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Tuna Salad

  • b

I'm a tuna salad addict. I love tuna salad. I have eaten tuna salad breakfast, lunch and dinner for whole weeks on end. It never tires me, never bores me, always feels like a meal. Human kind cannot survive on bread alone, which is why we have tuna salad.

Great tuna salad is a masterpiece of simplicity: two cans of chunk white albacore tuna (Bumblebee brand, preferably, though any will do except Chicken of the Sea), two heaping tablespoons of Helmann's mayonnaise (called Best Foods mayonnaise west of the Mississippi), finely diced de-veined celery, onion powder, black pepper and lemon pepper. No salt required.

Serve this on deep golden white toast with a leaf of Iceberg lettuce and a pickle spear and you've got the perfect sandwich. If you must put other things in your tuna salad, diced onions are acceptable, and even a bit of pickle relish is fair game. But the path of great tuna salad is narrow and tricky, walk it with care!

Never make tuna salad with low-grade mayo or (worst of all) Kraft Sandwich Spread. Vegetables do not belong in tuna salad. Feel free to serve it on cucumbers, but never dice cucumbers into the tuna salad itself! Hollow out a tomato and scoop the tuna salad into it if you must, but find some other use for the tomato innards--it is a sin to dump them into the tuna salad (makes it watery). In rare cases, add a few capers, but that's only when trying to impress royalty. Tuna salad needs nothing of asparagus tips, olives, pimentoes or other foreign agents. Tuna salad isn't harmed by a dash of paprika, but garlic does not belong, nor do herbes de Provence, Italian seasoning, basil or parsley (okay, a sprig can be nice, but no more). If you add dill to tuna salad, it becomes something else entirely. It's not bad, whatever it is, but it isn't tuna salad. I call it "grav tuna salad."

Tuna salad belongs in a tuna melt, but hot tuna salad doesn't have the same power that it has when cold (no one knows why). Tuna salad done right is a great creation, an ideal of perfection. I will judge a diner by its tuna salad sandwich, first and foremost. The tuna salad test is without fail--good tuna salad makes a good restaurant.

I love tuna salad. Tuna salad, tuna salad, tuna salad! Is it 2:00am? I want a tuna salad sandwich. I want one for breakfast a few hours later. I have had a scoop of tuna salad in a bowl as a dessert. If I want to try a new spice, I put it in tuna salad to see how the flavor changes: the tuna salad litmus test. What improves tuna salad? A day in the fridge, undisturbed, allowing the flavors to meld, the texture to evolve, the temperature to settle to a glorious 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once there was a fair land where the sun shone like spun gold over the mountains. The air was crisp each morning, the people happy, the sovereign gentle and just, the society a harmonious, utopian whole. This is tuna salad. This is the deep truth of tuna salad.


A Burke and Wells Essay

Link: http://www.burkeandwells.com

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  1. Peter, the next time you complain that it's hard to return to your tuna sandwich lunch after browsing Chowhound, I will not feel sorry for you at all! (vbg)

    1. Oh my goodness, so much tuna...please be careful b/c even too much of a good thing can be harmful. Lots in the news these days about Mercury toxicity w too much fish consumption..ESPECIALLY tuna!

      1. Wow - I thought I was the only one who loved Tuna salad so much! I to can eat it for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner - and I like to keep it pretty simple. No special seasonings, no fancy vegetables. When I get the often asked question, "If you were stranded on a deserted island, what one food item would you choose?", my answer is usually Tuna salad sandwiches (alhtough sometimes I waver and choose spaghetti and meatballs). My wife was convinced that I was the only person in the world who would choose Tuna - now I know she is wrong.

        1. great post. for an experiment, try it with tahina sauce, and fresh squeezed lemon. its darn good- add olive oil to it as well.

          1. No, no, no.

            The perfect tuna salad contains little chunks of tart apple and tinier chunks of hot onion, a LITTLE bit of mayonnaise (if you can spread it, it's got too much mayonnaise), and some celery seed.

            LET THE TUNA WAR BEGIN! muahahahahaha...

            4 Replies
            1. re: PRSMDave

              Love your posts. BUT...apple in tuna. NEVER!
              No scary laughter included.... ;)

              1. re: berkleybabe

                Don't knock it 'till you've tried it babe. It's really quite tasty. Although I don't put it in sandwich tuna salad. That's pretty much plain "ole Burke & Welles style, on crunchy whole wheat toast though, not white.

