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Your Best Tuna Salad!

  • d

Hi Guys! After what seems like a hellish two months at work and a move, I finally have my new kitchen in order and I'm ready to start cooking again!! My first meal last night was Paella, came out a little bland and greasy (Should have trimmed my thighs a bit more and drained) and I should have added clams (I love the undertone of clam broth with Paella), but over all a success for navigating a strange kitchen.. :)

Anyway in the move I was reminded that I had two great cans of Katy's Tuna! One regular and one Jalapeno. Now since it's Tuna Salad weather, I definatly want to crack these bad guys open!

I know it seems silly to ask for a simple thing like a Tuna Salad recipe, but the thing is, this can of tuna costs like 6 bucks each (yelp!), so I don't want to treat it like my usual can of bumble bee... I'd love to get a really great recipe where the taste shines though.

Each can is 7.5oz, I'm not opposed to using both cans, but again, one is Jalapeno flavor. I look forward to the responses and my eventual sandwich! :)


Link: http://www.katyssmokehouse.com/cgi-bi...

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  1. I'm a little confused about this tuna. What does it taste like? It says it's roasted in the can and develops a caramel color. Is it really different? Should this be considered when proposing a recipe?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Aaron

      I dunno exactly what it tastes like because I've never tried her Tuna. But I have tried her Salmon, which is just heavenly and indeed different in texture and taste than any other smoked salmon I've had (I usually HATE salmon and was able to eat this with some Brie...)

      Based on the experience of the Salmon, that is why I said, I want a recipe that will highlight the tuna flavor, instead of my usual mayo/mustard/onion/dill recipe. Perhaps there is a spice combo I dunno of that works especially well with tuna, a right proportion of mayo and lemon. Even if you do have a standard bumblebee recipe, let's hear that too because that's what I'm going to be using the rest of the summer... LOL! :)


    2. It is not salad but one of our favorite hot weather dishes is chicken tonnato avery satisfying cold meal. I poach and thinly slice chicken breasts. I make the tonnato with really good imported tuna in olive oil by placing tuna and oil in the food processor and adding good lemony mayo and white pepper to taste. Puree and chill well. Nap it on to of the chilled sliced chicken add a garnish of sliced lemon and scatter capers over all. I gould just stand at the refrigerator and eat the sauce with a spoon.

      1. Given your description of this special tuna, I might toss it with good olive oil, plenty of lemon juice, finely chopped red onion and cilantro (if you like it), and capers. Maybe let it sit a little. Or open the can and taste it and go from there? Frantic posting to home cooking board with description of tuna flavor?

        4 Replies
        1. re: Foodie2

          mine is similar to this... olive oil, lots of chopped parsley, sundried tomato pesto and salt and pepper. soo yummmmmy

          1. re: yum

            Sundried Tomato Pesto! Sounds great! How do you make it?


            1. re: Dommy!

              sorry for the late reply... i get the sundried pesto from trader joe's and mix it in with the tuna, add a drizzle of olive oil to your liking and add chopped parsley and already chopped onions from tj's and taste with s&p top it on to your greens and your fave dressing.. yumyum

              1. re: yum

                Seems to me like that would overpower $6-a-can fancy tuna. I'd use Trader Joe's tongol tuna for a dish like that.

        2. k
          King of Northern Blvd.

          I really enjoy this tuna salad. So simple but the addition of lime and cilantro really works. Perhaps it's better with your Bumble Bee though


          1. I would serve your special tuna in a salade niciose. There's a really good recipe in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking -- it's several pages long, but basically involves making a french vinaigrette, french potato salad, dressing the veggies separately and making a composed salad featuring the tuna.

