MAKES 4 SERVINGS
Courtesy of Frank Davis
Printed in August/September 2012
First, take a 3-quart saucepan and fill it half way with water. Then stir in the
liquid seafood boil and 2 teaspoons salt and bring the mixture to a rapid boil.
Meanwhile, remove the tuna fillet’s skin and bloodline (red fat line) and cut
the meat into 2-inch chunks. Gently drop the fish into the boiling water. Turn
off the heat as soon as the water comes back to a boil. Remove the pot from
heat and let the tuna sit for 15 to 20 minutes. The residual heat of the water
does the cooking and keeps the tuna flaky.
When the fish is cooked, remove it from the water and drain it on a few
sheets of paper towels or a cooling rack. When cool and dry, transfer the tuna
to a bowl and flake the meat into small pieces with a fork.
At this point, toss in the remaining teaspoon of salt with the rest of the
ingredients and gently fold everything together with a rubber spatula until you
have a creamy, rich, uniformly mixed tuna salad. Once completely blended, you
could chow down right away, but if you want the best tuna salad you ever had
in your life, you should cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill it at least 2
And if you think that’s good, wait ‘til you taste it the next day! By the way, I
recommend serving this fresh tuna salad on saltine, wheat, or water crackers,
buttered toast, fresh white bread, in pastry cups, or stuffed into hollowed-out
fresh tomatoes or celery ribs.
Chef’s Notes: When you add the mayonnaise, put in just enough to make
the salad moist and creamy. Usually 21/2 cups will give you the right consistency,
but you may need a little more or less depending upon your taste. And
never use light mayonnaise for this tuna salad—try the one with real olive oil.
It’s very important that you use a sharp knife to remove all the bloodline
(it’s actually a heavy, dark, line of fat) from the fillet. Tuna has a very delicate
flavor, but the fat makes it taste oily and fishy. Take the time to trim it all away.
Fret not if you can’t get out to catch your own blackfin or yellowfin tuna.
Right now, tuna are plentiful in the Gulf of Mexico, so if you can’t beg a piece
from your fishing neighbor, you should be able to buy all you want from your
Photography by Will Dickey