This easy Wasabi Asian Tuna Salad is ready in minutes, and packed with flavor. This salad is perfect all by itself, piled on top of sandwiches, or scooped onto crackers.

Wasabi Asian Tuna Salad

This easy Wasabi Asian Tuna Salad is ready in minutes, and packed with flavor. This salad is perfect all by itself, piled on top of sandwiches, or scooped onto crackers.

Wasabi Asian Tuna Salad

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.

In a hurry? Jump to the recipe! 

This easy Wasabi Asian Tuna Salad is ready in minutes, and packed with flavor. This salad is perfect all by itself, piled on top of sandwiches, or scooped onto crackers.

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

Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna with Ginger Soy Sauce

Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna with Ginger Soy Sauce

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?

This easy Wasabi Asian Tuna Salad is ready in minutes, and packed with flavor. This salad is perfect all by itself, piled on top of sandwiches, or scooped onto crackers.

Wasabi Asian Tuna Salad

*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.

This easy Wasabi Asian Tuna Salad is ready in minutes, and packed with flavor. This salad is perfect all by itself, piled on top of sandwiches, or scooped onto crackers.
5 from 8 votes

Wasabi Asian Tuna Salad

Course Main Course
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 2 people
Calories 215 kcal
Author Champagne Tastes


  • 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


  1. 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.  

  2. Serve with salad alone, with bread, or with crackers. 

Recipe Notes

*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.

26 thoughts on “Wasabi Asian Tuna Salad

  1. Jennie Durren says:

    Mmmmm I love capers in my tuna salad – that’s why I get the big jar from Costco, lol. I’ve never tried wasabi!

    I’m a fan of a dryer tuna salad, myself, although olive oil is wayyyy better than mayo if you end up going overboard IMO.

    • champagne-tastes says:

      I get the wide mouth jars of capers at Trader Joe’s! I hate trying to get enough out of those tiny bottles lol

  2. Sarah says:

    Haha I hear ya…when I’m sick of a food, I feel like it takes me years to desire it again! However, this tuna salad sounds absolutely amazing!! What an awesome recipe, Sarah!

  3. Meg | Meg is Well says:

    I needed a change up from my normal tuna salad so I’m loving this! It has a crunchy item, a salty pickled item, fat, and spice-basically perfect but all components I’ve never tried before. I totally understand how you got burned out though. I’ve had a lot of luck with quinoa salads on car trips. They’re filling and don’t usually need to be refrigerated.

  4. Dawn - Girl Heart Food says:

    Sometimes I love a food so much and eat a lot of it and then get so tired of it too. Happened a while back with my weekday breakfasts. I would grab a crunchy granola bar, piece of cheese and coffee and way to go. I got so tired of it and had to take a break and started mixing it up with smoothies. I do enjoy tuna salad too and, like you, prefer more on the dry side than too wet. Love this version you have in there. When I mix up a regular ol’ tuna salad I usually add celery and pickle for crunch. The water chestnuts and capers are such a great idea! Love the flavours in this one and definitely trying soon. I know hubby would really like too! As for road trip food? Haven’t been on one in a while, but fruit always works and I love nuts!

  5. Mira says:

    The combination of all these flavors must be heavenly! I am not a big tuna or wasabi fan but my husband who spent a few years living in Asia loves these flavors. I may have to surprise him with this recipe!

  6. Lisa | Garlic & Zest says:

    To be clear — I don’t want to eat the same “anything” for three weeks, but every once in a while I like a good tuna salad. I like how you’ve blended the crunch of water chestnuts (which I equate to a more asian flavor) with capers (French/Mediterranean) and wasabi and ginger (asian heat). It’s such an unusual blend, but when you put it all together its a melody!

  7. Jessy @ The Life Jolie says:

    I really love tuna but I get sick of my usual tuna salad with mayo, celery and relish. This looks like a fantastic alternative. I especially love the kick the wasabi must bring. I’ll definitely be trying this as a quick and tasty lunch to bring to work!

  8. Sean@Diversivore says:

    What an awesome recipe. I imagine your glamping trip would have been considerably less glam had you tried to bring ahi tuna steaks instead of canned tuna. Hoo. I’ve always been more into the fresh tuna than the canned stuff myself, but I think I can chalk a lot of that up to childhood dislikes and biases. I’ve seen some absolutely amazing canned tuna coming out on the market lately, made with really wonderful fish, and it makes something like this recipe seem all the more tempting. I think the kick from the wasabi or horseradish sounds like the perfect way to add some life to a tuna salad too. Given that my horseradish plant is quickly taking over my entire garden, I might need to have some recipes like this in the bank…. 😀

  9. Leah says:

    I love a good tuna salad, and your flavors in this sound so intriguing! In all honesty, the wasabi scares me a bit, but I could definitely do the horseradish! I love the idea of the crunch of the water chestnuts and capers! Where/what brand capers do you get? I can’t seem to find a brand I really like!

  10. Michele says:

    I have been on a diet and eating lots of tuna! WAY TOO MUCH TUNA. Now I realize I need to make a flavorful tuna so I don’t get sick of the boring tuna Ive been making. I cant wait to try this out…. and the fact that I have everything (even the wasabi!) to make it in my house is a sign right? A sign of good things to come!

  11. J @ Bless Her Heart Y'all says:

    That would be a big conundrum! Three weeks is a long time! But I really do see how amazing this recipe is and how easy it could be to travel with. I love the combination of flavors and hubby would love the fact that he could scoop it up and devour it with chips or crackers! I’ll be making this recipe soon for sure!

  12. Matthew From Nomageddon says:

    So here’s the thing about wasabi. Most wasabi you see in the states is actually dyed green horseradish. The problem is it’s so hard to grow that it’s so expensive. It can’t grow in our climate, and must be imported. That being said, if you can get REAL horseradish that you grate yourself it would make this dish OUT OF THIS WORLD! Well maybe out of this hemisphere….

    • champagne-tastes says:

      I knowwww .. it’s sad! That’s why I have the horseradish option- it’s crazy hard to find Wasabi that’s not green dyed horseradish! (But I like it with the horseradish too!)

  13. Amanda {Striped Sptaula} says:

    Really love the full flavors in this tuna salad. I find myself way too often making the “same old” salad and I get so bored with it! Love the idea of using a chili-infused olive oil in it, too. What a bold and healthy lunch idea. (PS – I tip my hat to you for your creative handling of three weeks without a refrigerator! 🙂 Road trips are such a fun experience, though. Have fun planning your next!)

  14. Donna says:

    Oh yum, this sounds like it might move towards satisfying my sushi craving (I have been seriously craving it for the entire 8 months of this pregnancy), I will be having this for lunch tomorrow! What a clever road trip food idea!! We have a road trip coming up in a couple of months, and I have been compiling ideas – this will be making it onto the list 🙂

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