As sometimes happens after a bang-up fishing trip, last night, we had a “tuna party” at our house. And the main attraction wasn’t just bluefin tuna – it was the HEAD. Check this out:

The best part of the bluefin? If you need a recipe, save the head.

The best part of the bluefin? If you need a recipe, save the head.

Yeah, that’s a full-sized roaster pan this thing is perched on top of. The head barely fit into the oven (I had to cut it down in several places to get it in) and weighed about 40 pounds. What’s truly amazing is just how much meat comes out of the numerous cavities in the head – and each different section has its own unique taste and consistency. This head fed about two dozen people, and there wasn’t one person who didn’t rave about it! So the next time you catch a tuna fish, don’t be so quick to throw the head into the trash. Instead, cut it free and follow this recipe which is from my cookbook, Rudow’s Recipes for Cooking your Catch (available at, in the non-fiction section. There are plenty of other unique &  interesting recipes in the book!!)

A quick background, before we get started: I, too, used to toss the head. But one day I took a Japanese doctor (who was in the US on an exchange program) out for a day of fishing. We had a great time, and came home with several tunas in the box. As I cleaned them at the end of the day, he watched. And when I rolled the carcass into the trash barrel, he cried out “Oh no, you throw away best paht!” I fished out the head, cleaned it up for him, and asked him to e-mail me his tuna head recipe. That turned out to be a great move – it truly is the very best paht!

Yukihiko’s Toro Gama Zitate

1. Make tuna sauce by mixing 6 cups soy sauce, 3 cups water, 2 cups mirin, 2 cups brown sugar, and 4 minced garlic cloves, in a large saucepan. Simmer until reduced by 1/3.

2. Add 1/2 tuna sauce and 1/2 water to a pot, and bring to a boil; insert the tuna head and steam for 1/2 an hour.

3. Remove tuna head and place in oven, set to 350-degrees. Baste with tuna sauce, and bake 1/2 an hour or until browned.

 - Yukihiko says the eyeballs are the very best… but if you ask me, the collar and cheeks are impossible to beat!