This Tuna Rice Salad recipe is an easy, no fuss recipe. Make ahead for your next summer bbq or picnic. Budget friendly, made with canned fish, rice and herbs. Don't make a macaroni salad like everyone else!
Eastern European Salads, like this 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.
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
This Rice Salad is perfect to make with with leftover rice, but you need about 4 cups of uncooked rice. That's why you probably need to start by cooking 2 cups of uncooked rice and allow it to cool.
- Cook 2 cups of uncooked rice, allow to cool
- Slice ¾ Long English Cucumber into quarters, de-seed and chop into thin pieces
- Prepare herbs, chop spring onions and dill
- Mix cooled rice, canned tuna, onions, cucumbers, mayo and dill
- Season with salt and pepper. Add more mayo if needed
- Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving
- Cucumbers add crunch, texture and moisture to this salad. It's important to de-seed the cucumbers, otherwise the salad will get wet and mushy from the seed pulp.
- 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.
- Don't skip the herbs! Fresh dill and green onions add flavor and color to this salad. If using prepared dill in a tube (sold in supermarkets) pre-mix with mayo before adding to your salad.
Rice Salad Recipe Tips
- Use leftover rice, don't throw it away! Need about 4-5 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!
Hearty Russian Salads
Many Russian Salads have meat or fish in them, with beets, 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! Other famous Russian salads are;
- Olivier Salad (салат Оливье)
- Herring Under a Fur Coat (Селедка под шубой)
- Vinegret Beet Salad (Винегрет)
- Mimosa Salad (Салат Мимоза)
This 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 /425 grams canned tuna in spring water
- 2 cups uncooked rice
- 3 spring onions thinly sliced
- ¾ long english cucumber thinly chopped
- 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.