Thai Tuna Salad

This Thai tuna salad has got a load of protein and great flavors that will spice up your lunch any day!

I go to several restaurants and cafes around my office on a regular basis during my lunch hour and I always get the same thing at each. I always fear that if I try something new, I’ll regret not getting what I usually get, but then I always feel I’m missing out on other great offerings if I continue to get what I always get. Tough decision, huh? Man, eating sometimes is just so hard, haha =P

One of my favorite things to do is to re-make restaurant favorites at home. It’s fun to try to dissect all the flavor and ingredient combinations and try to mimic the restaurant. I love sitting in a restaurant with Jason and being so into a dish to the point where I’m whipping out my iPhone to write down what ingredients would go into the dish and how I’d remake it. I know, I’m such a nerd foodie, aren’t I?

That’s what I’ve done here. There’s this cafe near my office that has this Thai tuna salad and it is so.freaking.addicting. My coworker actually introduced me to it. She told me that I “have to try it” and that our manager raves about it. I didn’t understand why until I went to get it. It’s like an Asian symphony of flavors dancing in your mouth. It’s full of sesame flavor but the cucumbers, peppers, and red onions just play so well with the tuna and sesame oil. It’s a fairly light dish but it’s so filling because of all the protein you get from the tuna. Omega 3’s anyone?

I made a huge batch of this and we put it atop crostini. There’s so many other ways you can serve this. You can serve this over a bed of lettuce or spinach leaves or you can serve this atop cucumber slices as mini appetizers for a party or even on beds of endive or celery sticks.

I don’t know why it’s called a Thai tuna salad. Again, it’s a restaurant remake and I’m just naming it what the restaurant called it.

Thai Tuna Salad
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
10 mins

We love this thai tuna salad for quick lunches!

Course: Main Entree, Salad
Servings: 4
  • 3: 70 gram cans of tuna, drained
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 cucumber, sliced thinly and diced
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Sesame seeds, as garnish
  1. In a large bowl, break up the tuna into smaller pieces.
  2. Mix in the red bell pepper, red onion, and cucumber. Pour the sesame oil on top and stir to combine everything. Lastly add the juice of 1 lime and stir again to combine.
  3. Salt and pepper to taste and garnish with sesame seeds before serving.
Recipe Notes

If you feel more sesame oil is needed, feel free to add more to your taste!



Posted on April 02, 2012

dinner for two by julie wampler



Perfect for: singles & couples, newlyweds, empty-nesters, college students, YOU!


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  1. 04/02/2012 at 8:34 am

    I love Thai & I love tuna salad so I will have to make this ASAP! & I’m totally the exact same as you when it comes to ordering something new at a restaurant!

  2. 04/02/2012 at 8:55 am

    Great twist on a classic!

  3. 04/02/2012 at 9:00 am

    Julie. This is everything I’ve ever hoped for & more. My life is now complete.

  4. 04/02/2012 at 9:18 am

    Ooooo, I would totally love this! Looks perfect!

  5. 04/02/2012 at 10:07 am

    OMG you have me laughing so hard!! I am the EXACT same way when I go out to eat…scared to be disappointed so I always order the same thing at each place and then wonder if Im missing out on something great…but again, what if its not good?! Its an awful habit! haha

    P.S. I am always looking for new ways to eat tuna!! This one is already in my lunch rotation this week! Fab.u.lous job!

  6. 04/02/2012 at 10:08 am

    I was thinking I wanted tuna salad for lunch (is that gross when you’re still drinking your coffee at 10am?) and then you posted this! Done…being made today. :)

  7. 04/02/2012 at 10:25 am

    LOVE this. I’m having tuna salad today, it’s a staple, but mine definitely needs some thai action!

  8. 04/02/2012 at 10:28 am

    Love the flavours in this!

  9. 04/02/2012 at 10:34 am

    Yum! I’m always looking for new tuna salad recipes. I need to try this one out!

  10. 04/02/2012 at 10:42 am

    Aaaand, why have I never thought to jazz up my tuna like this before? This looks so delicious, Julie! Love all your additions. I might even spice it up with some sriracha. Thanks for sharing!

  11. 04/02/2012 at 10:43 am

    Great way to spice up regular ol’ tuna salad! I have a mild-ish obsession with sesame oil. And by mild I mean I wish my house always smelled like it… I LOOOOOVE it! Totally trying this soon :)

  12. 04/02/2012 at 11:10 am

    Being able to enjoy restaurant favorites at home is one of the best things ever! This sounds amazing Julie :)

  13. 04/02/2012 at 12:18 pm

    I remember seeing this on Instagram and I couldn’t wait for the recipe! I love that it doesn’t require too many ingredients and it can be made in 5 minutes. Those are the best lunches. Or dinners :)

  14. 04/02/2012 at 1:53 pm

    Oh this looks fantastic and so clean and tasty! Okay, this is on the list.

  15. 04/02/2012 at 2:06 pm

    Ummm, do you deliver? I want this for lunch.

  16. 04/02/2012 at 2:48 pm

    omg. YES YES.

  17. 04/02/2012 at 2:52 pm

    I’ve been craving Tuna Salad! I’m definitely gonna try your recipe!

  18. 04/02/2012 at 4:45 pm

    Oh, YUM. this looks very delicious. i already ate lunch, but if you give me this now, i`ll definitely chow it down!

  19. 04/02/2012 at 5:55 pm

    Always looking for a new spin on tuna salad. This looks great!

  20. 04/02/2012 at 6:03 pm

    This sounds wonderful! I was planning on making a tuna salad anyway now I think I’ll try it your way :-)

  21. I don’t love Tuna, but I love Thai flavors! This looks gorgeous!

  22. 04/02/2012 at 10:19 pm

    This looks DELICIOUS! I love thai flavors.

