The dark meat of the tuna will be pink, even when it is fully cooked, and this meat will taste a little like cured ham.
You may use any size of fish, or you may mix different sizes of tuna. All the tuna, regardless of size, may be processed in the same curing container. The sizes are not important, because the amount of cure is measured and applied to each fish, according to its weight.
The Cure and Seasoning for 5 lbs (2.25 kg) of Tuna
- 3 Tbsp. (45 ml) Bradley Maple Cure (Do not use more than this amount.)
- 1 tsp. (5 ml) onion powder
- 1 tsp. (5 ml) garlic powder
- 1 tsp. (5 ml) oregano
- 1 tsp. (5 ml) white pepper
- 1 tsp. (5 ml) paprika
- 4 tsp. (20 ml) Maple Syrup
- 1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml) parsley
- 1 Cup of Water
If the meat weighs either more or less than 5 pounds (2.25 kg), the amount of cure mix applied must be proportional to that weight. For example, if the weight of the meat is 2 1/2 pounds (1.15 kg), then each ingredient, including the Bradley Cure, needs to be cut in half.
- Rinse and clean the fish, and then let it drain in a colander.
- Prepare the proper amount of cure, according to the weight of the fish. (If you are curing more than one fish, prepare the proper amount for each fish.)
- Apply the cure over the fish in a plastic container. Make sure all the fish is submerged.
- Cure the tuna in the refrigerator for at least 2-3 days. Rub all surfaces to redistribute the cure (overhaul) once a day during that period. Set the refrigerator temperature between 34°F and 40°F (2.2°C to 4.4°C).
- At the end of the curing period, rinse the fish very well in cool water, and blot it with paper towels.
- Store it in the refrigerator overnight
Drying and smoking
- The next morning, you will need to set up the smoker to finish drying the tuna. Preheat it to about 140°F (60°C).
- Dry the fish in the smoker at 140°F (60°C).
- After the skin is dry to the touch (about an hour), cold smoke it for 3 hours at 85°F (30°C), or as low a temperature as possible. This will provide a mild smoke flavour. If you like a stronger smoke flavour, smoke the tuna for about 6 hours.
- Hot smoke at 145°F (63°C) until the fish takes on a beautiful reddish-brown color (probably two more hours).
- Refrigerate overnight, or a few days, before putting in bags and freezing to allow the meat to settle.
Note: If the salt taste is too mild, the next time you make this product, add about 1 teaspoon of salt to the ingredients list. If the salt taste is too strong, reduce the amount of Bradley Cure by about 1 teaspoon.