I grew up thinking tuna came from cans only--an often stringy, cat-food-like fish product. Later I discovered the joy of fresh tuna sushi, sashimi and rare-ish steaks. Poor tuna fish, so tasty to us humans that they risk extinction...I began to wonder if canned tuna should perhaps be banned so maybe there would be more fresh tuna.
Fresh tuna steaks have become expensive however and when I saw these foil-packed 'seared fillets' on half price offer at Tesco--98p, I couldn't help but want to see if one could sate my tuna cravings.
John West claim these are 'restaurant quality', excitingly marinaded fillets. They aren't, they taste like they came out of a packet. But they are much more tasty than any canned tuna I have tried. For starters, the 'lime and cracked black pepper' marinade which can all be poured on whatever you serve the tuna with beats draining all that brine or what-have-you. The marinade gives a vague, packaged taste of pepper and lime, pleasant but not hugely apparent. As with all these things, if you have extra pepper or lime to add, then all the better. The subtlety of the flavouring does mean this tuna is very versatile. What I like best is that although the texture of the fillets (usually 2-4 biggish rectangular lumps in a 142g pack) is a pale reflection of fresh tuna, it can still usually be sliced down the grain into smooth lumps rather than flake and turn to mush like a tinned tuna.
These tuna fillets appear to be primarily for microwave heating, apparently it makes 'the flavours come alive'. I don't have a microwave but have enjoyed them cold, or sometimes slightly warmed by slicing it into chunks and stirring it into ingredients that have just been cooked.
I have found this product very good for quick noodle, rice or couscous salads--cook some noodles/rice/couscous, chop whatever vegetables are around, add seeds, garlic, chilli, ginger, soy sauce/lemon/lime juice, open a packet of this tuna...a very easy, pretty healthy meal or lunch box dinner. Lovely with avocado. I find that one packet is a just-over-adequate portion for one.
I wouldn't buy these packaged tuna fillets for the full price--almost £2--you could get a real tuna steak for that. But when I see them on offer for about £1 (they even turn up in a local pound shop sometimes) I make sure I pick up a few, as their expiry date is more than a year in the future so it's handy to have some in the cupboard.