Is Skipjack Tuna Good to Eat?

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Tuna is a popular delicacy and its meat is so good that it is graded for its quality. There are different types of tuna and some people will tell you that there are some tuna not worth eating. Does this include skipjack tuna? Is skipjack tuna good to eat?

Is Skipjack Tuna Good to Eat?

Skipjack tuna is good to eat and packs a lot of nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and B-complex. Skipjack tuna offers a different flavor than your common tuna-like yellowfin and bigeye. You may even have tasted it since skipjack is commonly used for canned tuna.

Tuna is known for its high mercury content. Skipjack tuna is an exemption. It has relatively low mercury and can be safely incorporated into your diet. As long as you don’t eat too much tuna, you can benefit from its nutrients.

An image of skipjack

The meat of skipjack tuna is red in color that turns into a deep brown hue with the center a bit pink. Skipjack can be prepared grilled, baked, fried, and can even be eaten raw.

Do People Eat Skipjack Tuna?

Skipjack tuna is a popular tuna eaten all over the world. It is even used a lot in Japanese cuisine. In fact, skipjack tuna is a versatile dish since you can prepare it in a lot of ways. You can smoke it, make fish stock, serve it raw like sushi or sashimi, and sear it.

Skipjack tuna isn’t something you regularly see in restaurants though. While they are highly abundant, most restaurants prefer using bigger tuna. If you want a taste of something unique from a tuna, you should try skipjack.

What Does Skipjack Taste Like?

Skipjack tuna is a bit different than what you regularly taste from tuna. Skipjack tastes more fishy compared to other types of tuna. What this means is that the flavor of raw fish is strong.

Have you ever tried fish oil supplements? It’s the same aftertaste you will get once you eat skipjack tuna. Especially if you eat skipjack raw. The texture is also mushy, unlike expensive tuna with tender meat.

There are ways to lessen its fishy quality. You can marinate it and add some strong herbs and spices. Still, some people prefer its fishy taste.

How Many Times Should You Eat Tuna in a Week?

According to the FDA, adults should eat around three to five ounces (85 to 140 grams) of fish two to three times a week. This will provide you with sufficient omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients. This also applies to tuna.

However, it’s bad to only eat tuna as your fish source for nutrients. It’s better to eat a variety of fish since most tuna contain high mercury. Too much mercury in your system can lead to health issues.

Eating tuna one to three servings a week is recommended. Anything more than that could be a problem. Even though skipjack tuna has low mercury content, it is still better to be on the safer side of things.

Health Benefits of Eating Skipjack Tuna

We mentioned before that Skipjack tuna has a lot of essential nutrients for your body. This includes:

  • Essential fatty acids
  • Minerals
  • Protein
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin A

The meat of skipjack tuna contains essential amino acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids. These nutrients help reduce cognitive decline, asthma, inflammatory disorders, and dementia.

An image of skipjack that is good to eat

Skipjack tuna is also rich in B-complex vitamins like B6 and niacin. It is also rich in minerals such as magnesium, iodine, zinc, calcium, potassium, selenium, and phosphorus. All of these nutrients help support bodily functions, especially your hormone balance.

How to Cook Skipjack Tuna

Preparing your skipjack tuna is a skill you may want to learn if you want to add it to your diet at home. The process of cleaning and preparing it is also fun in its own way. It can also be an impressive skill to have when you’re out fishing.

All you need is a sharp filet knife and a chopping board to lay the fish on.

  1. First, you have to remove the hard skin using a fileting knife. Start removing from the dorsal area and slowly move towards the pectoral fin area. Do this also for the other side of the skipjack.
  2. Place the belly of the skipjack tuna up and then create an incision just behind the head moving towards the pelvic fins. Make sure not to cut the intestines so it will be easier to remove them later.
  3. Place the fish on its side and hold the pectoral fin and head with your free hand. Extend the cut you just made until it reaches behind the gill cover while making sure you don’t cut through the backbone. Slice through the dorsal area located behind the head until the knife reaches the backbone. Turn over to the other side of the skipjack and repeat steps two and three.
  4. Create an incision starting from the anal vent up until the throat. This will expose the intestines. Hold the body with your free hand and pull the head down while breaking the backbone with your stronger hand. The head and intestines should separate easily.
  5. Make cuts on both sides of the dorsal fin. Grab the last finlet and pull forward to remove the fins and finlets from the body.
  6. Insert the filet knife into the intestinal cavity until you feel the backbone. Cut down towards the tail to separate the meat from the dorsal bones. Do this to the other side of the skipjack as well.

How Big Is a Skipjack Tuna?

An adult skipjack tuna can weigh around 42 pounds and can reach a length between 31 inches and 43 inches.

Where Does Skipjack Tuna Come From?

Skipjack tuna are everywhere around the world where there are tropical, subtropical, and warm temperate ocean waters. Around the Western Atlantic, they can be found from Massachusetts all the way to Brazil.


Skipjack tuna is good to eat and is probably the safest to eat among the tuna species. Tuna are commonly high in mercury which is bad in excess to our body. Skipjack tuna has a low mercury concentration making it safe to eat and incorporate on a diet.