• Emily Kim

Tuna 4 Ways: Chicken of the Sea, My Unlikely Hero

Updated: Apr 17


The other day a great human, and even better friend, sent me an email to join her recipe-sharing chain. My knee jerk reaction against all things chain/forward dissolved as I realized how flipping excited I was at the prospect of sharing my kitchen exploits with friends (and some friends of friends). I felt like I'd tapped into something akin to modern pen pals-- that simplicity, that connection was/is something I need. These last couple of weeks, time in the kitchen has been such a relief for me. So I'm doubly pumped about the recipe share. Now, the idea is not to go to the supermarket to buy niche ingredients for some new recipe every day. Ain't nobody got the time, money or the immune system for that. But getting creative, practical and delicious these days is an exciting thing. Even more so when we share our adventures with each other.



SO, today I bring you quarantine-approved tuna... four ways. All of the recipes are adaptable to whatever you have on hand! The only real must-have is canned tuna (but even that can be swapped for canned salmon, even canned chicken, or whatever you've got handy). Let's take this opportunity to cook, without an extra grocery store run, with what we have!



1. Tuna Salad Crunch


Serves 2


Ingredients:


For the tuna salad:


- 2 x 80 g cans of tuna in vinegar (~3 oz each); if you don't have tuna in vinegar, no problem! Just drain it and add some vinegar in later to taste!

- 1/2 apple, diced

- 1/2 onion, diced (purple, white, rainbow, whatever you have; I used white)

- 1-2 stalks of celery, diced

- 1/4 c mayo*

- Salt and pepper, to taste

- Optional: walnuts, pistachios, whatever you have that you want to add for a bit more crunch

- Optional: avocado, diced


*I use homemade mayo but you're welcome to use your favorite store-bought brand!

Click above to see how to make your own mayo. Personally, I use an immersion blender and the following ingredients: 1 egg, 1/2 cup of olive oil, salt, pepper, optional: half an avocado.


For the "crunch":


- 4 slices of your favorite bread

- 4 slices of cheese

- Schmear(s) of mustard, to taste (I do dijon, but you do you)


How to:


1. Drain tuna and add it to a bowl. Add the diced apple, onion, celery, (avocado), and mayo. Mix well. If you're opting for that extra crunch, go nuts! (Get it?) Salt and pepper to taste.


2. Meanwhile, toast your bread and melt one slice of cheese on top of each.


3. Smear some mustard on each to taste.


4. Top with your tuna salad and enjoy!



2. Tuna Salad, Plain and Simple


Serves 2


Tuna Salad, Plain and Simple is just that... Plain and simple. It's basically a stripped down version of the Tuna Salad Crunch.


Ingredients:


- 2 x 80 g cans of tuna in vinegar (~3 oz each); if you don't have tuna in vinegar, no problem! Just drain it and add some vinegar in later to taste!

- 1/2 onion of your choice, diced (Again, I used white because it's what I had)

- 1/4 c pitted, black olives

- 1/4 c crumbled feta

- 1 avocado, diced

- 1 tomato, diced

- Olive oil and vinegar, to taste

- Salt and pepper, to taste

- Optional: walnuts, pistachios, almonds, whatever you've got


How to:


1. Drain the tuna and add it to a bowl. Add the diced onion, avocado and tomatoes, the olives and feta. If you're going to add some nuts, now's the time.


2. Drizzle with oil and vinegar to taste (although I normally don't add much vinegar since the tuna already has some, even drained). Salt and pepper to taste.


3. Refrigerate to serve chilled later, or serve immediately!



3. Tuna & Brown Rice Patties


Serves 2


If you're craving something hot, something... fried, here's your option (although you can also bake them, this recipe is going for fried).


Ingredients:


- 2 x 80 g cans of tuna in vinegar (~3 oz each)

- 2 eggs

- ~1 cup of cooked brown rice (use instant, white rice, day old bread, whatever you want to give this patty some more substance)

- 1/3 diced onion

- Salt and pepper, to taste

- 1/3 c cheese (whatever cheese you have on hand, I used cheese cubes)

- 1 tbs mustard

- Olive or your favorite oil, to fry

- Optional: 2 tbs parmesan

- Optional: red pepper flakes

- Optional: garlic salt


How to:


1. Drain, really drain, the tuna and add it to a bowl.


2. Add the rice, diced onion, cheese, eggs, mustard and seasonings. Mix well. It should look sticky (if it looks dry, add more egg to help hold it together, otherwise it will crumble).


3. Place a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add a bit of oil to fry (since it's non-stick you really don't need any, but it does help give it a nice golden finish).


4. Spoon a small ball into the pan and pat it down with your spatula. Continue until you've filled the pan.


5. Cook on each side for about 1-2 minutes or until golden brown. Then carefully, flip them. Cook again for a few minutes until golden.


6. Remove and serve! (It's great with some greens and your favorite dressing!)



4. Chickpea Salad with Special Guest: Tuna


Serves 2


Ingredients:


- 2 x 80 g cans of tuna in vinegar (~3 oz each); if you don't have tuna in vinegar, no problem! Just drain it and add some vinegar in later to taste!

- 1 x 425 g can of chickpeas (~15 oz)

- 1 avocado, diced

- 1/2 onion, diced

- 2 medium tomatoes, diced

- Olive oil, to dress

- Salt and pepper

- Optional: fresh cilantro, finely chopped

- Optional: fresh lemon juice, to dress


How to:


1. Drain the tuna and add it to a bowl. (See where this is going yet?)


2. Drain and add the chickpeas, followed by the avocado, onion and tomato.


3. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. If you want to add lemon juice and cilantro, go ahead.


4. Mix well and serve!




I hope you enjoy!

 

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