                1. re: bryan

                  I have to agree with the original, mayo (no kraft), pepper, celery and I use a few capers and I do put a dab a pickle relish. Just a family thing. But yep, lettuce and pickle slices, no slices if I put relish in the tuna. I like Oat Bran or a honey wheat but lightly toasted.

                  Absolute heaven!

                  I do make fresh grilled tuna salads and pastas and different sandwiches with a viniagrette, veggies, etc. Completely.

                  But true Tuna Salad ... I total agree with the original post.

              2. re: PRSMDave

                close to my recipe (passed from momma) - tuna, mayo, red onion, red apple, celery (a tad tad), and curry powder.

              3. Hold the pickle relish, please! I like to add dill to the tuna salad - along with the lemon, it provides a zesty tang. On sourdough toast, with tomato and lettuce.

                1. Oh how funny how about chopped eggs or chopped boiled potatoes in it as some of the sotherners I have known do it and or from the northeast diced apples and spiked with a bit a dash of cider vinegar heheh each to his own fish taste

                  1. Man! I'm running into the kitchen right now to make a tuna sandwich! That post hit the tuna nail right on the head. The simpler the better. Nothing fancy. I'll have a glass of ice cold chocolate milk and a bag of Wise potato chips with it!

                    1. l
                      Lynne Hodgman

                      I love tuna salad too. But I am even more of a purist: just white tuna packed in water and Helman's mayo, barely enough to hold it together. That's all. That's the best. I will tolerate teeny pieces of chopped onion, or dill, or a bit of pickle relish, or even (my Indian friend's addition) tiny bits of chopped jalapenos. But those additions make it "tuna salad with..." instead of just the yummy tuna salad.

                      Same goes for egg salad. Just eggs and mayo, just enough mayo to hold it together. My mother always added a touch of brown mustard, which is tolerable but not preferred! Warm, just-made egg salad is heaven --on fresh rye or buttermilk bread. That goes one notch higher than tuna for me!

                      1. For those of you who enjoy iceburg lettuce with your tuna salad, I'd like to recommend that you try it torn (or cut) into small pieces and added to the tuna salad in lieu of celery. Could be in addition to, if celery is important to you, but I really enjoy it in place of the celery. It has a surprising amount of crunch even when in small shreds. I'll never place a slice of lettuce on a tuna salad sandwich again - it's way superior when added to the mixture itself.

                        1. I have to admit that the tuna with a bit of Hellmann's mixed in is the most satisfying combo for me. Simple, pristine, accessible. Celery, though unnecessary, is acceptable. Onions and pickle relish both detract from the deliciousness, IMO. Herbs and spices -- what for? However, my spouse did teach me to appreciate a little chop'd black olive, and I have had good experiences with shredded carrot, of all things.

                          On rye, please, toasted or not, depending on my mood (and the freshness of the rye!), with an extra scrape of mayo on the bread. I'll take my lettuce on the side (along with the Wise potato chips, of course!)

                          Lynne, for the most part I'm with you on the egg salad, though I like a little salt and pepper in mine. But I have also stirred in, on rare but memorable occasions, some fried onions and mushrooms. This has to be tried to be believed! In fact, I believe I'll try it again soon!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: C. Fox

                            Totally agree on the carrot, tho I prefer it chopped into sweet bits. And it has to be on a toasted English muffin!! I guess if I go into mashing tuna and cannelini beans with lemon and onion and garlic, that wouldn't be a purist version,and I'd have to start a new thread...

                            1. re: C. Fox

                              I had a sandwich at a restaurant in Montana that was a grilled hoagie ... Tuna salad, made very well with some pickle relish, mayo and celery and a little roasted red pepper ... I know a bit different but good. Then topped with diced tomato and thin sliced fried onions, very thin, iceberg lettuce, and a slice of montery jack cheese.

                              Different but I will tell you it was amazing. The tuna was not very creamy, more dry, but was great with the tomato and cheese. The cheese was melted but the tuna not hot.

                              What a sandwich, Really better than I thought

                            2. I love tuna also. Available recently in supermarkets in the UK are small foil packs of tuna in water, enough for a sandwich or two. Now there are also varieties of these, eg lime and pepper (and that's delcicious!). You can keep these little packs in your desk drawer, your car, etc. and if desperate just open them and use your fingers!


