Faux Tuna Salad

Even if I wasn’t already eating vegan, the current threat of heavy metal contaminants in fish and other ocean creatures would be enough to put me off tuna salad for the rest of my life.

Back in the day, however, tuna salad was a staple—a can of tuna, some mayonnaise and mustard, maybe a hard boiled egg, and a large spoonful of pickle relish, mixed together and spooned atop a lettuce leaf or spread on a piece of bread. The stuff of dreams …

When I was in college, one of my classmates worked for a food truck company that sold breakfast and lunch to construction workers at job sites. “Guess what’s in the tuna sandwiches?” he asked me one day.

“Tuna?” I replied.

“Chicken,” he said. “Chicken is cheaper, see? So we squeeze the oil out of the tuna can into the canned chicken, mix it up, and, voilĂ , faux tuna … They’d never even suspect otherwise.”

Well, I’m happy to say there’s no chicken in this faux tuna. The secret ingredient is garbanzo beans.

Faux Tuna Salad

Faux Tuna Ingredients

Instructions for Faux Tuna

If there’s any left over, store remaining Faux Tuna in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Vegan Mayonnaise Ingredients

Instructions for Vegan Mayonnaise


*You may have to search for kelp powder. Our town is so backward, even the health food store doesn’t carry it. We sometimes substitute dulse flakes for the kelp powder (which adds nutrition, though not much flavor).

Happy Tuna! Hmm, isn’t there a play called that?

— Rebecca