Whether you need a quick lunch or a side with your mains, tuna salad is versatile, delicious and easy to make. You can make sweet tuna salad with pickles, crunchy salad with toasted bread or mix in chili peppers for a spicy twist. Here is a quick tutorial on how to make tuna salad and tips for seasoning to vary your flavors.
Choosing Your Tuna Salad Ingredients
Many professional cooks recommend using white tuna to make your salad. Solid tuna is best for making sweet salad, while tuna steaks are preferred in crunchier salads. You can use fresh tuna instead of canned varieties to give your salad a fresh taste. Just make sure you know how to skin and debone it properly.
There are many tuna seasonings and ingredients to experiment with. While some like their tuna salad plain with just salt and pepper to season, others prefer fresh herbs like basil, dill and cilantro. Ginger can give the salad a stronger, unique flavor and sour cream can give it a creamier, smoother texture.
How to Make Tuna Salad
- 12 ounces white tuna canned
- ¼ cup celery minced
- 2 tablespoons sweet pickles or gherkins
- ¼ cup yellow or red onions thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ cup light mayonnaise
- ½ teaspoon table or Kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
- If the tuna comes packaged in water, drain it and shred it with your fingers. Place the tuna in a clean bowl and add celery, pickles, onion slices, garlic, salt and dash of pepper. Combine all the ingredients until thoroughly mixed.
- You can either mix the lemon juice and mayonnaise together first, or gently pour in both ingredients into the tuna mixture. Toss the tuna salad until all ingredients are coated with mayonnaise.
- Cover the bowl with cling wrap or transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid. Cover the tuna salad and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Serve as desired.
How to Make Tuna Salad Cooking Tips
If tuna salad is too light of a meal for you, serve it with slices of toasted bread. The best bread to serve salad with is peasant bread. It provides more fiber, which will keep your stomach full for a long while. If you want to learn how to make tuna salad with a crunch, you can use tuna steak instead and sear them in an oiled skillet for 5 minutes.
You can substitute the lemon juice in the recipe with lime or calamansi juice. For a spicy salad, it is wiser to use fresh chili peppers and chop them, rather than chili powder. To make the salad even hotter, you can leave out the mayonnaise completely, and add 1 ½ cups of vinegar, ½ cup of lime/lemon/calamansi juice and a tablespoon of Tabasco sauce.