This Spicy Tuna Salad has all the same flavors as your favorite spicy tuna roll but is made with canned tuna instead.
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Spicy Tuna Salad Recipe
Spicy Tuna Salad is a staple in our house for lunches. We use it for everything from quick sandwiches to sushi bowls to salads. It has all the same components as a sushi style spicy tuna but is made with affordable canned tuna instead. Our other favorite tuna recipes include this Tuna Egg Salad and Avocado Tuna Salad.
A few weeks ago I had a major craving for sushi but with no car in sight, I was forced to improvise and this spicy tuna salad was born. And no joke, we have been eating it almost every day since then. It just might be my new favorite way to eat canned tuna.
Like any good spicy tuna, the sauce for this salad starts with two very important ingredients – spicy Sriracha and creamy mayonnaise to counter all that spice. To keep things light and healthy, I used a combination of light mayo and Greek yogurt and it worked perfectly. Then to kick up the flavors even more, I added some rice vinegar, soy sauce, and scallions. Trust me, if you like tuna and like spice, you want to make this immediately.
Tips for Making Spicy Tuna Salad
- Add sesame oil: If you want a bit more flavor in your tuna, consider adding a touch of sesame oil to the mix. I like to use toasted sesame oil and a little goes a long way. It will add some nuttiness and earthiness to the tuna salad.
- Use avocado: If you don’t like mayo, avocado is a great substitute. Just mash it up and use it in place of the mayo. You can also keep the mayo and add some chopped avocado to the mix as well.
- Sesame seeds and Furikake: If you have ever had tuna poke, one of my favorite things to use on top is Furikake, a Japanese seasoning mix that contains sesame seed, nori, salt, sugar, and a special seasoning. It’s delicious and is a really great addition to this spicy tuna salad. Sesame seeds also work to add crunch.
- Use a different protein: If canned tuna isn’t your favorite, you could always use a different protein. This salad works with chicken, salmon, cooked shrimp, tofu, chickpeas, and even hard boiled eggs.
Ways to Enjoy this Spicy Tuna Salad
- Make sushi: For the adventurous (or those with this amazing sushi maker), this is a great way to make a super affordable and delicious spicy tuna roll at home.
- Sandwiches and wraps: Just like classic tuna salad, this salad makes a killer sandwich. Layer it up with sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, sprouts, carrots, and greens.
- Sushi burritos: You can also make the easier sushi burrito by wrapping this spicy tuna salad up with some cooked rice and veggies in a large piece of nori. Drizzle some extra soy on top and add a very thin layer of wasabi for even more spice.
- Salad: We love using tuna salad as a protein for salads and this one is no different. Grab a big bowl of greens or shredded cabbage. Top with veggies and consider doubling up the dressing so you can add the extra to the salad as well. Crumbled seaweed on top is a great addition as well.
- Sushi Bowls: Make your own sushi bowls. Just grabbed some cooked white or brown rice, chopped cucumbers, shredded carrots, and avocado. Top with spicy tuna and you have a healthy meal ready to go.
How long will tuna salad last in the fridge?
Generally speaking, it is best to eat tuna salad 2-3 days after making it. If you think you will need to store it for longer, I recommend just making the dressing. The dressing will keep for about one week in the fridge and you can simply add the tuna and vegetables when you are ready to prepare it.
What is the best tuna for tuna salad?
There are so many different options when it comes to canned tuna and it can be hard to know which one to choose. Here is a general overview of the most commonly found canned tuna in the grocery store.
- Water vs. oil packed tuna: To start, tuna usually comes packed in oil or water. Water packed tuna will have fewer calories and fat than oil packed tuna, so for most people, this is their preferred choice. But some people prefer the flavor of tuna packed in oil. If you choose tuna in oil, make sure to look for one packed in a heart-healthy oil like olive oil. One other consideration is that water packed tuna is usually higher in Omega 3 fatty acids.
- Albacore vs. Yellowfin vs. Skipjack: Most markets will carry albacore and yellowfin options and skipjack is becoming increasingly popular as well. Albacore and yellowfin tuna are white tuna varieties with the mildest flavor. However, these tuna options also have the highest level of mercury. Skipjack is usually what you find in light or chunk light tuna. This tuna is browner in color, has a stronger flavor, and has less mercury than the white varieties. A fourth option is tongol, which is similar to skipjack. It is also brown in color and contains less mercury than white tuna.
- Solid vs. chunk: Most tuna comes as solid or chunk. Solid tuna will be one larger piece of tuna meat from the loin whereas chunk tuna is smaller pieces that fall off of the loin and are packed together. Chunk tuna is more affordable than solid tuna.
How to make spicy tuna salad without mayo?
To make spicy tuna salad without mayo, you have a few options. Mashed avocado is my favorite option and adds creaminess, healthy fats, and great flavor to the tuna. Another good option is Greek yogurt. Go for a full fat variety for less tang and more creaminess. You could also use sour cream, vegan mayonnaise, or even hummus.