Species Information

Yellowfin Tuna

Tuna are large migratory fish that travel in dense shoals. Yellowfins are fished in tropical waters and are widely canned as "light tuna". The Hawaiian name, ahi, means "fire".

Commercial fisheries catch yellowfin tuna with encircling nets (purse seines) and with longlines. The fish are mainly sold in frozen or canned form, but are also popular as sashimi. Yellowfin is often served seared or rare.

Cooking & Handling

All tuna quickly deteriorates, especially once cut into steak portions. Refrigerate (preferably uncut, rather than as steaks), covered with crushed ice, up to 1 day.

Yellowfin is low in saturated fat and sodium and is a very good source of protein, thiamin, selenium, and vitamin B6.

Substitute darker tuna for any beef steak recipes, lighter tuna for veal or chicken recipes.

Flavors that work well with yellowfin are anchovy, avocado, capers, celery, chiles, demi-glace, fennel, garlic, ginger, lemon, mango, mayonnaise, olive oil, onion, orange, rice wine, scallion, sesame, shallot, soy sauce, tomato, wasabi and white wine.

Cooking Methods

Bake, Broil, Grill, Sauté, Steam

Global Supply

France, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Philippines, South Korea, Spain, United States, Taiwan

Seasonal Availability

Fresh and frozen available year-round.

Fresh product is available year-round, though supplies are often more abundant during summer months.

Did You Know?

Yellowfin tuna are a popular sport fish in many parts of their range and are prized for their speed and strength when fought on rod and reel as well as for their table qualities.

Scientific Name

Thunnus albacares

Market Name


Common Names

Yellowfin tuna, pacific yellowfin, ahi, "light meat" tuna


Grouper, swordfish, mako shark, other tunas

Raw Characteristics

  • long, bright yellow dorsal fin and yellow stripe down their steel-blue backs bright red meat
  • fat is desirable, as more fat means more flavor
  • market weight 3–6 lbs

Cooked Characteristics

  • mild, meaty flavor
  • brown to grayish-tan meat
  • large, moist flakes
  • fir+N6m texture
  • +N25


French: albacore
German: gelbflossenthun
Italian: tonno albacora
Japanese: kihada
Spanish: rabil