  23. 04/03/2012 at 12:25 am

    Oh yum! I love tuna salad and incorporating Asian flavors definitely takes it up a notch :)

  24. 04/03/2012 at 10:09 am

    man oh man I wish I had tuna. This looks amazing.

  25. 04/03/2012 at 10:33 am

    This is such a great idea! Love it!

  26. 04/03/2012 at 2:11 pm

    love the creative twist on tuna salad Julie! i also love that there is no mayo… can’t stand the stuff!

  27. 04/03/2012 at 3:28 pm

    This salad looks so good. We would all love this at my place.

  28. 04/03/2012 at 4:45 pm

    This is a great way to jazz up a tuna salad :)

  29. 04/03/2012 at 5:02 pm

    Now I’m wishing I hadn’t had an egg sandwich for lunch. That sounds amazing.

  30. 04/03/2012 at 11:11 pm

    I’m excited to try this! As a wife and mom trying to find healthy recipes can sometimes be a long process. Thankful to stumble across this and can’t wait to make it for my family =) Definitely adding to next weeks Meal Plan.

  31. 04/23/2012 at 10:39 pm

    Just had this tonight and we loved it! We had Triscuit Original crackers on the side and really enjoyed it

  32. Marlene
    11/17/2012 at 5:36 pm

    This is so yummy! I had to control myself to keep from eating the entire thing! I did make one little adjustment. I only used 1/4 cup of the sesame oil and it was just right for me. It seems like 3/4 cup would be very oily!

  33. Marie
    06/25/2014 at 3:30 pm

    So glad I found this! Thank you. =)

  34. lorena hayden
    01/11/2015 at 9:40 am

    Hi , I was browsing your recipes, they look great! Do you have a nutritional value at up for the Thai tuna salad? If you do, would you mind sending to me ? Thx!

    • Julie
      01/11/2015 at 11:49 am

      Unfortunately, no. There are many reasons as to why I don’t post nutritional information on my recipes, one of which is that I simply do not have the time to do this. Also, I’m not a registered dietician or nutritionist so for me to give any sort of nutritional information would be incorrect and inaccurate. There are also many differing factors when it comes to nutritional information and since I do not have the knowledge in this, I do not feel comfortable posting this sort of information. If you must have this information, there are many calculators out there (free and paid) that can help you with calculations. A simple Google search would pull up some of these calculators, but again, I’m not endorsing them as I do not know how accurate they may be.

  35. MADDIE
    01/18/2015 at 11:24 pm

    Hey, this salad sounds amazing! I was wondering how long you think it would keep for?

    • Julie
      01/19/2015 at 8:37 am

      I would say at least 3 days!

      • MADDIE
        01/21/2015 at 2:52 am


  36. mel
    01/19/2015 at 10:09 am

    what size tins of tuna do you use?

    • Julie
      01/19/2015 at 7:23 pm

      I think it was a 5-6 ounce can.

  37. annie
    01/22/2015 at 11:36 am

    Inreally like your recipes but being a novice at cooking I sometimes second guess myself and mess up. It would be REAL helpful if you would post pictures of the process of making the dish.


  38. Lisa
    02/07/2015 at 2:42 pm

    I just made this and used less sesame oil by half, but it still tastes too strongly of sesame. Does sesame oil have a short shelf life in the regrigerator. Could that be the problem?

    • Julie
      02/07/2015 at 5:31 pm

      Hi Lisa, sesame oil is really strong so that’s why. If you don’t like it as strong, use a even less next time. It’s a very potent oil :)

    • Annie
      02/07/2015 at 6:33 pm

      Hey Lisa, Thanks for the heads up. I will keep the sesame oil content really low.
      Other than that, how was the taste? I know sometimes the picture looks good but the taste isn’t really all that great. I’d appreciate your review.

  39. Lisa
    02/07/2015 at 2:43 pm

    Sorry about the typos. My screen wouldn’t let me see the words as I typed.

  40. Karen
    02/09/2015 at 4:11 pm

    Sounds delicious but be careful with this one if you’re watching calories. 3/4 cup of sesame oil is a large quantity – even for 3 cans of tuna . Would be over 360 calories per serving for just the oil (based on 4 servings.

  41. Robert Smith
    06/16/2015 at 5:26 am

    There are 2 ingredients missing if this is supposed to be Thai and they are chopped small red and green chillies and fish sauce.

    • Julie
      06/16/2015 at 7:27 am

      Thanks for enforcing the rules on Thai cuisine, Robert! I’m sorry to have strayed from what is “standard.” Recipe development these days gets harder and harder when you’re stuck in a bubble and restricted from being creative.

  42. Darren Emes
    12/13/2015 at 3:52 am

    Very tasty, the whole family enjoyed it, added chilli, fish sauce and garnished with coriander

  43. Angela
    01/20/2016 at 6:37 pm

    I’ve made this twice now for work lunches! The second time I ran out of sesame oil but it still tasted great with the reduced amount. I love it over spinach. It’s a great option when I want something light and healthy for lunch!

  44. Ryan
    09/24/2016 at 12:46 pm

    Good stuff! I added a little minced garlic and celery, and a touch of siracha for heat.

  45. Justin
    11/26/2016 at 7:22 pm

    Hi. I’m trying this recipe for the first time today. I’ve used 3 x 185g cans of tuna. The 3/4 ssesame oil seems a little much. Are your cans of tuna 185g ?

    • Julie
      11/27/2016 at 9:55 am

      Our cans of tuna are 70g and yes, 3/4 cup does seem like a lot, I agree. Perhaps, start with 1/4 cup for yours and then up the amount :) I will adjust that to the recipe. Thanks!

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