                              Link: http://www.ramtops.demon.co.uk

                              1. I took tuna salad-on-challah sandwiches to school every day for years when I was a kid. It had mayo, chopped scallion and celery in it. I only eat tuna occasionally now. But the other day, I had the best tuna sandwich of my life. The secret? Italian tuna packed in olive oil -- far superior to any water-pack tuna out there. I drained the oil and gave it to the dog and cat, which made them incredibly happy. The tuna was tender and succulent. Mixed in some Hellman's mayo, a bit of finely minced sweet onion, celery, capers and a bit of chopped Italian parsley. Made sandwiches on baguette with some leaf lettuce. Gawd it was delicious!

                                1. I'm looking forward to sharing your delight of tuna salad using your recipe. A few questions:

                                  1. what do you not like about Chicken of the Sea tuna?
                                  2. how much do you drain the tuna?
                                  3. what about fresh chopped onion instead of powder?
                                  4. does deveining the celery really make that big of a difference?
                                  5. lemon pepper? what is this?
                                  6. if you let it's flavors settle in the refrigerator overnight, should you let it come closer to room temperature before eating?

                                  Thanks in advance!

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: elise h
                                    Burke and Wells

                                    Hello Elise and all--

                                    I didn't anticipate a tuna summit! My post was as much satire as recipe. I'm poking fun at my own slavering addiction to tuna.

                                    But these are fair questions, and deserve answers:

                                    1. I've had bad experienced with Chicken of the Sea tuna. Sometimes the tuna has been packed so long it's disintegrated. Their cleaning leaves something to be desired: I've had bones and even scales show up in the can. Bumble Bee and Star Kist seem more on the ball, for the big US domestic brands. A great Italian tuna packed in good olive oil is leagues above, of course.

                                    2. This is a tricky question! When forced to make do with tuna in water, I drain it completely. In fact, I have several kitchen gadgets designed to press the tuna dry as a bone. Burke has seen me literally jump up and down, trying to squeeze out the last drop of hated water! With tuna packed in oil, depending on the quality of the fish and oil, more can be left in. Remember this rule: the drier the tuna, the more mayo it can take! For a mayo fiend like me, that's good news.

                                    3. For years I used fresh chopped onion. Each time I made it, I found the onion too chunky, leaving me with occasional bites of onion heaven and others without. I started chopping the onion more and more finely, until I reached the limits of my knife skills. Onion powder, however, coated everything with a bit of oniony goodness. My advice: if you're able to chop an onion truly well, go for it. If not, adding some is still a bonus, but don't forget the onion powder anyway! It'll cover your bases.

                                    4. If you've read my post "The Four Worst Meals of my Life" you'll understand my phobia over celery veins. Since few of us take the time to sharpen our knives every morning (or at all, as in my case), chopping celery can lead to those one or two pieces that look like those little troll dolls: all hairy veins and almost no "meat." So a quick break-and-pull to devein the celery means a cleaner cut and less overwhelming celery clumps, in my experience.

                                    5. Ah, lemon pepper! Tuna salad's great friend. We all know how well lemon goes with fish. But add lemon juice to tuna salad and you risk watering it down (watery tuna salad means a leaky sandwich). Lemon pepper is put out by most spice houses; I use Lawrey's. It has little citrus-like flakes of dried lemon amidst coarse-ground black pepper. You get the necessary pepper and some lemon zing without any extra liquid--more room for mayo! Pick up some lemon pepper in your supermarket. It's great sprinkled on broiled chicken or fish!

                                    6. This is a question of taste. For me, cold tuna salad is a glorious thing. If spread on warm toast, you get a double effect: warm near the top and bottom of the sandwich (unless a lettuce leaf is insulating, in which case the warmth only penetrates from the bottom) and marvelous cold tuna throughout! Best of both worlds. For those eating it in a salad, however, or with a spoon, or on non-toasted breads/crackers, letting it warm up to room temperature (covered, please, so it doesn't dry out!) offers another experience. Not as perfect an experience, for me, but a pleasant one nonetheless. Even so, tuna should never feel actively warm unless it's in a tuna melt. I say the highest it should go is 60 degrees F.

                                    Yours in tuna salad obsession,


                                    Link: http://www.burkeandwells.com

                                    1. re: Burke and Wells

                                      Yes! Chicken of the Sea consistently has the disitegration problem followed by Bumble Bee, then Starkist(which I choose over the big three). I hate paying a premium for a can of solid white and then opening it up and discovering a blob of white mush. The problem is that hydrolized vegetable protein(MSG)is used in the packing liquid. We all know that MSG is used a meat tenderizer as well as a "flavor enhancer". So, if it sits in the MSG liquid for too long it will essentially begin to digest.

