Note: I prefer tuna in soybean oil (not olive oil) in this recipe. Unlike most versions of American-style tuna salad, there's no mayo in this, so some fat will help keep the salad moist and more palatable. I also prefer solid white tuna steaks over the chunk light variety.
- 2 (5-ounce) cans of solid white tuna in soybean oil
- 2 small stalks of lemongrass, sliced very thinly (see here for more details)
- 2 large shallots, peeled, halved, and sliced thinly lengthwise
- 1/4 cup of fresh young ginger, cut into fine matchsticks
- 2 to 3 fresh bird's eye chilies, cut into thin slices
- 2 to 3 large limes
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce, more or less to taste
- 1/2 cups dry-roasted peanuts, preferably unsalted
- Lettuce leaves
Drain off most of the oil that comes with the tuna, retaining a few tablespoons to keep the salad moist. Place tuna in a mixing bowl and flake it with a fork.
Add lemongrass, shallots, ginger, and chilis to tuna. Juice up one lime and add the lime juice to the tuna bowl along with one tablespoon of fish sauce. Mix everything together and adjust seasoning as necessary with more lime juice and fish sauce. (If you use salted roasted peanuts, you may want to go easy on the fish sauce; you can always add more.)
Add peanuts to the tuna mixture; toss everything together lightly. Serve on lettuce leaves as an appetizer or with rice as a main dish.