Thai Tuna Salad

Taught to me by some wonderful Thai ladies I knew in NZ during my twenties, this beautifully quick, easy and bonkers tasty salad is a need to know recipe for everyone. My kids nagged for this. My now 28 year old son STILL nags for it. My partner who won’t eat anything that looks “exotic” actually ate and enjoyed it. I keep being asked by friends to bring it to BBQ’s and pot luck style events. It’s been a go to staple as a quick and easy light meal in our home for *cough* 20ish years.

It all starts with tinned tuna in oil. It HAS to be in oil. The oil becomes a major part of the dressing and although it looks alot the salad soaks it all up and it doesn’t taste oily. I use one of those 4 or 5 pack tin stacks for this salad. Here in the UK buying the big tins is really hard unless you go to a speciality grocers and frankly I haven’t the time or energy to go foraging for them. Sometimes when we go to Kirkgate Market in Leeds, I look for them in the Caribbean speciality grocers and they tend to have them. It pays sometimes to have a couple of the big tins aside cos yah never know.

Next is the herbs… this English Mint comes from the giant pot outside our front door. The coriander is not. I prefer to purchase coriander fresh from the market or the nearest asian grocery store. Unlike the supermarkets they have the roots and tend to be far superior bunches in size, flavour and value for money. Again this one isn’t (le sigh) but sometimes you just have to make do and this recipe was necessary during the hot days Mother Nature has blessed us with.


Pick your mint leaves off the stems and roughly chop them. Chop the coriander stems and all roughly. Add to the tuna with the sugar and the Fish Sauce. The Fish Sauce acts as both salty and part of the acidity to counter balance the oil from the Tuna.


Grab your Red Onion and slice it reasonably thinly. You can at this pointadd your chilli flakes or fresh chopped chilli if you so wish. I didn’t with this one because of my partner he is not a chilli man, in fact he has issues with pepper at times. Add as much or as little as you like just be aware of the balance. It’s a simple dish but the flavours are subtle and very easily thrown out of whack.


Next you just toss it well together.


Serve it up with other salads or with steamed or fried rice. If you are serving it as a help yourself salad serve with cheeks of Limes. If with rice give each bowl or plate a squeeze or a quater of a Lime. It just gives the dish that little bit of oomph and with a sprinkle of crispy onions on top you are set.

Go Enjoy it … and hide an extra bowl of it for you. If you don’t it’ll evaporate off your table before you come back with your spoon.


I’m just going to write my recipe here below for now until I can pull the pennies together to update my blog to get the recipe widget so you can print it off. Just copy and paste it old school for now and when I can I will update it. If you want to help this process move along more quickly feel free to join my Patreon community. You will be involved with all the weird and wonderful things that I get on with in my day including my artwork and all sorts of geeky weirdness.


600g  Tinned Tuna in Oil (basic 4 pack of 145g tins)

Equal Bunches Mint and Coriander = 1 Large Bunch of each or 2 small supermarket sized ones

1 Medium Red Onion (sliced reasonably thinly)

1 Tablespoon Sugar or Palm Sugar

2 Tablespoons Fish Sauce

Chilli Flakes or fresh Red Chillis (sliced) to your liking. If you want.

Crispy Onions to garnish.

Lime cheeks to garnish.

  1. Open the tins of Tuna into a large mixing bowl WITH the oil.
  2. Chop your herbs reasonably roughly. Add to the tuna
  3. Add Onions to the bowl.
  4. Add sugar, fish sauce and chilli and toss it all together well.
  5. Serve with Lime Cheeks and Crispy Onions.

Note: If you are serving with steamed rice sprinkle with Fish sauce and Hot Sauce before adding the salad and squeeze with a Lime Cheek.

Options: Try tinned Salmon as a variation to the Tuna.

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