                                      I prefer the smaller brands, the Italian, and even the supermarket brands, which seem to use less MSG or none at all.

                                      1. re: Burke and Wells

                                        Oooh, oooh, oooh! Don't forget tuna salad on toasted english muffin -- the consummate tuna salad sandwich.

                                        I myself go light on mayo, heavy on celery, light on onion, add a little lemon juice, and mix in a bit of Zatarain's creole mustard. Pile high on a freshly toasted English muffin and add a slice of tomato and just a little lettuce. Perfection.

                                        I think I'll make some tuna salad tonight to take in for lunch tomorrow. Mmmmm..

                                        Blue skies,

                                        1. re: Catherine

                                          Mmmmmm -- I kind of like the same with a few minced jalapenos in the tuna, and perhaps melter cheddar on top. Woof!

                                          1. re: Robert

                                            I have to agree with you on the jalapenos. I didn't used to like tuna because, as a kid, my tuna experience was a poorly-mixed salad that resulted in great big gobs of plain mayonnaise. But about four years ago, my girlfriend made me a well-mixed tuna sandwich with bits of chiles on sourdough bread - this changed my outlook on tuna forever!

                                            As an aside, jalapenos can serve as veggies, completing the four food groups for a well-balanced meal!

                                        2. re: Burke and Wells

                                          Lemon pepper! Peter, have I told you lately how brilliant you are? Why didn't I notice this in your first message? I retract my moratorium on spices in tuna salad, provisionally, until I can get to a grocery store and try this out.

                                      2. What's wrong with me? I like the dark tuna packed in oil. (I think they call it "chunk light" sometimes.) But I seem to be the only one. The only reason people seem to buy it is that it's cheaper. Does anyone else prefer dark fleshed tuna to the white albacore?

                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: christina z

                                          You are not alone.

                                          It is also my dark secret.

                                          1. re: ironmom

                                            Perhaps we can form a support group?

                                            1. re: bryan

                                              Maybe we can ge price breaks by buying it in bulk.

                                              1. re: ironmom

                                                I think it is better and tastier and moister...pah on white meat tuna packed in water.

                                          2. re: christina z

                                            The chunk light has a stronger fish flavor. I used to prefer it over the solid white. My friends even used to accuse me of being too cheap to pay extra for the white.

                                            1. re: christina z
                                              Redd Frontsmann

                                              All pauper foods taste better.

                                            2. This morning I said: I am absolutely, positively not going to be suggestible. Easily led. I'm going to hold fast. Even if the words are from the lips of my fellow chowhounds--I will not weaken. I will not read this thread and break down. Because, I have choices--lots of choices....

                                              So--why did I just emerge from my company cafeteria---with a bowl of tuna fish?!

                                              1. The ONLY thing I would add to Burke & Wells' tuna salad would be a bit of finely chopped Granny Smith apple...heaven.

                                                1. My suggestion for the perfect tuna sandwich?? First I always use Geisha chunk light tuna in water - I also buy the solid white albacore (Bumblebee brand) for the boyfriend, but I just don't like it as much! Chop up some pickles - the kosher kind, not dill, and add to the tuna with some Hellman's mayo, not too much, not too little - and a little garlic powder. Mix well. Then plop generously on some toasted wheat bread.

                                                  MMMMM-mmmm! Heaven!

                                                  The irony? Tuna is the ONLY type of fish I eat - I just don't like any other kinds!! :)

                                                  1. absolutely brilliant. i laughed; i cried; it was like CATS. i had no idea anyone else devoted due thought to rhapsodizing the iconical tuna salad. and, i would have to admit that,for me, even improperly executed tuna salad is better than no tuna salad.

                                                    tuna salad perfection: oil-packed chunk white, a little lemon pepper, generous garlic powder, ample hellman's (not reduced fat), spare chopped celery (optional). on a lightly toasted sesame bagel. a real bagel. if it's not a real crisp-shelled, chewy inside, toasted to make it lighter and more absorbent of excess tuna salad moisture bagel, throw it back. open faced. lettuce leaf on top. half-sour pickle and a yoohoo on the side. ambrosia!!!!!!

