Thunnus alalunga

Other names: Albacore tuna.

Family: Scombridae (mackerels).


Available wild-caught, it is a free-swimming marine fish found in open ocean around the Australian coast except from Darwin to the tip of Cape York Peninsula (usually in waters above 13ºC). Caught mainly by longline as bycatch of larger Tunas, although it has also been targeted for sale to canneries in recent years.

Season: Available year round.

Size and Weight: Commonly 3-22kg and 50-90cm, but can grow to 55kg and 127cm.

Price: Medium priced.


Bigeye Tuna, Bonito, Frigate Mackerel, Longtail Tuna, Mackerel Tuna, Northern Bluefin Tuna, Skipjack Tuna, Southern Bluefin Tuna, Wahoo, Yellowfin Tuna and other Mackerels.

To Buy:

Sold whole, but more commonly as cutlets or steaks and sometimes as smoked fillets. In whole fish look for lustrous skin, firm flesh, and a pleasant, fresh sea smell. In cutlets, steaks and fillets, look for red, firm, lustrous, moist flesh without any dull brown markings or oozing water and with a pleasant fresh sea smell.

To Store:

Make sure whole fish is gutted and cleaned thoroughly. Wrap whole fish, fillets, cutlets and steaks in plastic wrap or place in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze whole fish for up to 6 months, and fillets, cutlets or steaks for up to 3 months, below -18ºC.

To Cook:

Average yield is 70-75%. Has a mild flavour, low oiliness and dark red-brown, medium-firm textured flesh with large flakes and few bones. It tends to dry out quickly if overcooked. The centre bone of cutlets can be removed and a filling placed in the cavity.

Cooking Methods:

Poach, pan-fry, stir-fry, bake, braise, grill, barbecue, smoke, pickle. Best wrapped in foil or banana leaves if baking or barbecuing, to prevent it drying out. The firm flesh holds together well in soups, curries and casseroles and can be cubed for kebabs.

Goes well with:

Balsamic vinegar, black pepper, char-grilled vegetables (such as eggplant, capsicum and zucchini), chilli, curry pastes, garlic, herbs, lemon, lime, olive oil.


Mackerels, Striped Marlin, Swordfish, Tunas.


Canned from Europe and Asia.


Albacore & Chickpeas in Spiced Yoghurt Sauce >