canned tuna

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know your canned tuna

From Yahoo Food: A Quick Guide to Buying Better Canned Tuna

Solid Light Tuna in Water or in Oil: “Solid” means larger pieces, which might be better for a green salad or in a pasta dish. “Light” indicates the rosier color of tuna from species like skipjack, tongol, yellowfin and some other varieties.

Yellowfin Tuna Fillets in Water or Oil: Yellowfin refers to the species of tuna, and fillet is the cut of tuna the meat comes from. Packed in water or oil is up to you based on your personal preference and intended usage. Oil would be a good choice when you don’t plan on adding other flavorings to the tuna.

Solid White Albacore Tuna in Water or Oil: Albacore is a species of tuna that has the lightest-color flesh compared with the other varieties, and per the FDA is the only species that can have the “white” label.

Chunk Light Tuna in Water or in Oil: “Chunk” means smaller pieces. “Light” tunas typically have lower levels of mercury than “white” (albacore) tuna. Chunk light tuna tends to be the most economical of all the canned tuna options and is great for a classic mayonnaise-based tuna salad.

Chunk White Albacore Tuna in Water or Oil: Again, “chunk” means smaller pieces. Though tuna packed in oil may have extra flavor depending on the type of oil it’s packed in, it may also have up to double or triple the calories as compared with water-packed.

Hand-Packed Wild Tuna in Oil: As you can probably tell from the name, this is the crème de la crème of the canned-tuna world. Keep a special eye out for the word “ventresca,” which is tuna that comes from the belly of the fish and is also known as toro. It has deep, buttery, complex flavors and a creamy texture (and is a personal favorite of many in the Food Network Kitchen).



I generally prefer the water-packed tuna over the oil-packed. Tuna is by itself already oily enough that we don't need to soak it in oil too. On top of that, I use canned tuna almost always in mayo-based tuna salads, which again adds extra oil.

Tuna Salad

This is about the only thing I ever do with canned tuna.


This is what you need for 2 servings:

  • 1 small can tuna
  • mayo
    or other sauce you prefer
    or none at all
  • any vegetables you would like to add
    e.g. tomato, lettuce, ...


  • Mix the sauce with the tuna until you reach the desired consistency.
  • Toast your bread.
  • Generously apply the tuna salad as a spread.
  • Add tomatoes, lettuce a.o. to your heart's desire.
  • Serve and enjoy.

All pictures on this page have been borrowed from the internet.


Pic2: solid albacore tuna
Pic3: tuna salad in pita bread