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Traditional Tuna Salad Sandwich Recipe with Creamy Mayo Dressing

Easy Homemade Mayo Tuna Salad Sandwich Recipe

Discover the perfect blend of flavors and textures in this mouthwatering tuna salad sandwich, featuring a secret ingredient that takes it to the next level.

Tuna salad sandwiches have been a lunchtime staple for generations, but this recipe elevates the classic with a surprising twist. The addition of umami-rich fish sauce or finely minced anchovy filets brings out the savory notes of the tuna, creating a depth of flavor that will keep you coming back for more.

This recipe isn’t just about taste – it’s about texture too. By dicing the vegetables into perfect quarter-inch cubes and thoroughly mixing the tuna, you’ll achieve a harmonious blend that’s a delight in every bite. The rapid-pickled onions add a bright, tangy kick that cuts through the richness of the mayo, while the toasted bread provides a satisfying crunch.

Whether you’re packing a lunch for work, preparing a quick dinner, or hosting a casual get-together, these tuna salad sandwiches are sure to impress. Let’s dive into the details of crafting this elevated classic!

The Secret to Superior Tuna Salad

While the quality of tuna can vary greatly, here’s a surprising fact: for a mayo-dressed tuna salad, the brand of tuna doesn’t make a significant difference. The mayo and seasonings harmonize the flavors, making even water-packed tuna work well in this recipe.

What truly sets this tuna salad apart are the following key factors:

  • Perfectly diced vegetables: Aim for 1/4-inch cubes of celery and onion for the ideal texture.
  • Rapid-pickled onions: A quick soak in vinegar tames the onion’s bite and adds a zesty flavor.
  • Thorough mixing: Breaking down the tuna into small flakes ensures a creamy consistency.
  • Umami boost: A touch of fish sauce or minced anchovy elevates the overall flavor profile.
  • Toasted bread: Light toasting adds crunch and prevents sogginess.

Ingredients for the Perfect Tuna Salad Sandwich

  • 1 medium red onion (about 8 ounces; 225g), cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) red wine vinegar
  • 4 (5-ounce; 140g) cans oil-packed tuna, drained
  • 1 cup (240ml) mayonnaise, plus more as needed
  • 2 stalks celery (about 6 ounces; 170g total), cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 ounce (about 10 stalks) flat-leaf parsley leaves and tender stems, minced (about 1/4 packed cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3g) Asian fish sauce or very finely minced oil-packed anchovy fillets (about 2 small fillets)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 slices sandwich bread, very lightly toasted
  • Romaine lettuce leaves, torn, for garnish

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Begin by rapid-pickling the onions. Place the diced onion in a small bowl and cover with red wine vinegar. Let it sit for 15 minutes to mellow out the flavor and add a tangy zip.
  2. While the onions are pickling, prepare the tuna mixture. In a medium bowl, combine the drained tuna and mayonnaise. Mix thoroughly with a spoon, breaking the tuna into very small shreds for a smooth, creamy texture.
  3. Drain the pickled onions well and add them to the tuna mixture. Toss in the diced celery, minced parsley, and fish sauce or anchovy. Mix until all ingredients are evenly distributed. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If desired, add more mayonnaise one tablespoon at a time until you reach your preferred consistency.
  4. Assemble your sandwiches by generously spooning the tuna salad onto four slices of lightly toasted bread. Top with crisp romaine lettuce leaves and complete with the remaining bread slices. Serve immediately and enjoy the perfect balance of flavors and textures in every bite!

Pro Tips for Tuna Salad Success

  • For the best flavor, allow the tuna salad to chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving. This lets the flavors meld together beautifully.
  • Experiment with add-ins like diced apple, chopped pickles, or a squeeze of lemon juice to customize your tuna salad.
  • Try serving the tuna salad on a bed of mixed greens for a lighter, low-carb option.
  • Make a double batch and store the extra in an airtight container in the fridge for quick and easy meals throughout the week.
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
636 Calories
48g Fat
39g Carbs
12g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 636
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 48g 61%
Saturated Fat 7g 37%
Cholesterol 30mg 10%
Sodium 925mg 40%
Total Carbohydrate 39g 14%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 12g
Vitamin C 10mg 50%
Calcium 137mg 11%
Iron 3mg 18%
Potassium 445mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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