Spicy Tuna Salad (Yum Tuna)

This is how the meal conversation goes when I make this Spicy Tuna Salad at home…

Hubby: This is yum

Me: Yeah, it is yummy. I like it too.

Hubby: No, this is “YUM”. Get it? Yum Tuna?

Allow me to explain the joke to you.

In Thai, “yum” means to mix things together, when applied to food it normally implies something with with the flavour combination of spicy (chillies), sour (lime juice), salty (fish sauce), and a little bit sweet (sugar).

So we have dishes like Yum Talay (Talay = seafood), or Yum Woonsen (Woonsen = glass noodles), or Yum Tuna (hence the joke). And they all have the same flavour profile.

Yum Tuna is very tasty and extremely easy to make. You can adjust the flavour to your liking – if you like more spicy then add more chillies, more sour = more lime, etc, etc.


Serves 2-3

What you need:

  • 2 cans Tuna in brine (each can = 160g net weight, 112g drained weight)
  • 2-3 Red chillies, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1-2 limes
  • 2-3 Tbsp Fish sauce
  • A pinch of sugar
  • 1 Shallot, finely sliced. We added an extra shallot because we love them.
  • 1 Tbsp Coriander or mint, finely chopped

How to put this together:

  1.  Mix together chopped red chillies + juice of 1 lime + 2 Tbsp fish sauce + sugar. Taste. Add more lime and fish sauce to your liking.
  2. Drain tuna, put in mixing bowl.
  3. Pour the sauce over the tuna. Mix well. Taste. Adjust seasoning.
  4. Add shallots. Mix well. Taste again.
  5. Add chopped coriander or mint. Mix well.


Serving suggestions:

  • As a dish with steamed rice, or
  • On top of leafy vegetables to make a tasty salad, or
  • Serve with lettuce cups to make individual wraps, or
  • As sandwich filling, or
  • On top of rice cakes, or make rice cakes sandwich. This is my hubby’s favourite option (see below)