We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Are Tuna Loins?

By Terrie Brockmann
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
DelightedCooking is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At DelightedCooking, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Tuna, or tunny, loins are the largest cuts of meat that processors cut from a whole tuna fish. There are four loins on each fish: two dorsal loins and two belly loins. Several species of tuna are popular, such as the albacore, yellow fin, and ahi big eye tuna. Depending on the species, processors may label the tuna as solid white or solid light. Some food experts advise that a cook take special care while handling raw or frozen tuna loins, including using thawed fish within two to three days.

The dorsal loins are located on the top part of the fish. Each begins behind the head and continues to the tail, running on each side of the spine. The belly loins are located between the pelvic and anal fins on the lower part of the fish. Like the dorsal loins, there is one on each side of the fish. Generally, processors use chunks of meat for canned tuna unless marked differently, and they use scraps, skin, and other waste to make pet food, especially cat food.

Companies may can tuna loins or sell them fresh or frozen. Many processors prefer to precook the tuna in the whole form because it is easier to skin and debone the cooked tuna. They place the cooked tuna into cans and process it to seal the can. Regulations stipulate that the label must reflect the type of tuna, either solid or chunk and either white or light. Albacore tuna is white meat tuna, and other species, primarily yellow fin and skipjack, are light meat.

Experts suggest using fresh tuna or thawed fresh tuna within two days, especially if the cook is using the tuna for a raw fish dish, such as sashimi or sushi. Some people label their fish as sushi-grade, but there are no standards for this labeling. A buyer should ask the vendor how the fresh tuna loins have been handled. Some processors freeze the tuna loins for seven days at -7°F (-21.7°C) or flash freeze them for 15 hours at -31°F (-35°C) to kill parasites; others do not believe this is necessary and argue that it affects the flavor and texture.

Another tip that food experts give is that rinsing saltwater fish with fresh water may cause the fish to get rubbery and turn brown. Some cooks rinse saltwater fish in salted water, but most experts say that it is not important to rinse tuna loins. When buying fresh fish, the flesh should be firm and glistening. Fish with dull flesh that is falling apart is old and buyers should not purchase it. Experts advise that quick frozen fish is better than bad fresh fish, and generally tuna loins thaw in eight 10 hours in the refrigerator.

Cooks may prepare tuna loins in a variety of ways. Tuna are strong swimmers, and the firm muscular texture of the meat lends itself to pan searing or grilling. Other cooking methods include steaming, baking, and broiling. Often people serve it raw, such as the Oriental sashimi style, or grilled rare. Overcooking the tuna loins often causes them to be dry, and many people believe it adversely affects the flavor too.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By Talentryto — On Aug 02, 2014

Tuna loins are also fabulous on the grill. Just marinade them for about an hour in your favorite mixture, and place them on the grill until they cook to your liking.

By Heavanet — On Aug 02, 2014

My favorite albacore tuna loin recipe is to bake them with a variety of seasonings and vegetables.

First I rinse the loins, even though some cooks say you shouldn't do this to tuna. I have never had any problems with bad textures after rinsing the loins. Next I rub them down with olive oil and herbs and spices. You can use any type of oil and seasonings you prefer, but I like to use olive oil because of its robust flavor. When it comes to herbs and spices, I use a combination of cilantro, thyme, rosemary, oregano, salt, and pepper.

For my next step in this recipe, I place the tuna loins in a pan with about one cup of water. I cut up the vegetables and place them around the fish. Finally, I put the pan in the oven and bake the meal at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.