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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Simple, Classic Tuna Salad

Its official. Today is our first of many triple digit days temperature wise. When the thermometer hits 100, eating isn't as tempting which is a good thing as cooking seems impossible!

Here is a quick and easy way to make something wonderfully tasty and fast. The recipe also allows you to stick your head in the freezer for a moment which is a great selling point in my book!

Classic Tuna Salad

This recipe has only two ingredients. Tuna and mayonnaise. The secret is the preparation of the tuna and the use of a high quality mayonnaise. In this recipe I always use Hellmans. If you are west of the Rocky Mountains, it is called Best Foods mayonnaise. Same thing.

I always use 2 of the 6 oz cans of tuna.

So on to the prep!

The big secret is to drain that tuna. When you think it is all drained, drain it some more!

I begin mine this way:

First place a dinner sized plate in the freezer section of your Fridge (I'll tell you why later)

Next, drain your tuna in a sturdy colander.

{Side note - if you have a dog or cat put a plate under that colander to catch the liquid - your furry friend will be ever so grateful}

This can take awhile so if you are in a hurry you can press the tuna with the back of a large flat spoon to speed things up. You can also squeeze it with your hands if you prefer. Once you have gotten all of the liquid you possibly can off of the tuna, remove your chilled plate from the freezer. Put the tuna on the chilled plate. Spread it around in one big even layer. Press firmly across the top of your layer with a paper towel. Use your whole palm, don't be afraid to press hard the tuna wont stick to the paper towel. It usually takes me at least 4 times of blotting the tuna to get the rest of the liquid out. Time consuming but really worth it.

Once the tuna is as dry as you can get it and still on the chilled plate, put it in the fridge for 5 - 10 minutes and let it get cold.

Next, add your mayonnaise. The ratio is 1 generous (heaping) tablespoon of Hellmans Mayonnaise per can of tuna. Since we started with two cans of tuna I will be adding 2tablespoons of mayonnaise. Because of all the pressing and squeezing to remove all of the liquid, the tuna at this point is more of a "glob" than "flakes" or "chunks, that is ok. In fact that is perfect for this recipe.

Thoroughly blend your mayonnaise with the tuna and taste. If you find it too dry you can add more mayonnaise carefully 1 teaspoon at a time. Notice the switch from tablespoon to teaspoon. This is because we are going for a very low texture and slightly on the dry side tuna dish. Too much mayo and it will get gloppy and sloppy. We aren't going there!

This tuna salad recipe is the closest thing I have found to the tuna salad at Subway which I adore and don't want to pay for. If you like your tuna salad in a form almost resembling a "spread" this is the way to do it.
If you are avoiding bread this spreads wonderfully on cucumber slices you have seasoned with salt and pepper.

If you are using bread, a good tip is to lightly butter both slices of bread and then add a hearty slice of lettuce. The butter keeps the bread dry and holds the lettuce in place. Think of it as edible food glue that will hold your work of art sandwich together.


  1. You can't beat the perfection of an excellent tuna salad — do make sure it's not blue fin tuna, though.

    as for the bread to use, we're spoiled for choice in Germany. any geman i ask who has lived abroad always reports the food they most miss is German bread. the selections are the very best!

    i'd miss german bread if i left.

  2. That was me Floh. i've been booted by the system og this blog once again. i'm tearing my hair out.

  3. Thanks Floh! I appreciate your patience while we work out this comment glitch!


  4. i can't eat canned tuna :( it doesn't taste good to me.