Top Chef Finalist Buddha Lo's Favorite Dish To Make With Canned Tuna

There's just one episode of "Top Chef: World All-Stars" left. It's down to Buddha Lo, Sara Bradley, and Gabriel Rodriguez. Who will be Top Chef? We'll have to wait until June 8 to find out. But before then, we got to talk to the finalist and ask him a few questions about seafood, a delicacy he knows quite a bit about. Because the chef's New York restaurant, Huso, is a small eatery dedicated to caviar, it's safe to say he knows a thing or two about seafood (he's actually won several challenges over his two seasons thanks to his expertise).

But for those of us who aren't interested in a night out or in the mood to spend the money that's usually associated with a high-end seafood eatery, is there a dish we can make at home that would make us feel like we were dining at a Michelin Star restaurant? Lo says there is — and all you need is canned tuna. perhaps one of the most mundane ingredients likely already sitting in your pantry. While you could absolutely throw together a tuna salad sandwich or salad nicoise, canned tuna has more delicious uses than you might realize.  And Lo's favorite dish to make with this salty and savory staple is a creamy veal dish, vitello tonnato. "If you haven't tried Vitello tonnato before, make yourself a tonnato sauce with the tinned tuna," says Lo. "It's an absolutely amazing sauce; can be a dressing for everything."

Canned tuna brings the salty kick to creamy tonnato sauce

Dating back to the mid-19th century, vitello tonnato features cold sliced veal that is smothered with a creamy sauce made with tuna. The sauce is said to be almost like mayonnaise, featuring eggs, lemon, anchovies, oil, and sometimes dijon mustard. This combination might not be something that would automatically come to mind. But these days with surf and turf being such a popular choice at steak and seafood houses, it's no surprise that it's become a beloved dish internationally. 

While the Italian tuna sauce is usually served over cold sliced veal, if that isn't your thing Lo says there are so many other ways to incorporate this creamy, tangy, and briny sauce. "I've used it in a tuna tartare before. I've tried it on sandwiches. It's such a beautiful dressing," he explains. "The tinned tuna gives so much umami, it becomes almost anchovy-like." With a description like that, how can we resist?