            I also recently made a similar dish from Martha Stewart's Hors D'Oeuvres Handbook, for tuna nicoise sandwiches, and the tuna recipe was fantastic. It called for 2T red wine vinegar, 5 T. olive oil, 6 flat anchovies, 2 T capers, 1 med shallot and 2 cans tuna, drained and flaked. Whisk the oil into the vinegar, add anchovies (chopped), capers, shallots (minced). Season with salt and pepper and add tuna. If you are only using 1 can, adjust the recipe accordingly.

            1. ..for the bumble bee.....
              mix with..
              equal parts sour cream and Best/Hellmans mayo to your particular taste and consistancy
              finely shredded carrots..chopped onion, green and red pepper and celery.
              lots of fresh ground black pepper.. squeeze of lemon..
              let sit in fridge for a few hours to marry..
              the carrots give it a sweetness and the lemon pops it..mmm. im hungry...

              1. My Nana used to make tuna salad with olive oil, sweet red onions, diced fennel bulb and cracked pepper. We ate it on slices of good French bread. She may have added salt, too. I remember it as very simple and delicious.

                My own tuna salad varies based on what is in the crisper drawer, but I'm as likely to use sesame oil, sesame seeds, ground mustard and ginger as I am to use mayo with dill, especially if the veggies are bell pepper and cucumber. I'll also use tuna in place of chicken in different salad recipes. It's the perfet added protien when you are on a budget or just out of anything else.

                1. If this is really fancy tuna, perhaps it would be good in a traditional Nicoise salad? that could really show it off if you think it's special: bed of greens, potatoes, tomatoes, Nicoise olives, green beans, hard-cooked eggs, tuna, vinaigrette. It's super-fast if you've got the potatoes, beans, and eggs already cooked and chilled.

                  1. Italian tuna & cannellini salad is a good dish for top-quality tuna. This one's pretty much what I make except I soak the onions in water with a bit of vinegar and salt for a half hour or so to reduce the bite:


                    1. My husband got me doing this - he's Italian, I thought it was totally wierd at first because I was strictly raised a Hellman's girl, "maybe" a few onion flakes if that.

                      Anyway, I only make it this way now:

                      1 can good quality Italian tuna, drained
                      1/2 chopped up red onion
                      10 chopped up green olives w/pimento - more if you like - or any kind of olive you prefer
                      2 tablespoons, +/-, Hellman's mayo (we use the light)
                      1 tablespoon, +/-, red wine vinegar
                      Freshly ground black pepper

                      Serve on seeded, semolina bread.

                      This is equally good w/out the mayo - we just prefer it with.

                      1. my tuna [everyone loves it and this is as close to cooking as i ever get]

                        for each can

                        2 tablespoons finely diced celery [the tender inner ribs]
                        2 tablespoons finely diced carrots
                        2 tablespoons finely diced red bell or jarred roasted red pepper
                        1/2 teaspoon spike seasoning
                        1 teaspoon lemon juice
                        1-2 tablespoons hellman's light mayo

                        1. Thanks again everyone for your awesome replies! Those who are curious about what happened to the cans... the first can went into Dana's suggest of Nicoise Salad for the 4th of July. You can read about it here:


                          The tuna was perfect for it since it was SO ultra premium that it was more like eating canned Halibut than Tuna.

                          As for the Jalapeno one, The King's suggestion for the recipe with Cilantro and Lime was PERFECT. I decided to omit the Jicama and add the crunch by adding red pepper. The Salad came together BEAUTIFULLY! The flavor of the tuna was just like the original one, mild but meaty. The Jalapeno flavor (Chopped Jalapenos are added to the can before the tuna is cooked in it, so that is how it gets the flavor) was slight, but did leave you with a slight burn, which the Lime really helped bring out.

                          I decided to kick up the spice in these by serving them on my favorite 'cracker' a tostada. And it just so happened I had Jalapeno Tortillas on hand! This was my first time making Tostadas with the Jalapeno Tortillas, and found that when they 'toasted', their beautiful green color went away. :{ So I had to play it really closely to frying time to make sure they didn't look too burnt! :P

                          Anyway, I was smart enough to take a picture of it this disn and here we go:


                          Hope everyong is enjoying this tuna season! :)


                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Dommy

                            Dommy, that's a pretty looking tuna salad!

