This easy Wasabi Asian Tuna Salad is ready in minutes, and packed with flavor. This salad is perfect all by itself, piled into sandwiches, or scooped onto crackers.
I’ve got a story– a tuna story. Are you ready? It’s exciting! It has problem solving, excitement, and there’s even a lesson learned. Last summer, the husband and I went on a hiking, camping, glamping, road trip ‘experience.’ Before we left, I started planning, and I had a problem. A food problem, to be precise. What, exactly, does one eat when you’re in a car, with no refrigeration or cooler, no microwave, no stovetop. If peanut butter pops into your head– I agree– but not for three weeks! My solution was tuna. Actually, it was this Wasabi Asian Tuna Salad.
Of course, I realized that I wouldn’t want to eat tuna every day, but unfortunately I underestimated how quickly I would get tired of BOTH tuna and peanut butter. That’s why you’re reading this recipe in March, over seven months after my trip ended. This salad is perfect for lunch. It’s flavorful, easy, and delicious, but I don’t recommend trying to eat it on a daily basis for three weeks. (In fact, you really shouldn’t eat tuna every day anyway.*) Lesson learned.
Gathering Ingredients + Making Wasabi Asian Tuna Salad
To make this Wasabi Asian Tuna Salad, you need canned tuna (don’t confuse canned tuna with ahi tuna steaks!), wasabi (or horseradish and mustard seeds), olive oil, water chestnuts (or bamboo shoots), ginger paste, crushed red pepper, and capers. The olive oil is going to bind the salad together. Since everyone seems to have their own opinions about how dry or wet they prefer their salad, use my measurement as a starting point and add more if needed. (I’m a fan of dryer salad, for the record.)
The water chestnuts or bamboo shoots will give your tuna a little crunch, and can usually be found canned in the Asian food aisles at supermarkets. The wasabi, ginger paste, and red pepper will add heat, so add those according to how much heat you prefer! (The wasabi should be in the Asian food aisle too. You can find it powdered or in a squeeze bottle. Ginger paste in refrigerated tubes is usually available near the herbs in the produce aisle, or jarred near other condiments.) The capers will give a little zest to your salad, so don’t forget them! (If you don’t normally buy capers, they’re typically near the jarred olives.) To assemble your salad, simply mix all your ingredients together! Eat this on its own, as a sandwich, or with crackers, and enjoy!
We’re planning another road trip for 2017, and since I won’t be eating tuna every day, I’m still looking for lunch ideas! What’s your favorite road trip food?
*A Note on Seafood Safety and Mercury: Did you know that the word ‘tuna’ covers a variety of different fish? Some tuna are very large, and therefore are higher up on the ocean food chain. That means that, in general, these fish have higher levels of mercury and should not be eaten on a regular basis. In general, ‘Skipjack (or ‘Light’) tuna should have lower levels of mercury, while ‘Albacore’ (or ‘White’) tuna has higher levels. Also Note: I’m not a doctor, and I’m not giving medical advice here. If your doctor says you shouldn’t eat certain fish because you’re at a higher risk for getting sick (i.e.– if you’re pregnant or have a different medical condition that makes it unsafe), talk to them, not me, before chowing down on this lovely fish.
**A Note on Seafood Sustainability: If you’re trying to shop sustainably, canned tuna can be tricky. Sustainability recommendations vary depending on the type of tuna you’re buying. This canned tuna shopping guide can help.
Wasabi Asian Tuna Salad
- 1 5oz can chunk light tuna (in water), drained* (See Recipe Notes)
- ~2 TB olive oil, depending on desired consistency (See Recipe Notes)
- 1/8 cup water chestnuts, diced OR bamboo shoots, diced
- 1/8 cup capers
- 2 tsp ginger paste
- 1 tsp wasabi OR 1 tsp horseradish and 1/2 tsp crushed mustard seeds
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
- To serve (optional): bread, crackers
Combine tuna, oil, water chestnuts, and capers. Add wasabi, ginger, and red pepper to taste, adding more or less according to desired level of spiciness.
Serve with salad alone, with bread, or with crackers.
*If you prefer tuna packed in olive oil, simply reduce (or eliminate) the additional olive oil in this recipe.
If you have chili-infused olive oil, this would be a great chance to use it! Simply substitute it for the olive oil and omit the crushed red pepper.
*Calorie Information was calculated per serving using My Fitness Pal. Calorie calculations do not include optional crackers, bread etc.