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What to do with Tuna packed in veg oil?

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My husband inadverently purchased four cans of tuna packed in vegtable oil instead of water. Anyone have any ideas what I could do with it?


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  1. Just drain it well (you can put it in a strainer and rinse it, if you feel that's necessary) and use it as you would the water pack.

    1. Make an authentic salade nicoise, which calls for oil-packed tuna.

      A friend and I sometimes make a kind of scaled down version we found a recipe for a few years ago: Boiled or steamed potatoes, sliced. Steamed string beans. Oil-packed tuna. And a very light vinaigrette with mustard seeds.


      Funny, it's never occurred to me to use oil-packed for basic old American tuna salad. But for the above, definitely oil-packed.

      1. Eat it, and enjoy the good flavor that oil gives tuna. Water packing ruins tuna, in my opinion. Emancipate all water packed tuna!

        1. drain some oil off, and stir fry it with day old rice, kimchi + it's juice, and add a fried egg on top afterwards - yolk must be runny.

          1 Reply
          1. re: bitsubeats

            Dran the Tuna
            Boil 6 or 7 large peeled potatoes with about a cup of italian parsley, and salt. Drain, the water off when fork tender. Mix in the Tuna flaked 3 cans, salt pepper and garlic powder,med red onion chopped, and red wine vinegar and top with fresh parsely. serve warm or cold, with red wine vinegar.

          2. Mix its rich goodness with cooked white beans, roasted red pepper strips, black olives, and cucumber, then stir into freshly cooked pasta (or use to top salad leaves, if you prefer). I share bundtcake's view of water packed tuna - those fish died in vain.

            1 Reply
            1. re: pepper_mil

              wow - that is a GREAT idea. Thanks so much!

            2. Being Italian, I never eat the stuff packed in water (blech).

              Two ethnic options: First, Italian:
              (a) Pasta al Tonno is a really easy seafood sauce: Place EVOO in pan, saute some smashed garlic (remove once golden), crush and add one can top quality plum tomatoes (San Marzano, etc.); once Marinara Sauce is cooked, add a can of Tuna in Oil, draining some of the oil (do not cook too much, you are really just heating the tuna). Serve over Linguine or Spaghetti (Its counter intuitive, but I find a pat of butter enriches this sauce). This is great for a Tuesday night when nothing is in the fridge.

              b) Tuna w/Cannelini: Rinse a can of Cannelini beans (or make fresh, if you have the patience); Drain tuna and break with a fork; Add tuna to beans, then chopped parsley and EVOO. Serve with crusty bread and other antipasti


              If you have ever had a "spicy tuna roll" you can make something similar with canned tuna in oil. I add wasabi, powdered or even better wet japanese pepper (if you can find it, there is a green japanese pepper paste, sold in little jars that works great). Just mix the pepper into the tuna. Serve over fresh Japanese rice or make into maki rolls.

              1. BTW, once you try these out, search out the best Tuna in Oil you can find. There are pricey varieties, such as "Ventresca", althought many varieties imported from Italy and Spain are excellent.

                I just came back from Spain, and one regret was that I could not bring back these beautiful large jars of tuna packed in olive oil. They were massive and the tuna looked amazing; but as much as I love Tuna in Oil, having it all over my suits etc. made it an unviable purchase.