By JOANNA STEVEN
Roughly chopped vegetables are probably deterring your tuna salad from tasting like it should, both in terms of flavor and texture. For a smoother and more balanced bite, finely chop veggies, like celery stalks and onions, and finish off with capers and pickles to create a base recipe.
Balance out your tuna salad flavors with a dash of lemon juice or even lemon zest, as acidic ingredients work great with fish. Cook’s Country says a little bit of sugar is the secret ingredient to balancing a tuna salad, and you can also alternate sugar with sweet pickles and their brine.
Steve Cook, head of the highly regarded Rooster deli and Zahav fine-dining establishment in Philadelphia, recommends using oil-packed tuna, because water-packed tuna can dry out your salad. Improve the mouthfeel with an oily fish like sardines, or try a fattier cut of tuna belly like ventresca.
Herbs and spices add a lot of flavor to tuna salad, and Jonathan Hirshon of The Food Dictator recommends adding Schmaltz, or rendered chicken fat, and a little curry powder for a richer taste. Feel free to experiment with different combinations of herbs like parsley, basil, thyme, oregano, chives, and tarragon.
Celebrity chefs like Ina Garten, Rachel Ray, and Emeril Lagasse never use cheap mayo or mayo substitutes; they use a clean and simple mayonnaise made with egg yolks, oil, and lemon juice or vinegar. Those who don’t like mayonnaise can substitute it with mashed avocado or yogurt.