Tuna-Less Tuna Salad

Tuna Less Tuna Salad

Details

This delicious "tuna" contains no tuna, egg or dairy, but is made with chickpeas, red onion, celery, pickles and nori seaweed (for that "from the sea" taste). This completely vegan mixture may not be full of fish, but it sure is full of flavor.
  • Serves: 3 to 5
  • Active Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 15 mins
  • Views: 33,037
  • Success: 99%

Steps

Step 1: Making the "Tuna" Salad

• 3 cups cooked chickpeas (1-28oz can)
• 2 to 3 tbsp red onion, (or to taste)
• 2 to 3 celery stalks (approx. 1/2 cup)
• 2 to 3 pickles (approx. 1/4 cup)
• 2 tbsp nori seaweed flakes*
• 1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise or Cashew Sour Cream
• 1 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
• 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Method

For this recipe, you will need one 28-ounce can of chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans) or two smaller cans. Alternatively, you can cook your own, which is even better. If using canned, drain and place into a large bowl.

Using a pastry cutter, potato masher or a fork, mash the chickpeas to break them up.

Next, finely dice the onion, celery and pickle and add them to the chickpeas. Add the nori flakes, salt and pepper and mix to combine.

*NOTE: If you do not have nori flakes, you can grind up one or two sheets of nori (the kind used to make sushi) in a spice grinder. The mineral-rich nori adds a nice “from the sea” flavor and look to the mixture.

Lastly, add the vegan mayonnaise or Cashew Sour Cream. Mix to combine and taste for seasoning. Note: If mixture seems a bit dry, add a touch more vegan mayo or cashew sour cream.

Step 2: Serving the "Tuna" Salad

• bread for sandwiches (optional)
• Bibb, butter or head lettuce
• tomatoes (optional)

Method

To serve the “tuna” salad, place into a lettuce leaf and serve with sliced tomatoes, if desired. Alternatively, toast some bread and make into sandwiches or serve with crackers. Enjoy!

Chef's Notes

This chickpea “tuna” salad is great in sandwiches, on crackers or as a chunky dip with fresh vegetables.

This recipe was inspired by Allison Rivers Samson. As well as the many other “mock-tuna” or “tuna-less” recipes we came across.

17 Comments

  • Judi G
    Judi G
    I just made this yesterday and nobody even suspected it wasn't the 'real deal'. I was a bit sceptical but should have known that if Rouxbe said it was good, it would be! And I was right. I have never been disappointed with all the recipes of yours that I have tried. I found it difficult to mash the chick peas so might give them a whirl in the food processor next time. I also couldn't find the flakes but crunching up the sheets of seaweed worked just fine. I will be using this lots in the future.
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Hi Judi- we are thrilled that you enjoyed this recipe so much. I think it has a great, deep flavor and an agreeable texture. Perfect for crackers or lettuce wraps. Enjoy!
  • Brenda L
    Brenda L
    What would be the right ratio to start recipe to hydrate dried garbanzo's?
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Hi Brenda- You need 3 cups of cooked chickpeas for this recipe. Dried beans usually double or triple in volume when cooked, so start with a cup or 2 of dried chickpeas. You can always use the leftovers for hummus. I hope this helps!
  • Rosana P
    Rosana P
    This is amazing! I made a "blind test" with my mother and asked her what is was. She said: tuna! I said: Yes! Except that... there is no tuna! hahaha Fun! I really enjoyed this recipe. Is good with crackers, lettuce and even with a steamed pumpkin I had already done for lunch. The sweet and creamy texture of the pumpkin was a perfect match for the crunchy and salty salad. I didn't have flaked nori nor a grinder to use. So I put the nori sheets in the oven just enough to make it very dry. Then, I immediately crunched the nori sheets with my hands. That produced a little bigger flakes than the nori bought flaked but it is fine for me, I love seaweed.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Nice work Rosana—I love the idea of doing a blind taste test. And thanks for the tip on the nori sheets. Cheers!
  • Andrew L
    Andrew L
    I am so happy that you folks decided to add a plant based cooking course to the school. As Orthodox Christians we fast every Wednesday and Friday and during Lent and other times which means no meat, no dairy, and no alcohol or olive oil. So having options besides beans and rice or rice and beans is really great and creates a whole expansive base of recipes and ideas. This recipe is really good and is definitely going to be used as well as are a lot of the other recipes in this course. Thanks again Rouxbe!
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    So glad to hear that Andrew! Keep up the great work — it sounds like you have one lucky family with all of the cooking you do. Cheers!
  • Ted P
    Ted P
    At first, I did not think this salad would taste anything like “tuna salad”, but I was wrong. I just tried this salad the other day, and so far, people which I gave a taste to, loved it (including me), and couldn't believe there was no tuna it.
  • Jennifer  C
    Jennifer C
    Just made this for dinner, it was amazing. What a great oppor-tuna-ty it presented me with, to show my non-vegan friends how tasty plant based food is! Thank you.
  • Lisa L
    Lisa L
    Hello, English is not my native language and I am confused about what pickles are... I read that pickles are vegetables preserved in vinegar but it can also be a sort of spread used on sandwiches. What kind of pickles are you referring to in your recipe? If you refer to the vegetables preserved in vinegar, which ones are they? (onions? Peppers? Gherkins?) Many thanks!!
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Typically "pickles" refers to vinegar pickled cucumbers. There are countless brands and varieties - some sweet and some more sour. There is also a product called "relish" that is basically ground up pickles that you can spread as a topping or condiment. ~Ken
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    For this particular recipe, we are referring to one of the most common pickles — also sometimes referred to as a dill pickle. It is someone tart/sour and not overly sweet. Here is a bit more info on pickles if you need it — http://bit.ly/1rxnoEE
  • Corey H
    Corey H
    This is and excellent recipe and is very flavorful. I like to hand chop the pickles, red onion, cilantro, celery and use the vitamix to grind the nori. I think half sour pickles (particularly if you ferment your own) work best. Use a food processor to chop up the chickpeas, adding a bit of the veganease and salt and pepper, and then add this to the hand chopped items. it gives a nice variety of textures and it hold together nicely for sandwiches.
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Hi Corey- Great thoughts! I like the idea of having the textures "meld" and work based on some chickpeas being more finely processed than others. Another thing I like to do is really bump up acid. For me, that means adding a big squeeze of a lemon and its zest. ~Ken
  • Traci S
    Traci S
    I've made many versions of mock tuna over the years and this one is by far the best! I grind nori sheets in the blender and make a simple vegan mayo from tofu, lemon juice, and dijon mustard. Tonight I served it as the filling for a lettuce wrap. One of my favorite recipes from the course.
  • Kirk B Rouxbe Staff
    Kirk B
    Hi Traci and thank you for learning with Rouxbe! Your comments above are very much appreciated and it sounds like you are really enjoying your time in the kitchen!!! All the best, Chef Kirk

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