The Importance Of Fluffing Canned Tuna When Making Tuna Salad

A staple at picnics and office luncheons alike, tuna salad is one of the most versatile and easy-to-make dishes around. Due to its humble ingredient list of pantry basics like canned tuna, mayonnaise, and relish, it's easy to only associate the recipe with soggy sandwiches and disappointing dinners — but a good tuna salad is capable of so much more. When made correctly, tuna salad is the perfect textural mix of cream, crisp, and crunch. And, by tweaking the various seasonings and aromatics used in the salad, you can craft something spicy, savory, or fresh enough to suit your tastes. Everyone's method for making tuna salad is bound to be a little different, but one technique every chef should employ is to fluff up the canned tuna.


Before you add other ingredients to the tuna, use a fork to break and fluff up the tuna. By the time you're done shredding, there should be no remaining clumps — just thin, delicate strips of fish. You should do this whether you're using regular canned tuna or artisanal options, as it helps prepare the fish to better incorporate with the rest of the ingredients.

Fluffing helps the tuna mix well

Shredding and fluffing the tuna into tiny individual strands is the best way to ensure all the ingredients will be evenly distributed in the salad. This is especially important when it comes to adding mayonnaise. If the mayo and tuna aren't mixed together well enough, you run the risk of chomping into a bite of dry, flavorless fish. Furthermore, it will also be easier to blend the rest of the ingredients into the fluffy tuna so the final result will be a true salad, rather than just tuna with a few toppings scattered into it. Believe it or not, a pinch of sugar is a tasty addition to canned tuna, so sprinkling it into the fluffed tuna is a great move.


Fluffed tuna will have a more airy texture, which will be a great contrast to any crunchy ruffage you added in. If you're planning on making a tuna melt, the fluffy fish will be a superb complement to toasted bread (or perhaps a more innovative sandwich option). Even celebrity chefs use this technique. It will only add an extra minute to an already short recipe, so if you want a better tuna salad, grab your fork and get fluffing.