This Is The Secret To Perfect Tuna Salad

Cans of packed tuna are essential to a well-stocked food pantry. But what happens when, well, you get a bit excited and now tuna's all you've got left?

Before you pull a face over the thought of consuming endless bland servings of tuna either on its own, as part of pasta or as a sandwich filling, it might cheer you up to know that there are ways you can make tuna salad more exciting so that you're not having the face the same old, same old. You can add curry powder to give it a bit of zing, or you can zap it with spices like ginger, sesame, and green onions. You can hold the mayo or use it to your heart's content. But the one ingredient that could raise your tuna game, no matter how you decide to flavor it is... (drumroll please) sugar.

Using sugar to as an ingredient to cook fish is not new

The original idea was proposed by Cook's Country, by way of a HuffPost Taste editor who decided that the idea of adding a half teaspoon of sugar for every three, 5 ounce cans of tuna white tuna in water was worth a shot. The hack actually improves the tuna because the sweetness makes the canned fish taste less fishy (you know what we mean, don't you?). Otherwise, doing nothing to the canned tuna leaves it tasting less than stellar.

In any case, using sugar to make a savory dish tastier isn't a new idea. Asian cooks are big on using sweet ingredients like honey or sugar to add a flavour component to their dishes. Filipino grilled tuna jaw is marinated in a teriyaki-inspired sauce, which features brown sugar as a key ingredient; sugar is also listed as an ingredient in a sweet and sour style fish known as escabeche.

Adding sugar isn't the only thing you can do to make tuna salad taste less fishy. Some add grapes (via Grapes From California), others add pickle relish, both of which have sweet overtones. These ingredients could also achieve what sugar in your tuna salad sets out to do, which is to raise the ingredient's profile from emergency pantry staple to a must-have.