If you love seafood, you have probably eaten tuna in plenty. But while there are different types of seafood to be enjoyed raw, is tuna one of them? It’s normal to wonder if this delicacy is safe or to avoid it.
Raw tuna steak is safe to eat as long you prepare it properly. In fact, it’s not only highly nutritious but also very appetizing. That’s why most sushi bars serve it.
Still not satisfied with this answer? Most people have reservations about having raw tuna. Even though sushi with tuna inside is a popular dish, you may be uncomfortable eating it.
Let us put your mind at ease by explaining why consuming raw tuna steak is okay and how you can ensure it’s safe for consumption.
Is It Safe to Eat Raw Tuna Steak?
Generally, it’s safe to consume raw tuna steak as long as the contaminants have been eliminated. Most of the time, tuna or any other seafood doesn’t contain disease-causing organisms as long as it thrives in the sea and the fishermen handle it properly after fishing.
Contamination happens when people don’t handle the tuna well between harvesting and consumption. When buying tuna you plan to eat raw, look for pink or bright red flesh, free of discoloration or brown spots. It should also feel steady to the touch and will have a slight smell of the sea.
Is Raw Tuna Steak Healthy?
Raw tuna steak might not be an everyday meal on our tables, but it’s still healthy. Considering that it’s rich in omega-3 and protein, you can be sure it’s a healthy option. In addition, it contains high selenium and low calories and fat. Selenium can protect you against certain types of cancer, such as lung cancer.
What Are the Potential Risks of Eating Raw Tuna Steak?
Despite raw tuna steak being a tasty meal, there are a few potential dangers because of high mercury content and parasitic infections. Pregnant women and individuals with suppressed immune systems should avoid taking raw steak tuna to protect their health.
Raw tuna causes parasitic infections, some of which can be dangerous. The possibility of a parasitic infection because of raw tuna steak will depend on the type of fish and where it was caught.
You can eliminate parasitic organisms from tuna by how you handle it. For instance, freezing the meat before preparing your steak can help eliminate some of the parasites.
High concentrations of mercury can prevent people from enjoying raw tuna steak. Big tuna fish, which feed on small fish, can have high mercury content. The good news is that in low dosages, mercury won’t have much effect on your body.
How Much Raw Tuna Should You Eat?
The amount of raw steak tuna you can eat will depend on you and your diet plan. However, we advise you to reserve this meal on special occasions rather than on a daily basis. Instead of obtaining omega-3 from raw tuna only, get it from other foods.
As we have already established, eating raw tuna comes with several risks, especially for pregnant women, senior adults, and small kids. Unless you are a healthy person, try and avoid taking raw tuna steak regularly.
Is Sushi-Grade Tuna Safe?
No fish, including sashimi-grade or sushi-grade, is 100% guaranteed to be parasite-free. However, sushi-grade tuna is the most suitable and less likely to make anyone sick. Always buy tuna that’s branded sushi-grade. It means that the tuna was caught and frozen immediately.
The flash-freezing process kills the parasites, although not all. This is why people use frozen fish instead of fresh fish. In addition, flash-freezing locks in the fish’s flavor, texture, and taste.
Can You Eat Raw Tuna Steak From the Grocery Store?
You can have raw tuna from the grocery store if it has been labeled sashimi-grade or sushi-grade. This doesn’t necessarily guarantee the fish is 100% free of parasites. However, it means once the fish was caught, it was cleaned and frozen, making it perfect for sashimi or sushi.
What Kind of Tuna Can You Eat Raw?
You can eat any type of tuna, including skipjack, yellowfin, albacore, and bluefin raw. All these are ingredients you’ll find in sushi and sashimi.
Should Tuna Steak Be Raw in the Middle?
Tuna steak needs to be raw in the middle and seared on the outside. These steaks are cuts from fish loin, a lean part with very little fat. When cooked, they can become very dry and unpleasant to taste. Serving the steak while the center remains raw ensures the insides are succulent and tender.
Does Freezing Tuna Help Remove Parasites?
Freezing tuna will not remove all the parasites but reduces them significantly, minimizing the risk of infections. Most restaurants serving raw tuna freeze it first before serving it to customers.
Is Rare Tuna Steak Safe to Eat?
Similarly to beef steak, you can eat tuna steak, whether rare or well done. But when preparing a rare tuna steak, don’t overcook it. The middle should remain pink.
Is Raw Tuna Steak Healthier Than Cooked?
Raw tuna steak is healthier and with more valuable nutrients than overcooked fish. When you overcook tuna, you reduce its nutritional value, particularly omega-3 fatty acids.
What Does Raw Tuna Steak Taste Like?
Contrary to what most people imagine, raw tuna steak doesn’t have a fish taste. Instead, the taste is mild and tender, almost similar to cooked steak. The texture is firm and not chewy, and it smells like the ocean or sea instead of a pungent fishy odor.
Can You Eat Raw Frozen Tuna?
You can eat raw frozen tuna as long as it’s sashimi-grade or sushi-grade. Just as important, handle the tuna properly when removing it from its packaging and placing it in the freezer. Reduce any risk of contamination that can make the fish unsafe to eat.