Aromatic Olive Oil Poached Tuna

, from Issue #58. September, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Aromatic Olive Oil Poached Tuna

This beautifully tender tuna is very versatile and can be served as part of an antipasto, added to a Niçoise salad, or flaked and served over spaghetti along with some of the aromatic oil in which it was cooked.

Serves: 4–6


500 gram piece tuna
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
3 long strips lemon peel
¼ teaspoon each fennel seeds, chilli flakes, black peppercorns
½ cup olive oil


Preheat the oven to 150°C fan bake.

Cut the tuna in half horizontally to create two thinner pieces.

Put the bay leaves in the base of a shallow ovenproof dish just large enough to fit the fish pieces in a single layer, without too much space around them.

Place the tuna on top of the leaves then scatter the remaining ingredients over the top, finishing with the oil. 

Cover and bake for 10 minutes then turn the tuna over. The flesh should have started to go pale a little way up the sides. Cover again and cook for a further 5 minutes. Let the tuna cool in the dish then cover and refrigerate. 

If taking on a picnic, carefully transfer the cooled tuna to a wide necked jar and pour over the oil and aromatics. Seal tightly and store chilled for up to 5 days.  

Cook’s tip: The oil around the tuna will solidify when in the fridge. Remove at least 1 hour before serving.