How Ina Garten Fluffs Her Fish For Tuna Salad

Canned tuna can be elevated in many ways, and tuna salad may be its most common use. Most people have a can of tuna in their pantry, and according to Foods Guy, flaked or Chunk light tuna is best for making tuna salad. Tuna packed in water helps preserve the omega-3 fatty acids in the fish, but tuna packed in oil is rich and moist in flavor (via Clean Plate). It can be eaten right out of the can, mixed into pasta, or used as a salad topper.

Water-packed tuna is often dry and lacks flavor, but you can fix that. Bon App├ętit says to give tuna some love (water or oil-packed) by adding lemon, capers, red pepper flakes, olive oil, or mayonnaise. These spices and condiments add flavor and a creamy, moist texture.

You must first fluff the fish to ensure every bite of tuna salad contains rich flavor and a meaty texture. Ina Garten has a fish fluffing tip she uses, so keep reading to learn her technique.

Fluff tuna with a fork

The Barefoot Contessa fluffs her fish for tuna salad with a fork. Finely fluffing the canned tuna makes the best tuna salad. Fluffing the fish to fine shreds is important because it allows the other ingredients to coat the fish, which adds moisture. Canned tuna is usually dry due to its lean, well-done state. Break it up with a fork or spatula, stir, and fluff. The tuna fish should be completely broken apart and light and fluffy (via Serious Eats). Now it is ready to soak up all the flavor and creaminess from the additional ingredients.

Next, Ina Garten adds spices to take the tuna salad up a notch. Celery, scallions, and dill are incorporated into the tuna fish by mixing and fluffing until the entire salad is combined. At the very end, the chef adds lemon, salt, and pepper for flavor. The final addition of anchovy paste and mayo is optional. Next, she spreads the creamy tuna mixture over two slices of toast, sprinkles them with cheese, and pops them into the oven until melty and brown. Garten tops her tuna melts with micro-greens to add color and additional vitamins and minerals (via Web MD).

Next time you whip up a batch of tuna salad, remember to fluff the tuna like the Barefoot Contessa does.