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What is White Tuna?

The popular fish used in sushi and other meals is white tuna, commonly referred to as super white tuna. However, there is some ambiguity over the definition of white tuna and its safety for consumption. White tuna is a word used to denote a variety of fish species, including escolar, oilfish, and butterfish, rather than a particular variety of tuna.

appetizing sushi roll with philadelphia cucumber

Due to their comparable flavor and texture to regular tuna, these fish are frequently sold as “white tuna.”

It is crucial to remember that some of these species, if taken in big quantities, might have harmful impacts on health.

For instance, escolar has a reputation for causing digestive problems like diarrhea and greasy feces when ingested in big doses.

Despite this, it is frequently offered as white tuna in supermarkets and many sushi bars.

Making educated choices about what they choose to eat requires that people are aware of the various fish species that may be sold as “white tuna”.

Is White Tuna Really Tuna?

White tuna, commonly referred to as albacore tuna, is a variety of tuna with a delicate flavor and pale color.

Fresh, raw fish in a beautiful design on a plate

It is a well-liked component of salads, sandwiches, and sushi.

Regular tuna and white tuna are frequently contrasted, yet the two fish differ significantly in some important ways.

White Tuna vs. Regular Tuna

Various smaller tuna species are used to produce regular tuna, commonly referred to as light tuna.

tuna roll, featuring escolar and cucumber,

Compared to white tuna, it is darker in color and has a stronger flavor.

On the other hand, albacore, a single species of tuna, is used to produce white tuna.

Compared to conventional tuna, it is paler in color and has a milder flavor.

Additionally, white tuna has more mercury than ordinary tuna.

The FDA recommends limiting white tuna consumption among pregnant women, nursing mothers, and young children to no more than 6 ounces per week.

Types of White Tuna

White tuna comes in a variety of forms, such as solid white albacore, chunk white albacore, and super white tuna.

raw fish in a beautiful design on a plate a a gourmet sushi

While chunk white albacore tuna is packed with tiny chunks, solid white albacore tuna has larger parts.

Escolar, another name for the species of snake mackerel known as super white tuna, is frequently served as king tuna. It tastes like butter and contains a lot of oil.

Escolar is not technically a form of tuna, and some people may experience digestive problems with it.

Check the label before making a purchase because it might occasionally be mislabeled as white tuna.

In summary, white tuna is a variety of tuna that is paler in color and has a milder flavor than other varieties.

Since it contains more mercury than conventional tuna, it should only be eaten occasionally.

White tuna comes in a variety of forms, such as solid white albacore, chunk white albacore, and super white tuna.

To be sure you are buying the right kind of tuna, it is crucial to read the label.

How is White Tuna Prepared?

Escolar, another name for white tuna, is a flexible fish that may be served in a number of different ways.

White tuna nigiri sashimi sushi with wasabi

Here are a few well-liked techniques:


White tuna is frequently prepared on the grill. Before going on the grill, the fish can be seasoned with salt, pepper, and other seasonings.

To prevent any health hazards related to undercooked escolar, it is crucial to fully cook the fish.


White tuna is frequently used in sashimi, a dish of thinly sliced raw fish that originated in Japan.

Wasabi and soy sauce are frequently used to accompany the fish.


White tuna is frequently canned and added to meals like pasta salads and tuna salad sandwiches. It is available in chunky and solid forms.


White tuna is also frequently cooked by broiling. Before being broiled in the oven, the fish is seasoned with salt, pepper, and additional seasonings.

With this technique, the surface of the fish can get crispy while the interior is kept moist and soft.

Overall, white tuna is a tasty and adaptable fish that can be served in a number of different ways.

It is sure to be a hit whether grilled, served raw, canned, or broiled.

Where to Find White Tuna?

Sushi and other Japanese cuisines frequently use white tuna as an ingredient.

Fresh, raw fish in a beautiful design on a plate a a gourmet sushi restaurant

It is frequently utilized in tuna products that are in cans. The following locations are where you can get white tuna:

Sushi Restaurants

White tuna can be seen in abundance at sushi bars. It is frequently offered as nigiri sushi, which consists of a small fish piece placed on top of a tiny ball of rice.