                                                    1. e
                                                      Ethan Donaldson

                                                      I had the best tuna salad of my 30 year life at the Cup and Saucer on Canal St. I have dreams about it.

                                                      1. Inspired by this post to make myself some tuna salad (for the first time in a few years!), I ran into an annoying phenomenon. There seems to be less tuna in the cans than there used to be. After I drained the water from my (Bumble Bee chunk light) can, only a half can of tuna remained. I seem to remember being left with at least 2/3 of a can of fish back in the old days. Has anyone else noticed this? Or is it just poor memory?

                                                        By the way, thanks for the lemon pepper tip!

                                                        1. Wow, who knew tuna salad had so many fans? My mother always used to put a dash of Worcesteshire sauce in our tuna... just a bit, but we liked it. And then someone introduced me to something I thought was really, really strange but I've been doing every since... a tiny bit of horseradish. Yes, horseradish! I add it to the tuna, celery, maybe some onion, and mayo. You must try!

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: Typo2

                                                            Love the horseradish in my tuna - a litlle mayo little dijon and some horserdish, and cracked black pepper. Wasabi, mayo and lemon works well too. Got to watch the tuna intake though.

                                                            1. re: Typo2

                                                              Horseradish in tuna is fantastic.


                                                            2. Is it wrong to continue these threads after six months? Let me know. I just had to add my two cents.

                                                              My favorite American brand is Starkist, solid white in water of course. I've tried every one and kept a chart comparing texture, taste, color, etc. Starkist was first in my opinion. The tuna from Smart & Final was surprisingly good too (not their product). In the Caribbean you can get caned tuna packed with jalapenos it's incredible. It's an American brand but they don't do it here. I've tried adding jalapenos myself but the taste is not the same and the peppers can be to crunchy.


                                                              I like mine cold so I keep the unopened cans in the refrigerator.

                                                              I add a dash of shallot vinegar.

                                                              Buy frozen tuna the price is comparable to caned, from Trader Joes or where ever. Overcook on barbecue, otherwise it's just gets mushy when you add the mayo and served hot it's delicious.

                                                              6 Replies
                                                              1. re: Colin

                                                                Five years later, this made me make myself a tuna sandwich.

                                                                1. re: likaluca

                                                                  OH how I have enjoyed reading this thread. Thank you so very much. I grew up with grated tuna and Miracle Whip on white bread; so I was NOT a fan. In adulthood I discovered mayonnaise and life changed, especially with regard to tuna (and egg salad)

                                                                  I remember the first time I had tuna on whole wheat toast with lettuce and tomato (San Gabriel California back in the 60s) and what a revelation it was.

                                                                  today, my favorite is solid white tuna that has been very well drained; combined with a 50/50 mixture of cream cheese and Best Foods; add a can of drained and chopped water chestnuts, some grated carrots, a can of chopped black olives and a few generous dashes of Worchestershire (to taste).

                                                                  Spread on whole wheat toast and top with avocado slices.

                                                                  1. re: laliz

                                                                    I hate to be this person, but I kind of love Miracle Whip, even while being the kind of person who often makes her own mayonnaise.

                                                                    Miracle Whip tastes like little me sitting on the couch with my feet not touching the ground watching superman and eating sandwiches my mother made me.

                                                                    When other people are eating, I use mayo. When alone, I definitely bust out the Miracle Whip. Sue me.

                                                                    1. re: likaluca

                                                                      Hey, I'm directly related to people who feel exactly as you do. And I accomodate them. When we have a family "thing" ~~ there are always two types of deviled eggs, some w/MW some w/Mayo. We also have to provide both Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi for the warring factions.

                                                                      BTW, we even distinguish between the eggs ~~ parsely leaf for MW, paprika for Mayo

                                                                      1. re: likaluca

                                                                        I was reading all the other replies thinking I was the only one. Who needs seasoning when you have Miracle Whip?

                                                                        1. re: likaluca

                                                                          When I made my tuna sandwiches, they never quite tasted like the ones my mom made for me to take to school. I tried different things but couldn't duplicate. I finally gave in and asked her. It is as follows:

                                                                          1 can tuna (drained of oil or water)
                                                                          1 scallion - chopped
                                                                          1 celery stalk - chopped
                                                                          1 Tbsp Hellman's mayo
                                                                          and <eek!>
                                                                          1 tsp MIRACLE WHIP

                                                                          I just gives it the right bit of zing.

