This recipe has so much going for it. First off, it’s delicious; the sauce pulls together sour, salty, spicy, and sweet flavors while the herbs lend freshness and the onion adds tang. The tuna makes a good canvas for all these flavors to play on, keeping some of its own character while blending harmoniously with the whole. Another thing this recipe has going for it, though, is that I think it would work with almost any protein. Two nights after we ate it as written, I made it again with ground pork instead of tuna (pictured above), and it was great. It would rock with chicken, shrimp, even beef or tofu – I really don’t know what savory protein it wouldn’t work with. Make it with tofu and replace the fish sauce with a tablespoon of soy, and you could have quite a vegan treat.
I served this with coconut rice (recipe follows the main recipe), but for a lighter approach it would be great on a bed of lettuce.
Tangy Thai Tuna Salad (Yam Thai)
Serves: 2 or 3 Time: 20 minutes Hands-on: 20 minutes
2 tablespoons fish sauce (I use Squid brand)
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar or palm sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 piece ginger (1/2 ounce), peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
1 large or 2 small cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 serrano chile, seeded and sliced thin, or Sriracha sauce to taste (about a teaspoon)
1 stalk lemongrass, trimmed to bottom three inches, tough outer leaves removed, and very thinly sliced
5 oz (1 can) tuna in water, drained and broken up with a fork
6 to 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 ounce onion, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon thinly sliced green onions, optional
Combine all dressing ingredients in a saucepan and heat briefly over medium-low heat until just warm to the touch, 30 to 60 seconds. Remove from heat.
Add remaining ingredients to the pot (or pour dressing over ingredients in a large bowl). Toss gently. Serve family-style or as a rice bowl topping.
This is so simple and delicious! It has a sweet richness that is not overpowering, but goes so well with a light, tangy dish like the Yam Tuna above. Serves 4.
1.5 cups jasmine rice
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Rinse the jasmine rice well and set aside. In a medium saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, stir together the coconut milk, water, sugar, and salt until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the rice and place over medium heat. When the mixture comes to a boil, cover and reduce heat to very low. Simmer 18 minutes.
Check for doneness; when the grains are soft to your liking, turn off the heat and let rest 10 minutes (or up to 30). Fluff gently with a fork before serving, stirring in any coconut cream that rose to the top during cooking.