Phoenix's Chula Seafood Has A Unique Take On Tuna Salad Sandwiches

When you think of tuna sandwiches, the image that comes to mind probably involves canned tuna, mayonnaise, and plain white bread. Tuna sandwiches are known for their simplicity, and most of them are made exactly the same way. It's common to change up the type of bread, mix in celery for some crunch, or add cheese on top and turn it into an extra-crispy tuna melt, but the flavor profile generally stays the same.

One Phoenix restaurant, however, has a different approach to the classic sandwich. Home to the freshest shrimp, scallops, and oysters in Arizona, Chula Seafood's menu is full of seafood-based dishes like fish tacos, poke bowls, and not one, but two types of tuna sandwiches: the Confit Tuna Sandwich, and the Green Chile Tuna Melt.

According to the restaurant's Instagram, the Confit Tuna Sandwich was created based on a dream one of the owners once had, and it's been served at the restaurant in the six years since. This tuna sandwich was eventually followed by The Green Chile Tuna sandwich, which originally started as a Wednesday special at the Phoenix location, but became such a hit that it earned a spot on the permanent menu at the Scottsdale one too (via Instagram).

What makes Chula Seafood's tuna sandwiches so unique?

Being that Chula Seafood is known for its high quality seafood, it comes as no surprise that neither of its tuna sandwiches contain any canned tuna. Instead, this Arizona restaurant uses whole albacore tuna that's been slow-cooked with oil until it turns into a confit (via Instagram). Per Cooking with Cocktail Rings, this method of cooking allows the fish to attain a more tender texture so that the meat is flaky and soft, but not mushy or dry like canned tuna tends to be. And thanks to the cooking oil and the natural juiciness of the tuna confit, there's no need to pile on the mayonnaise.

According to Chula Seafood's menu, the Confit Tuna Sandwich also includes giardiniera, avocado, cucumber, and paprika aioli. The Green Chile Tuna Melt consists of an entirely different flavor combination, being made instead with hatch green chilies and melted Oaxaca cheese with a side of chimichurri sauce. Both are served on fresh bread from local bakery Noble Bread. If you get the chance to try either of Chula Seafood's tuna sandwiches, it's safe to say it'll be hard to go back to the regular kind.