                          2. The best tuna salad recipe I've ever found (which I discovered in Padua, Italy) is tuna packed in olive oil, chopped up arugula and a bit of pepper.

                            The sweet tuna and the nutty arugula is a great combination.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: ChewFun

                              Yummy sounding - I love arugula so I think I'm going to have to try that one.

                            2. The one I made tonight:

                              Haricots vertes, blanched
                              New Potatoes, steamed
                              Red and yellow cherry tomatoes
                              Nicoise olives
                              Seared sushi-grade ahi tuna
                              Lemon vinaigrette:
                              4 T. olive oil
                              3 T. lemon juice
                              1 t. Dijon mustard
                              salt and pepper
                              I-1/2 inch thick Ahi tuna steak, grilled one minute per side

                              Toss lettuce with a little vinaigrette, then place in center of dinner plates. Successively, toss potatoes,haricots vertes,and tomatoes in just enough vinaigrette to coat. Encircle Romaine with groupings of each veggie, plus a little pile of olives. Slice tuna and fan on top of Romaine. Drizzle tuna with a little vinaigrette and serve.

                              You can add wedges of perfectly (slightly underdone, in my view) hard-boiled eggs, but my DH cannot tolerate the smell, so I omit them. This is a shame, I think: the eggs add a lot.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: pikawicca

                                Have you tried your recipe with Genoa Tuna packed in olive oil? It's available at Trader Joe's for $1.50 per can. This is the traditional way of making Niciose salad. I tried it once in Puerto Banus in the South of Spain and I was hooked instantly. Try and use most of the olive oil from the can...the flavor is incredible.

                              2. I'll vote for either the simplest presentation possible (like the salade Ni├žoise or the tuna + cannelini) or the tonnato. I do mine with just-cooked-enough turkey breast, and use Marcella Hazan's recipe for vitello tonnato. I got some fairly fancy tuna in olive oil at Surfa's, and that's what I'm saving it for. I use the cheapest oil-packed kind for tuna salad (as for sandwiches) or tuna-noodle casserole, and am annoyed that they no longer sell the really cheap grated stuff.

                                1. This is just a standard tuna salad recipe - maybe not special enough for what you're planning. But FWIW here's how I do it.....

                                  - tuna
                                  - lots of mayonnaise
                                  - lots of fresh black pepper
                                  - black olives (they need to be good ones, and ripped up a little)
                                  - a little lemon juice
                                  - walnuts (smack 'em around a little and toast before adding at the very end)

                                  Use good toasted sourdough or multigrain, plenty of butter, and some nice cold salted lettuce and tomato.

                                  It's all about the texture - crunchy/soft/crisp/firm. And the surprise of the warm walnuts, yum.

                                  1. Chopped Calamata Olives, diced red onions, and a lil' Old Bay makes my Tuna Salad really great...

                                    Better made a day in advance...

                                    1. pretty standard:

                                      red onion or shallot
                                      good mayonnaise (homemade, or i like the organic one from trader joe's)
                                      lemon juice
                                      black pepper

                                      I'm going to try that one with walnuts, that sounds great!

                                      1. The best I've had (but never made) had red cabbage, raisins (really!), broccoli, and maybe shredded carrots. No mayo that I know of, but maybe a tiny amount? Special tuna! So good!

                                        1. Haven't tried Katy's tuna. Why are people so obsessed with Tuna in Water? Yuck! Tuna in Olive oil totally blows it away! Trader Joe's sells Genoa tuna packed in Olive oil for around $1.50..it's amazing. The larger stores sell it for $2.50 to $3.50 per can. No need for mayo with this tuna...the extra virgin olive oil gives great flavor. If you must, then drain some but not all of the tasty olive oil.