Longtail Tuna

Thunnus tonggol

Other names: Northern bluefin tuna, bluefin tuna.

Family: Scombridae (mackerels).


This marine-dwelling fish lives in open waters, though sometimes closer to the coast than other Tunas, and is wild-caught. Found mainly in warm temperate and tropical waters, it is not as common as other Tunas and is caught mainly by trolling or as longline bycatch off the northeastern coast.

Season: Available year round.

Size and Weight: Typically 10-15kg and 80-95cm, but can grow to 40kg and 150cm.

Price: Low priced.


Albacore, Bigeye Tuna, Bonito, Mackerels (Atlantic, Blue, Chub, Frigate, Grey, School, Shark, Spanish, Spotted), Mackerel Tuna, Northern Bluefin Tuna, Skipjack Tuna, Slender Tuna, Southern Bluefin Tuna, Wahoo, Yellowfin Tuna.

To Buy:

Usually sold as steaks or cutlets (rarely as sashimi). Look for red to burgundy/brownish flesh (colour varies with cut) that is firm, lustrous and moist without any dull brown markings or oozing water and with a pleasant fresh sea smell.

To Store:

Make sure whole fish is scaled, gilled, gutted and cleaned thoroughly. Wrap steaks and cutlets in plastic wrap or place in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months below -18ºC. Sashimi-grade fish should be eaten within 24 hours of purchase, or else cooked.

To Cook:

Average yield is 70-75%. Has a medium flavour, medium oiliness and moist flesh, which quickly becomes dry if overcooked. The cooked flesh is creamy brown in colour and breaks into large flakes; there are very few bones to worry about. The centre bone of cutlets can be removed and a filling placed in the cavity. Cut thick steaks into serving-size portions to allow even heat penetration. Unsuitable for serving raw or rare unless it is sashimi-grade.

Cooking Methods:

Poach, pan-fry, stir-fry, bake, braise, grill, barbecue, smoke, pickle. The firm flesh holds together well in soups, curries and casseroles and can be cubed for kebabs.

Goes well with:

Anchovies, balsamic vinegar, capers, capsicum, eggplant, garlic, ginger, lemon, lime, mayonnaise, olive oil, soy sauce, tomato, wasabi.


Atlantic Salmon, Marlins, Mackerels, Swordfish, other Tunas, Yellowtail Kingfish.


Sashimi-quality Tunas are imported from New Zealand and other South Pacific countries.


Albacore & Chickpeas in Spiced Yoghurt Sauce > 
Barbecued Bonito Fillet with Tomato, Fennel & Capers >
Tagine of Bonito, Tomato, Chickpeas & Preserved Lemon >
Bonito, White Bean & Tomato Salad with Caper Mayonnaise >