This Rice Salad recipe is made with canned Tuna, and is an easy, no fuss recipe. Make ahead for your next summer bbq or picnic. Don't make a macaroni salad like everyone else!
Salads like a Russian Tuna Rice Salad (рыбный салат) are very different from the salads we eat in our western culture. Salads in Russia and Slavic countries tend to be very hearty, heavy, meaty and often filled with mayonnaise. Western salads are very green, leafy, and light in comparison.
This little known Tuna Rice Salad isn't a traditional salad you would think of when you say Russian Salads. I don't have another point of reference when translating this recipe. My friend Oxana from Moscow makes this salad and calls it. She even spreads it on a piece of bread like a tuna salad sandwich, it's really good. It definitely fits the mould of Slavic salads. Other famous Russian salads are;
- Olivier Salad (салат Оливье)
- Herring Under a Fur Coat (Селедка под шубой)
- Vinegret Beet Salad (Винегрет)
- Korean Carrot Salad (Морковь по-корейски)
- Russian Radish Salad (Салат из редиски и огурцов)
- Mimosa Salad (Салат Мимоза)
Many Russian salads have meat or fish in them, with beetroot, carrots and eggs. They are delicious, and can be a meal in themselves. You can even put this in a sandwich as a hearty tuna sandwich. Did I mention the mayonnaise? Very important in many Russian salads!
What is Rice Salad?
Rice Salad has different variations around the world. Usually it's a mix of rice, a protein and usually a vegetable or two thrown in. It's often served cold, and this recipe is best when refrigerated at least 1 hour before serving. Rice Salads are usually made with white rice, usually short grain or medium grain rice. It's a great way to use up leftover rice too.
Since rice can be bland, different rice salads use herbs to bring it to life. I use fresh chopped dill, which works perfectly in this rice salad recipe. What could be more Slavic? Canned meat, mayonnaise, carbs and dill! 🤣
This creamy cold rice salad is perfect for hot summer days. A salad that you can eat as a meal! I love this Tuna Salad as it's easy to make, economical and fills you up.
How to make a Tuna Rice Salad
Start with a large can of Tuna. Here in Australia, our canned tuna cans are different in sizes than in the USA. This recipe used 15oz of canned tuna, so about 3 small cans. For any Aussies, I use a 425g can of tuna, but you can add more or less depending on what you have. I like tuna, so I try to add more not less.
Add cucumbers to the salad, because they add a nice crunch and texture to this soft salad. It's important to de-seed the cucumbers, otherwise the salad will get wet and mushy from the seed pulp. Quarter the cucumber, lengthways, and cut out the seeded parts.
Be sure to use Tuna in Spring water, not Tuna in Oil, as this will make the salad very oily when mixed with the mayonnaise. Tuna in oil has many flavor infusions which is tempting to use. If using Tuna in Oil, just used less mayo, manually adjust how much you add.
Finally, as I mentioned before, don't skip the dill or green onions. This is what brings a hit of flavor to this salad. On their own, the ingredients can be bland, but the dill brings it all together. You can find fresh dill in supermarkets year round. They also sell refrigerated dill in a tube. If using this, I'd mix it in with the mayo before adding it to the salad.
Rice Salad Recipe Tips
- Use leftover rice, don't throw it away! Need about 5 cups of leftover rice, or half the recipe if using a smaller amount of cooked rice.
- Try using brown rice, or mix in some wild rice for different textures and flavors
- Prepare a day in a advance, it tastes better, perfect for a bbq or picnic
- Substitute canned Salmon or canned Chicken instead of Tuna
- Cook the rice the day before, or fluff the cooked rice and cool in the fridge. Don't use hot rice.
- Use smoked fish, like smoked salmon or any smoked white fish instead of canned
- Add hard boiled eggs into the mix!
This Russian Tuna Rice Salad is super quick and easy salad to make, and tastes delicious. The salad that eats like a meal. Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
- 15 oz chunky canned tuna in spring water 425 grams
- 2 cups of uncooked rice
- 3 spring onions thinly sliced
- ¾ long english cucumber
- 1 ½ cups of mayonnaise
- fresh dill
- salt and pepper to taste
- Wash and cook the rice according to instructions. Fluff it and let it cool.
- Chop cucumber into quarters, de-seed and slice into thin pieces.
- Slice the spring onions, and finely chop the dill - to taste (I had approx 2 tablespoons of chopped dill)
- In a large bowl, combine rice, tuna, onions, cucumber mayonnaise, and dill. Season with salt and pepper, and add more mayonnaise if required.
- Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.