Okay. I know what you’re thinking. Best Damn Tuna Salad EVER is a big claim. And everyone has their own list of what makes a great Tuna Salad…celery, onion, red bell pepper, macaroni, etc. But in my opinion what makes this tuna salad the best is its utter simplicity. It doesn’t try to be anything other than really good tuna, mixed with a few simple ingredients to complement and enhance its flavor, then allowed to rest for a bit to marry all of that together into a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.
And therein lies the key. You have to use the best canned tuna you can find. None of that stuff that comes in a bag or a pouch and has added ingredients. No ma’am. My preferred brand is Wild Planet. They use sustainable, dolphin safe catch methods and they don’t add anything to the tuna. When you open the can it is literally JUST TUNA. No added liquids. No funky thickeners or stabilizers. JUST TUNA. Of course, once you’ve committed to using high quality tuna, you can’t then throw low quality ingredients in with it and expect awesome results. So for this recipe I’m actually giving you two recipes..One of the tuna salad and one for the mayonnaise. Because the mayo is everything.
Y’all know I eat a Primal diet. And you know that since June I’ve been ketogenic as well. So mayonnaise has taken on a whole other level of importance in my life. Don’t misunderstand. I’ve always loved mayo. As a kid, the only way I would eat vegetables (other than potatoes) was if they came with a blob of mayo on the side so I could dip them. As a teenager I discovered the magnificence that is hot,salty french fries dipped in mayonnaise, a la Belgique. Swoon. Aioli was like a religious experience. I spent hours upon hours in culinary school perfecting my mayo making abilities, and coming up with interesting flavored varieties to complement various foods. If I ever write a cookbook, it might be all about this most classic of emulsions.
There’s certainly no shortage of brands available in every grocery store in the US. You can even buy fancy flavored varieties almost anywhere. Chipotle, Lemon, Garlic, and Sriracha are all front and center in the mayonnaise aisle these days. But it’s really hard to find mayonnaise made with quality oils, and without a bunch of stabilizers, thickeners, preservatives, and sugars. You don’t need guar gum, corn syrup, or soybean oil in your life or your mayonnaise. That’s why I think everyone should be making their own. It’s easy. You probably already have all five ingredients, and the one piece of equipment, and using my method you can make a batch in about 60 seconds. Truth.
By making your own mayo, you can choose whatever healthy oil fits your tastes and your budget. Avocado oil is my favorite for it’s Omega 3 profile and mild flavor. But it’s expensive. You could use the lighter flavored olive oils and get a very similar result without the hit to your wallet. Or mix olive oil and Avocado oil to get the benefits of both and stretch your dollar a little. Whatever oils you decide to use, just stay away from crappy vegetable and seed oils like corn oil, soybean, canola, cottonseed, blends like Wesson oil. You don’t need those in your life.
Here we go!
Now that you have that technique mastered, you will never have to buy mayo again. And you can amaze your friends and family with your magical abilities to whip this up, almost out of thin air.
But, don’t forget the whole reason for making the mayonnaise is to use it in this Tuna Salad recipe.
Honestly, nothing makes me happier on a sweltering summer day than opening the fridge and pulling a bowl of this salad out, scooping some out onto a pile of mixed baby lettuces, and maybe a couple of slices of ripe, local tomatoes, a little chopped avocado, and digging in. It’s the perfect meal, and I’ll eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Don’t judge.
Here’s my recipe…remember I’m a purist. If you like other stuff in your Tuna Salad, go for it. But to me this really is...
The Best Damn Tuna Salad
2 cans Wild Planet Tuna, drained
2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup Mayonnaise (see above)
Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste
Put the Tuna in mixing bowl large enough to hold everything and have room for stirring/mixing
Using a fork, gently flake or break up the tuna into smaller pieces. Don’t overwork it though.
Mix the chopped egg in to evenly distribute.
GENTLY fold in your mayonnaise. Stir/Mix just to combine. You’re not making a paste. You want texture and chunks. Taste it, and add salt and pepper to your liking. if you want to get fancy, give it a little squeeze of lemon juice. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight for the best flavor.
That’s it. This is so good. Seriously, I want some right now.
Go make it and tell me what you think.