 1/4-in thick)
- 2 cups of soy sauce
- 3 Tbsp. of honey
- 3 Tbsp. of Sambal
- Prepare the brine by first warming up the soy sauce in your microwave oven for 1-2 minutes. Now add the honey, and Sambal. Whisk vigorously and then allow to cool to room temperature.
- Once cooled, place your cut fillets into a shallow dish and then pour the brine on top. Making sure to cover all the cut fillets. Allow the tuna to marinade in the brine to 2 hours.
- Place the tuna fillets on a rack and then allow the fillets to completely dry out, thereby forming a pellicle skin (this skin allows the smoke flavors to adhere to the fish).
- Smoke your tuna jerky at 200F for 3-4 hours, or until all the moisture is driven out of the fillets. Without any moisture in the fillets, bacteria can’t grow. Which is way you can store “jerky” at room temperature. Enjoy!