The spicy white tuna roll and the white tuna avocado roll are two sushi rolls that contain white tuna.

Seafood Markets

Another way to find fresh white tuna is at seafood markets. White tuna is more likely to be found in markets that specialize in sushi-grade seafood.

Ceviche or grilled tuna steaks are just a couple of the many recipes that can be made using fresh white tuna.

Canned Tuna Products

In canned tuna goods, white tuna is also frequently present. It is crucial to remember that not every canned tuna labeled as “white tuna” is actually albacore tuna, therefore look for cans that say “white tuna” or “albacore tuna.”

Even though escolar is a different type of fish, it is occasionally sold as “white tuna” in some canned tuna products.

It is crucial to carefully check the label when purchasing canned white tuna to be sure that it is manufactured from albacore and not escolar tuna.

Tuna salad and tuna casserole are just a couple of the dishes that might benefit from canned white tuna.

In general, you may find white tuna in a lot of places, like sushi bars, fish markets, and canned tuna goods.

To make sure that the white tuna you buy is made from albacore and not escolar, carefully check the label before you buy it.

White Tuna Sustainability

Albacore tuna, often known as white tuna, is a preferred fish choice that is frequently available in canned form.

sushi roll with philadelphia cucumber cheese and escolar

White tuna sustainability, like that of many other forms of fish, is a concern for many consumers and environmentalists.

Overfishing is one of the primary problems with the sustainability of white tuna. Albacore tuna is a species that grows slowly and might take up to 10 years to mature.

Because they cannot reproduce quickly enough to meet demand, they are more vulnerable to overfishing.

In addition, there is a chance that the fishing techniques used to catch white tuna will harm marine habitats and catch other species as bycatch.

Several programs and certifications are in place to promote sustainable white tuna fishing practices in order to allay these worries.

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), which certifies fisheries that adhere to particular sustainability standards, is one such endeavor.

To ensure that canned white tuna products are supplied responsibly, consumers can seek for the MSC blue label on those goods.

Other sustainable tuna choices are also available, including skipjack tuna, a smaller and more plentiful species.

In general, it’s critical for customers to be knowledgeable about the sustainability challenges with white tuna and to choose seafood wisely.

Consumers can support ethical fishing methods and safeguard the environment by purchasing white tuna or other seafood selections that are sustainably sourced.

Frequently Asked Questions

diverse delicious sushi roll set on a black background

What is white tuna?

White tuna, also known as albacore tuna, is a type of tuna that has a light-colored flesh. It is typically milder in flavor than other types of tuna, such as yellowfin or skipjack.

Is white tuna safe to eat?

Yes, white tuna is generally safe to eat. However, it is important to note that some species of tuna, such as bigeye and bluefin, can contain high levels of mercury. Pregnant women and young children are advised to limit their consumption of these species.

How is white tuna different from other types of tuna?

White tuna is made from just one species of tuna, albacore. Other types of tuna, such as light tuna, can be made from a mix of different species, such as yellowfin or skipjack.

What are the health benefits of white tuna?

White tuna is a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which can help promote heart health. It is also low in calories and fat, making it a healthy choice for those watching their weight.

How can I prepare white tuna?

White tuna can be prepared in a variety of ways, such as grilling, baking, or searing. It is also commonly used in sushi and sashimi dishes. When preparing white tuna, it is important to not overcook it, as this can cause it to become dry and tough.

sushi roll with philadelphia cucumber cheese and escolar on a black stone plate


In conclusion, white tuna is a variety of tuna that American consumers frequently choose since it has a meatier texture and a less fishy flavor than light tuna.

The most popular form of white tuna is albacore, while skipjack and yellowfin can be used to produce light tuna.

It’s crucial to remember, though, that not all white tuna is made equal. To cut expenses, certain sushi restaurants could serve fish with bogus names like oilfish, butterfish, or escolar, which can upset some people’s stomachs.

In order to avoid consuming a different species of white tuna, it is imperative to confirm that the white tuna being consumed is albacore tuna.

It is also important to note that due to possible mercury levels, white tuna, like any fish, should be eaten in moderation. When eating fish, pregnant women and young children should take extra care.

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry. As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.