Tuna in olive oil

Tuna in olive oil. A traditional method of preservation.

Little by little winter is coming, and traditionally the houses began to prepare their pantry to face the winter.

The products and preservation methods brought to the peninsula by other villages, such as the Romans with Salting and olive oil, or the Arabs with pickling or adobos. All these influences made it possible for Spanish families to learn how to keep their fresh products longer and then fill the pantry to afford the cold winter.

This week I received a gift from the fish market for cooking it on my blog. Thanks, Eugenio, it is fantastic.


To be able to conserve so much quantity today, we have freezers and advanced preservation techniques. But in times past, how did they do it?

Well, today I'm going to show you the traditional way to do it:

Tuna in olive oil.


Extra Virgin Olive oil Arbequina 1 L approx

Tuna 750 g

Water 1 L

Sea Salt 30 g

A Bay leave (optional)


This recipe consists of three main steps:

Cutting and first cooking

  • Clean the piece of tuna, removing the black part of blood, to avoid sour flavours.
  • Once clean, cut the tuna into logs as high as your jars. In the photo, you can see how I have done it.

Fresh tuna

  • On the other hand, put the water with the salt in a  pot, add the tuna pieces, and boil over low heat for about 15 min.

Tuna in olive oil

  •  Remove it from the water and cool it down in the fridge on absorbent paper to dry them as best as possible.

Tuna in olive oil

Jars Sterilisation.

  •  Place the glass jars and their lids in a pot. Cover them with water, and boil them for approximately twenty minutes.
  • Let the water cool down with the jars inside, and then take them out to let them dry on a rack or a dry cloth. Do the same operation with the lids.
  •  Preserve upside down to fill them later.

Tuna in olive oil

Cooked tuna with olive oil and bain-marie.

  • Once the tuna is cold and dry, retrieve our glass jars. Cover the base of each one with the Arbequina olive oil, and then introduce the tuna logs in the jar, in the way that they fit the best possible.
  •  Finish filling each jar with olive oil until it covers all the pieces, leaving approximately 1 cm at the mouth of the jar. Close them well with the lids.

Tuna in olive oil

  •  Place a kitchen cloth at the bottom of a pot to prevent them from breaking or splitting during cooking.
  •  Put the jars with the tuna and oil and cover them entirely with water.

Tuna in olive oil

  •  When it starts to boil, we will calculate another 30 minutes of cooking over low heat.
  •  Turn off the heat and let the cans cool down in the water for another 15 minutes.
  •  Take out and dry the jars, and put them upside down on a cloth so that the emptying process ends.

Tuna in olive oil

  • After a couple of days, retrieve the jars and check that they have not lost any oil. Then your canned tuna in oil will be ready.

Tuna in olive oil

My advice if you make this recipe are: Store your tuna jars in dark places to avoid oxidation.

Pre-freeze the fresh tuna for approximately five days before cooking.

Consume preferably in a month after preparation.

Keep the tuna jars in the fridge.

Here you have an idea of what you can prepare with this beautiful product that I have made today.

Tuna salad

Avocado, Red onion, Tomato, Coriander, Garlic, salt and TUNA IN OLIVE OIL.

Have a tasty day!

7 Ratings | Rating: 4.0 out of 5
Chef H. Delgado Ebook

I’m Chef H. Delgado

It is a pleasure for me to invite you to discover the best dishes and ingredients of Spanish cuisine. Receive my best Spanish recipes via e-mail

Latest entries of my blog

Romesco sauce recipe

Authentic Romesco Sauce Recipe: A Taste of Catalonia

Today, I'm going to show you how to make a delicious and different sauce, a symbol of Catalan cuisine. This sauce made with tomatoes, garlic, and nuts, is so irresistible that you'll want to dip everything in it.

Read more
Peas and ham

Cooking Spring: Fresh Peas with Ibérico Ham and Fried Egg Recipe

I bring you a traditional dish in Spanish households that exquisitely combines flavours and nutrients. The smoky touch of Ibérico ham with the softness and sweetness of the fresh seasonal peas, creates an amazing combination of flavours.

Read more
Patatas a la Importancia

Spanish Potatoes Stew Recipe, Ingenuity in Times of Hunger

Never before have potatoes been given so much importance as in this recipe. I say this not only because these potatoes are incredibly delicious, but also because the Spanish name for this recipe is; "Patatas a la Importancia".

Read more
Glass of Asturian Cider

Cider Culture in Asturias: Tradition, Crafting, and Festive Customs

Asturias, one of Spain's lushest and most picturesque regions, is home to a delicious drink that is more than a mere drink. In Asturias, cider is interwoven with the fabric of its people, culture, and history.

Read more
Fava beans and octopus stewes

Stewed Broad Beans with Octopus and an Oriental Twist

I present a traditional recipe from northern Spain. A delectable stew renowned in the Asturias region called “ Fabes con Pulpo”. But this time, I've given an umami essence by simmering the fava beans with Kombu seaweed, Nori, and an additional texture with the inclusion of wood ear mushrooms.

Read more
Fennel and sausages stew

Fennel and Chorizo Stew Recipe

I present to you a delightful and comforting soup, perfect for tackling chilly winter days. This fennel and chorizo stew is a culinary gem that has stood the test of time, passed down through generations in the Mediterranean region of Spain, particularly in the beautiful region of Andalusia.

Read more
Chef H. Delgado Ebook
Chef H. Delgado Ebook

Subscribe now and get a free copy of my first e-book

The selection of these 12 old recipes of humble origin tries to show the more representatives products of my country. Enjoy!