                                                                  2. This is why chowhounds is bad for the waistline! Had I been reading a fitness site, I might have decided halfway thru a thread to jump onto a treadmill. Instead, here I am sitting and eating a bowl of tuna salad!

                                                                    1. Bumble Bee Prime Fillet -- comes in a gold can and is really white and delicious.

                                                                      1. i like mine ice cold with (yes I know) celery, finely diced kosher pickle, hellman's, pepper, and chopped up hard boiled egg. I noticed that nobody else puts egg in theirs. Is it a maryland thing? Hmmm.......oh and it has to be on toasted rye

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: bitsubeats

                                                                          To guarantee a real chill have tried freezing the sandwich overnight then take it for lunch. The bread thaws first and the tuna stays deliciously chilled for a few hours.

                                                                          1. re: phantomdoc

                                                                            And by the way, Freshly Grated Horseradish cannot be beat.

                                                                        2. I never saw this thread before - and it is something I make to my taste- but I use strange things like yogurt and black pepper and lemon or lime with slivered red onions and celery. Times I will dice up parsley of cilantro or even arugula. The Tuna is usually light not white, water packed and I drain the bejesus out of it, to the point of blotting it and even rising it before adding my spices. I might use a fine olive oil and garlic to it. I like it with mayo, but want to watch the Cholesterol. Sliced apples sometimes, even mango chunks will go in at a whim.

                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                          1. re: EmileJ

                                                                            No cholesterol in mayo. The big C only comes from animals, not plants.

                                                                            1. re: phantomdoc

                                                                              The eggs in mayo have cholesterol - although I have been eating veganaise or something like that and its not bad - no cholesterol.

                                                                              1. re: coastie

                                                                                One egg yolk can make a pint of mayo. Not enough cholesterol to count unless you eat a gallon. An egg has 215 mg. of cholesterol. An egg also has a high lecithin content that is a natural anti- cholesterol nutrient. Mayo in tuna salad will not negatively impact your cholesterol.

                                                                                1. re: phantomdoc

                                                                                  Huge difference between no cholesterol and not much, it all adds up....regardless I like mayo and eggs, a lot. I switched to the veganaise stuff due to an issue I'm having with eggs and a few other foods(Intolerence, arthritis)

                                                                                  1. re: coastie

                                                                                    This is not like the difference between no pregnancy and a little pregnancy. Most cholesterol in us is manufactured by our own liver. A couple of tablespoons of mayo will not add up to higher cholesterol. If you have allergies or sensitivities that is another issue not related to cholesterol count. If cholesterol is an issue there are foods that can help lower it. Have a bowl of oat bran cereal breakfast before your tuna sandwich lunch. Mayo does impact fat intake but not cholesterol.

                                                                                    1. re: phantomdoc

                                                                                      Hellman's lists 5 mg. cholesterol in a tablespoon size portion. 2% of daily allowance. Liver produces 1000 mg./day. Trans fats while not containing cholesterol themselves can still elevate levels. I still like tuna salad very cold with mayo onion lime and horseradish. Enjoy

                                                                          2. Outstanding post.

                                                                            I will say that your tuna salad sounds great. You'd probably quiver but I've added minced pickles in mine and sometimes I even add horseradish.


                                                                            1. I used to like tuna salad only one way: finely diced onion and celery, mayo, salt and pepper. Nothing else, ever.

                                                                              But the way we made it at one of my last jobs was really good: finely diced red onion and celery, lemon zest, pickle relish, fresh dill, mayo, salt and pepper.

                                                                              And one more variation that I like a lot, too: finely diced red onion and celery, lime juice and zest, cilantro, finely diced jalapeno, mayo, salt and pepper.

                                                                              I'm craving the jalapeno version right now!

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: manraysky

                                                                                I just made a tuna recipe over the weekend. We were going for a motorcycle ride so need a sandwich that wouldn't spoil.

                                                                                Tuna, capers, sundried tomatoes, red onion, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, S&P

                                                                                boy was it tasty!

