Tuna salad is one of the quick, easiest, and healthy recipes that you can make at home. It can be served in many different ways; make a sandwich by layering it up with your favorite veggies on toasting whole grains or top crackers with it as a snack.
The only problem that I have with either store-bought or homemade is the sogginess. It will get soggy after a day, get mushy on the second day or third day and that doesn’t look appetizing to me. Additionally, whatever it had been scooped to will absorb the wetness easily like bread.
So with this little problem, I have turned this pet peeve into a little science project in my kitchen. I tried to drain the liquid out of the can by squeezing the lid really tight before pouring the meat on to the mixing bowl, I tried to drain it with strainers, and I also tried using a paper towel to absorb some liquid in the bowl. Still the next day, my tuna salad was still too wet. Because the fluid is still trapped inside, no matter how well you drain the liquid out of the tuna can, it’s still soggy. And it definitely does not help adding more wet ingredients like mayonnaise or lemon juice.
Well, sometimes we do things because that is the way we always do it, but it doesn’t mean that it always works. Common sense is when you want to dry something, use heat. So I gave it a try… and it works! After draining the liquid out of the can, pour the tuna meat onto a low to a slightly medium-hot dry pan. The heat will evaporate the moisture out of the meat. This way, the tuna meat is almost completely dry and ready to be mixed with other ingredients.
This process helps tuna meat absorb the rest of the mixture of ingredients better because it has not been watered it down by its moisture.
My tuna turned out so creamy, tasty, and held up on to the toast really well when serving on the second and third day. Of course, the longer it sits in the fridge, you will see some moisture coming out from the other ingredients (celery, lemon juice, mayonnaise), but this method helps slow the process of the salad becomes soggy. I am happy with the results. No more soggy tuna salad 🙂
2 7oz. cans tuna packed in water, drained
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup cranberry
1/2 chopped celery
6-7 tablespoon mayonnaise
4 teaspoon olive oil
2 teaspoon brown sugar
Black pepper to taste
Half a lemon
- Drained the water out of the cans then pour the tuna meat onto low to medium heat pan or skillet then gently stir to break up the big chuck. Stir occasionally.
- After it looked dry, toss chopped onion to the pan then stir it until it gets slightly soft. Turn off the heat. ( Note: if you are ok with raw onion, skip this step and add them with other ingredients. I don't like raw onion so I like to cook them a little bit.)
- Pour tuna into the mixing bowl and let it cool for a few minutes.
- Add the rest of the ingredients onto the mixing bowl then stir them together.