Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
The Secret Ingredient You Should Be Using In Your Tuna Salad

The Secret Ingredient You Should Be Using In Your Tuna Salad

Some people might find tuna salad a little
on the boring side but others consider it to be the ultimate comfort food. And if you’re a member of Team Tuna, you might
be interested to learn that there’s a secret ingredient that will improve your tuna salad
every time so much so that even tuna-haters might finally rethink their stance on this
classic dish. So what is this magic ingredient? Sugar. Yeah, really. A few years ago, an editor for HuffPost found
a recipe for tuna salad in an issue of Cook’s Country magazine that included sugar so they
decided to give it a try. What HuffPost found was that just half a teaspoon
of sugar for three five-ounce cans of tuna could work wonders when it came to making
tuna a little less fishy-tasting. For what it’s worth, the more widely-known
trick of adding sweet pickle relish to tuna salad works along these same lines. And sure, you might think that combining sugar
and fish sounds kinda gross, but it’s not like it hasn’t been done before. Take snacks such as Tazukuri, for example,
which are Japanese candied sardines. Or the Filipino sweet adobo pusit, made with
squid, soy sauce, and sugar. Sugared fish is a thing in Europe as well
one of the most popular methods of preparing gravlax in Sweden involves using a blend of
sugar and salt. Even America’s Test Kitchen suggest using
sugar to brown your pan-roasted fish. “The sucrose in sugar breaks down to fructose
on the filet surface to rapidly caramelize around 200 degrees.” That means the surface of the fish is going
to caramelize at a temperature about 100 degrees lower than it would on its own. This not only gives the fish a nice, crispy
crust but keeps the interior moist and tender. While they weren’t exactly making tuna salad
sandwiches on America’s Test Kitchen, the point stands that sugar and fish aren’t necessarily
like chalk and cheese. So why wouldn’t it work for tuna salad? In fact, tuna salad actually lends itself
to all manner of little tweaks and extras. Some add chopped celery, while others prefer
pickles. Chopped carrots work well, as do jalapenos
for people who like things on the spicier side. Cilantro and lime can add some southwestern
flair, and sriracha will give your tuna salad a spicy-sweet sensation. If you’re looking to turn that tuna salad
into a protein powerhouse, you could even add some chopped hard-boiled eggs. A can of tuna on its own has about 40 grams
of protein, and each egg you add will boost the protein total by six more grams. Of course, canned tuna tends to be fairly
inexpensive, so it’s often used as a staple in meals enjoyed by frugal cooks but expert
penny pinchers will know it’s always possible to squeeze that last dime just a little bit
harder. Luckily, there are a few ingenious ways of
stretching out a single can of tuna into multiple servings of tuna salad. For example, a few cups of chopped cabbage
can make a tuna salad go a lot further, as can rice, pasta, fruit or even dried oatmeal. Now, if you’re more health-conscious than
you are money-conscious, the most troubling aspect of a typical tuna salad has got to
be the hefty dose of mayo you need to keep it all together. While some people choose to skip the mayonnaise
altogether, this gives you a different kind of tuna salad altogether one that’s more like
a salad that happens to be topped with tuna, rather than actual tuna salad. Nice, sure, but not the kind of thing you
could make into a melt. Still, you could always try making your own
mayonnaise, which might not be much better nutritionally but could be much tastier. But by far the healthiest option would be
to switch out the mayo for Greek yogurt, either plain or lemon-flavored. But hey, no matter how you dress up your tuna
salad, don’t forget: if you’re looking for that truly special, secret ingredient, then
sugar is your new best friend. Give it a go you won’t be sorry. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Mashed videos about your favorite
stuff are coming soon. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the
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