The Easy Way To Add Some Tang To Your Tuna Salad

If you're a picky eater, tuna salad might be an ideal meal for you. The dish can be made in a myriad of ways and customized to fit your taste buds. Don't like mayo? Swap it out with Greek yogurt for a healthier option. Want more savory flavor? Add some fish sauce to give your tuna salad an umami boost. You can even add white beans to up the protein while still maintaining prime creaminess. The options are endless!

If tuna salad sounds like an "everything but the kitchen sink" recipe, that's because it's been that way since the beginning. According to Smithsonian Magazine, tuna salad originated in the 19th century, when less access to food meant much less food waste. People would combine leftover dinner meats, fish, and veggies and eat the mixture on lettuce the next day. But Jewish delis were the ones to popularize canned tuna in the 1920s, partly because it was kosher, and serve their tuna salad on rye bread or bagels (via The Nosher).

A typical tuna salad recipe includes some sort of balancing of crunchy, creamy, salty, and acidic ingredients. After that, the flavors you want to enhance are really up to you. And if you want to up the tang in your version, there are a few easy ways to do so.

Add in more acidic ingredients

Just like anything else with tuna salad, you can add in the acidic element of your choice. Greatist recommends vinegars like red wine or apple cider, or even a splash of a vinegar-based salad dressing. Or, for a fiery kick, a hot sauce like Crystal should do the trick.

But the options don't end there. If you have citrus in your fridge, a squeeze of lemon or lime, or the zest from either fruit, is one of the absolute best additions to canned tuna out there. And different versions of tuna salad can involve using a whole new set of ingredients. For example, Asian-inspired tuna salad may incorporate acidic elements like rice vinegar, ginger, or chilis (via Simply Recipes). Greek-style may include capers, olives, or even premade Greek salad dressing (via Olive & Mango).

If you want to add even more bite, The Takeout recommends mixing in raw onion, lemon pepper, chili paste, or kewpie mayo, which is a tangier version of American mayo. Gwen Ihnat, deputy managing editor of The Takeout, has even added giardiniera relish to hers, which comes from the Italian dish of chopped pickled vegetables, according to Bon Appétit.

Adding tang to your tuna salad is as simple as grabbing the nearest acidic ingredient from your pantry or fridge. Taste as you go, and you really can't mess it up.