My Instant Pot tuna confit takes a few minutes to make and the result is tender, melt in your mouth tuna that remains moist for days.
One thing I love about living in San Diego is having access to really fresh seafood. We go to the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market every Saturday that I’m not working to get the catch of the day from local fishermen. I can get sashimi grade albacore and ahi tuna for $8-10 per pound, a fraction of what the grocery stores charge. With COVID-19, the price of my favorite canned tuna, Ortiz, has become quite expensive. It’s more affordable to make my own tuna confit instead of purchasing it. I was so excited to find an Instant Pot tuna confit recipe from Melissa Clark. With the help of the Instant Pot, the tuna is gently poached in olive oil and results in moist and melt in your mouth tuna that will make you forget canned tuna ever existed!
- Tuna: for making tuna confit, use either albacore, yellowtail, or skipjack. The key is using the freshest tuna you can find. The best way to check for freshness is by the smell and touch – it should be odorless, firm, and moist. For this recipe I used albacore tuna.
- Herbs: for flavoring I used rosemary but thyme, oregano, or sage is a good substitute. The only thing I wouldn't skip is the garlic. It adds a beautiful note to the tuna confit.
- Olive oil: use a quality olive oil. You don't need anything extra fancy.
What is tuna confit
Confit is a traditional French cooking method of preserving anything from protein to vegetables and fruits in any liquid. With tuna confit, the tuna is gently poached in olive oil and becomes incredibly moist and tender.
Tips for making tuna confit in the Instant Pot
- Cut the tuna about 1 inch thick.
- Marinate the tuna overnight for the best flavor.
- Use a baking dish big enough to hold all tuna pieces and oil to cover them.
- Cover the dish tightly with foil to prevent condensation from dripping on the poaching liquid.
- Cook the tuna on Low Pressure for the best taste.
What to do with tuna confit
Once the tuna confit is done, it can go into a variety of dishes. Tuna confit is perfect for the classical French tuna nicoise salad or pan bagnat (Provençal tuna sandwich). Go Italian and make the white bean and tuna salad (fagioli e tonno). Make it simple with a weeknight dinner with tuna casserole or tuna pasta. My favorite way of eating tuna confit is piling flaked tuna confit on slices of toasted sourdough with pickled onion and a drizzle of the confit olive oil. The possibilities are endless!
This easy yet impressive Instant Pot tuna confit will have you forget even those olive oil-soaked tins of tuna from Spain. The tuna is delicious with a melt in your mouth texture and remains moist for days!
Instant Pot Tuna Confit
- 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ cups extra virgin olive oil for covering
- 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
- 6 garlic cloves, smashed
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 lb albacore tuna, cut into 1 inch thick pieces
- In a medium bowl, combine oil, rosemary, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add tuna pieces and toss to combine. Cover and marinate overnight or up to 24 hours.
- Pour 1 cup of water into the pressure cooker and place steamer rack inside.
- Transfer tuna pieces and marinade to a 1 quart ramekin. Add enough olive oil to cover the tuna.
- Cover the ramekin tightly with aluminum foil.
- Cook on LOW pressure for 5 minutes.
- Release the pressure manually, remove lid, and let it cool for 10 minutes inside the pot.
- Lift the ramekin out of the pressure cooker and place it on a wire rack. Remove the foil.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer the tuna to a serving platter if using right away. Save the oil and use it to drizzle on bread, pasta, roasted vegetables, or for cooking.
- If not using right away, transfer the tuna and olive oil to an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for a week.