How To Get That Deli Taste For Your Tuna Salad

For tuna lovers, there's nothing comparable to the taste of a deli-made tuna salad sandwich. Somehow, deli-style tuna salad sandwiches always have a far more satisfying flavor than homemade ones. It is almost as if your favorite mom-and-pop deli uses a top-secret ingredient to make their tuna salad so delicious! While this might be the case, it usually isn't that dramatic. 

However, deli tuna salad sandwiches are often so tasty that many wonder how they can replicate the same delicious taste at home. Thankfully, there are several techniques to bring that deli taste of a tuna salad made in your own kitchen.

There is one secret, however, that'll make your tuna salad totally stand out over the rest. For the perfect, budget-friendly, protein-packed lunch filled with good-for-you nutrients, one doesn't need any unique ingredients. Instead, they need time: if you keep your tuna salad refrigerated for long enough, you can truly bring the taste of your favorite deli home with you.

Taste can tell time: a tuna salad for the ages

According to The Practical Kitchen, when tuna salad is left to rest overnight or longer, the ingredients have a chance to emulsify, combining into that uniquely cohesive flavor. No matter how you want to tweak your own tuna sandwich recipe, the most critical factor in achieving that deli taste is letting your tuna salad sit for a few hours minimum, and for optimal results, in the refrigerator for an entire night.

If you assemble your standard ingredients for a tuna salad and then immediately try to put this slapped-together mixture between two pieces of bread or into your mouth, the result will be the taste of a homemade tuna salad: made in a rush and without patience. It'll taste like the separate ingredients simply covered in mayonnaise since it didn't have time to transform into the cohesive tuna salad we crave.

The key to replicating the deli taste for tuna salad is patience and time. If you feel rushed, your best bet is to go to the deli. However, homemade is often better (especially when you can customize your tuna salad exactly how you like it) and worth the wait.

Other tuna salad tips and tricks

You can implement a few more techniques to up your tuna salad game. For one thing, drain your tuna well to get rid of excess water. The same goes for the red chopped onions or celery; press them with a paper towel to dry them out just right. The watery taste is especially unpleasant if you are on bread.

According to a former local deli employee on Quora, adding breadcrumbs into the mix can help combat sogginess by soaking up any extra liquid. It can even make the texture more spreadable. Shredding your tuna thoroughly and finely chopping your vegetables of choice could also make your tuna salad even tastier than it already is.

Last but not least, don't skimp on the mayo. Use your absolute favorite brand of mayonnaise for that classic deli tuna salad taste. No matter what you do to achieve that perfect flavor, making a deli-style tuna salad is much easier than you think.