                                                                              2. I have to say I'm with the dark-tuna crowd. I mourn the trend away from the cheaper stuff to the whitest and least flavorful, and the disappearance of grated tuna from the market. On the other hand, I *AM* paying more now for my favorite tuna, because I'm getting the Italian stuff in olive oil. As for deveining the celery, I'm pretty good at mincing both it and the onion, aided no end by my very sharp little carbon-steel "everything" knife. So: tuna, Hellman's (Best Foods here), onion, celery, and often some finely-chopped dill pickle, and a dash of Tabasco. And I love to make my own tuna melts, but open-faced: toast a slice of sourdough, then lay on some tuna salad and broil that just until the surface is beginning to scorch, then lay some sliced sharp cheddar on top and broil to melt. Ungodly good. That and a small bowl of homemade vichyssoise is the warm-weather equivalent to the grilled-cheese-and-tomato-soup lunch, in my book.

                                                                                1. My idea of perfect tuna salad?
                                                                                  One can Bumble Bee Chunk White, one can BB Chunk Light; peel then finely dice some celery, finely mince a bit of red onion, Hellman's Real Mayonnaise of course, dash (really, just a dash) Heinz Ketchup, small splash of pickle relish. Combine it all, chill well, and serve on white toast with crisp lettuce and crisp bacon. YUM!

                                                                                  1. Is the original poster still alive? We now know that eating lots of tuna is dangerous. 2-3 sandwiches a week is a typical advisory. Albacore has more mercury than light. My personal flavor/texture preference is to use one can of each - one water-packed, one oil. It doesn't matter which is in which but the water-packed seems too dry-tasting, even when mixed with mayo. I add minced pickle and onion from a jar of bread-and-butter pickles, celery, Hellman's, and Old Bay seasoning. Whole-grain or rye toast, with alfalfa sprouts and very-thinly-sliced sweet red onion. Or without the greenery, as a Swiss or Cheddar tuna melt, in which case an English muffin can be substituted for the bread.

                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: greygarious

                                                                                      Okay, this is what I do, and hey, I'm a cat at heart. Tuna in oil, drained. Alba's a bit bland actually and even though the oil adds more fat, it's worth it for the extra flavor and it's good for one's coat ;-} RED ONIONS ONLY! Celery. Mayo, only mayo and none, of that other junk. NO PICKLY THINGS EVER. White pepper. Celery SEED. Hardboiled egg. Must be on very firm WW bread (no toast) with lettuce.

                                                                                      1. re: greygarious

                                                                                        "Is the original poster still alive?" Good question - (s)he no longer has a MyChow page, and the blog link in the post was last updated in 2007.

                                                                                        Seven years, three months and counting - this has got to be one of the oldest active threads out here!

                                                                                        As for me - Italian tuna in oil (never water-packed, that stuff is no better than cardboard), top-quality mayo like Spectrum Canola, finely-chopped celery and red onion - perfection!

                                                                                        1. re: BobB

                                                                                          Wow. I didn't even notice that!

                                                                                          1. re: BobB

                                                                                            Maybe he is comparing mercury-poisoning notes with Jeremy Piven ;-b
                                                                                            Seriously, though - that's a pretty unbalanced diet, even without the toxicity concerns.
                                                                                            Everything in moderation, as Julia reminded us!

                                                                                            1. re: greygarious

                                                                                              Only one way....albacore tuna, lots of black pepper, a little Hellman's and - the KEY - white balsamic vinegar....

                                                                                            2. re: BobB

                                                                                              I have switched to Spanish belly tuna, usually labeled "Ventresca." Pricey. But melts in your mouth and has an assertive but lovely flavour. Not the best for a traditional tuna salad with mayo (a bit too strong), but great with a vinaigrette or (my favourite) in pasta with fresh tomatoes, garlic, capers, olive oil, feta, and parsley.

                                                                                          2. Burke and Wells. My God, you are missed. I loved your posts more than anyone on CH dating back to 2000. Excrimental Encounter still stands as the greatest CH post ever!!!! What a wonderful present to find a Burke and Wells post on Valentine's Day. Thank you to whoever resurrected this.

                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: BobB

                                                                                                Note correct spelling: search "excremental encounter" on overall Chow search box at top right of the page. The original post was on the International Board but there are a number of other posts referring to it.

                                                                                                1. re: BobB

                                                                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/261442 is th elink for "Excremental Encounter." This is the link for "The Four Worst Meals of My Life" which he also mentions in a reply above: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/287641 And this is the link for their review of Chez Panisse in 2001 which, to this day, is still the best written review I have read on Chowhound: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/18251

                                                                                              2. I could eat tuna salad every day. I like your recipe, but I like to add lemon juice and olive oil to it. Oh, and salt is a must for me. Sometimes I put in a boiled egg.