2.240 Lemon-Caper Tuna Salad Canapés (with recipe)


2 (Fri) September 2011

Lemon-Caper Tuna Salad Canapés


by me

at home

-Oksu, Seongdong, Seoul, Republic of Korea-


I’ve stumbled upon a trick to tuna salad (which I’d probably discover is not so secret if ever I were to get out a bit more): lemon juice.  In the American tradition, my typical tuna salad starts with a mayo-mustard base, which is fine but can be a bit flat.  So, I tend to add layers of sharp tastes and crunchy textures to liven things up, such as onion, celery, parsley, capers.  But tonight, it was still too dull and needed something more.  Hence, the lemon juice, plenty of it.  Oh man, what a difference.  The tart edge of the acid cut through the richness of the other ingredients while the citrus flavor stood out on its own.  I don’t know why this should come as such a surprise since I squeeze lemon juice over other fish dishes all the time.

The canapés were a slice of toasted bread cut into quarters.  I could’ve trimmed the crusts for a more uniform appearance, but that would’ve been silly, as I would’ve eaten the crusts later anyway.


1 can (150 g) tuna (after draining, net weight should be around 100 g)
3 tbsp mayo
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp minced shallot (or onion/scallion)
2 tbsp chopped parsley
2 tbsp capers
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp cracked black pepper

1.  Drain the oil/liquid from can and finely crumble the flesh of the tuna.

Note: Ever since learning the technique from the movie Frankie and Johnny, in which Al Pacino’s character (a cook) explains with great pride how he first crumbles the tuna with his fingers, which renders the fish both soft and absorbent to all the other ingredients, I’ve always done so as a matter of course; when W tested the recipe but skipped this crumbling step, her tuna salad ended up rather incoherent and runny.

3.  Combine all the ingredients and set in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

4.  Serve on crackers, toast, or as sandwiches.


(See also FOODS.)

(See also PLACES.)

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