Dave is a fan of my homemade mayo, but he confessed a few days ago that since his Whole30, the idea of tuna salad left...Read More
Firecracker Tuna Salad
There’s something very lunch-y and comforting about tuna salad — which explains why I’ve been experimenting with it so much lately. It just feels so easy to grab a can from the pantry, then dig through the fridge for ideas. (Plus I’ll take any excuse to eat homemade mayo.) My husband Dave usually requests pickled jalapenos in his tuna, but today I was inspired by the glossy fresh peppers in the fridge. And unbidden, the name Firecracker Tuna popped into my head.
I turned to the spice cabinet to look for other hot-ish seasonings that would add depth of flavor along with the pop of heat. I landed on mustard powder, cayenne, and Aleppo pepper. Don’t be put off if you don’t like hot food; you can cut back on the quantities, if you like.
This tuna came out more flavorful than sizzling — and you can always use fresh raw veggies as fire extinguishers, if necessary.
Firecracker Tuna Salad
Serves 2 | Prep 10 minutes | Whole30 compliant
1/2 to 1 large jalapeno pepper, finely minced
4 scallions, green & white, sliced thin
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard powder
3/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper (can substitute crushed red pepper flakes)
pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
2 cans tuna (I like this kind)
salt & black pepper, to taste
2-3 tablespoons homemade mayo
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the jalapenos, scallions, mustard powder, Aleppo pepper, cayenne, vinegar, and tuna. Mix well with a fork, breaking up any large clumps of tuna. Taste for seasoning.
With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the mayo so the salad becomes creamy, but the mayo doesn’t devolve into its component parts.
Pile on a plate with raw veggies — I like cucumber slices, jicama sticks, green pepper strips, and carrots because they’re cool and sweet in contrast to the spicy tuna.
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Hey Mel! Have you ever experimented with celeriac? I had the most amazing celeriac puree last night at a local restaurant and I am inspiried to try it out at home. I’m just wondering if you have any tips before I start!
I’ve never eaten celeriac because I really don’t like the taste of celery. I did a quick search out of curiosity, and it looks like you just treat it like a root vegetable.
This Alton Brown recipe sounds good, just replace the cream with coconut milk. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/celeriac-puree-recipe/index.html
And this one from Epicurious works for paleo if you use coconut oil instead of canola. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Roasted-Garlic-Celeriac-Puree-236610
Long before we heard of paleo we substituted mashed celery root for mashed potatoes as it has more flavor — but not very celery tasting — & is much lighter. For our family of five we used one huge celery root or two medium – large ones. It’s simple and fast to prepare: peel the skin/debris, slice & chop into cubes, steam til soft, then mash. Season with salt, pepper or whatever spices appeal to you. As you mentioned, coconut milk would be a great tasting addition to the mash.
all of these look great – I hope that one of your next tuna experiments won’t include mayo! I want to incorporate more tuna into my diet, but with my lack of cooking creativity and dislike of anything looking like/tasting like mayo (even paleo mayo), I have no idea where to start.
Challenge accepted! I’ve been kicking around a tuna idea that uses a vinaigrette and some unusual vegetables, so look for it soon!
Also… you can take any of the tuna recipes on my blog and replace the mayo with a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of either lemon juice or a mild vinegar (like cider or raspberry). It won’t be creamy, but it will taste really good. Give it a shot!
I shunned mayo at all costs when I was a kid. My mom made my portion of tuna salad by subbing butter for the mayo. At room temp, the consistency is about the same. You just have to adjust the flavoring a bit to get the “mayo tang”, if that’s your thing. She also did that with deviled eggs. Yeah, she loved me!
Yaaaay! I’m looking forward to it. I will try your recommendation of extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice, that sounds delish. Thank you!
One of my favorite mayo substitute when I’m out of homemade mayo is one avocado mashed with juice of 1 lemon. It works like a charm in tuna/egg/sardine/chicken salad.
I am so going to try this recipe – I am going to attempt to make the mayo too! I actually like to add a bit of hard boiled egg into my tuna salad. I usually just cook the egg, then slice it in the egg slicer in both the long and short directions and mash it all in with the tuna!
Another fine reason to pull out the food processor and make some mayo!
Could I pretty please substitute canned chicken breast or even just chopped up chicken? I can not for the life of me stand seafood. *GASP* I know.
Oh, absolutely! Canned or chopped chicken breast would taste awesome. Go for it!
YUM! I made this for lunch today and it rocked! I love your work! Big fan! Hope CR was amazing. Trying to get there for xmas.
Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it!
Got to you through an interview on Stumptuous.com. Love the idea of this salad. Like you, I put red wine vinegar in my tuna. I usually forego mayo (not really a fan) and substitute with horseradish dijon mustard, plus pickle relish. I’ll have to try it with this kick though! Looks awesome!
I’ve been thinking about trying jalapeno in my next batch of tuna salad. You beat me to it. So glad to hear it is GOOD this way. I like to put a little shawarma spice mix into my homemade mayo that goes into tuna salad, too. I think BOTH might be good in my next batch!
I roasted my jalapenos & added 1 cup of minced asian pear for some sweetness – it is excellent!!!
So my Mayo tanked — twice and I bailed for “store” (gasp!)because after 20 mile bike ride I was STARVING and couldn’t wait on another set of egg/oil combo to get to room temp. But that aside, this was the best tuna salad I’ve had in a long time. I believe my “Third Time Mayo” (chilling in the fridge) will work for next time tho. Dang that stuff is persnickity.
The homemade mayo can be persnickety, but it gets easier with practice — I promise! Glad you liked the tuna recipe. Be sure to read the other comments — there are lots of great suggestions for mayo alternatives, too. YAY!
this stuff is the shiz. Holy crap is it good.
Dan and I love spice. I was scared when I was making it, that it may kill me when I ate it, but it was PERFECT!
YAY! So glad you enjoyed it.
I made this last night for Day 4 of whole 30. me and joey both taste-tested before bed time – YUM! really looking forward to lunch today! going to eat it with carrots and raw green peppers!!
Congrats on your Whole30. Hope you’re feeling good… and glad you like this recipe!
Wow! So yummy. Found this gem on Pinterest. Thank you for this..definitely a keeper. My hubby and I are munching on it as I type this. I used a little non-fat greek yogurt to make it a little creamier. Perfection!
Thanks for the recipe! Can I substitute a spicy mustard for the mustard powder?
Absolutely! Enjoy it!
try the Bumble Bee Tonno in Olive Oil- I like it even better than the Genova Tonno-
My husband made this for lunch today with some leftover tuna steaks from last nights dinner. It was fantastic! Thanks for sharing this amazing creation.
I purchased the Well Fed mag at Sprouts a while back and have many pages bunny eared and keep them on repeat! I recently started MyFitnessPal and I’m trying to compile a nutritional profile for the firecracker tuna salad. Do you have the information before I start trying to determine it? LOVE THIS MAGAZINE!!!!
Thank you for buying our magazine! Enjoy the recipes!
I don’t calculate nutrition info for my recipes. You can always plug my recipes into a recipe calculator like this one http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp if you prefer to know specifics.