3 Ways to Use Lacto-Fermented Tuna

It’s true, you can ferment just about anything to bring out its flavor and amp up the nutritional value.  A simple tuna salad is no exception.  In Sally Fallon’s book, The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care, she presents a simple lacto-fermented tuna salad recipe that can be adapted and served in many different ways.

Though the possibilities are nearly endless, here I present you with three ways to use lacto-fermented tuna.

Preparing the Lacto-Fermented Tuna

The preparation begins the same way each time, by fermenting the tuna:

You will need:

• 1/4 pound fresh, raw tuna (not canned), cut into 1/4 inch cubes

• 2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice

• 2 tablespoons whey or sauerkraut juice

Toss the cubed raw tuna in the citrus juice and whey or kraut juice.  Marinate the mixture covered in the refrigerator for 12-36 hours.

As the mixture marinates, the acid in the citrus juice will “cook” the tuna creating something resembling the South American traditional fish dish Ceviche, and the whey or sauerkraut juice will act as a lacto-fermentation starter to start a quick ferment of the fish.

Once your tuna has fermented, the possibilities are endless.

3 Ways to Use Lacto-Fermented Tuna

Option 1: Fresh Vegetable and Herb Tuna Salad

Sally Fallon’s original recipe has a fresh vegetable and herb version, similar to the first recipe listed below.  It’s suitable for eating fresh with a fork or as a salad topping.

Toss the tuna along with its marinade with 1/4 to 1/2 cup each of:

• Diced red pepper

• Chopped celery

• Minced red onion or scallion

Add in 1 tablespoon each of:

• Capers

• Fresh or dried parsley

• Fresh or dried chives

• Fresh or dried basil

• Lemon juice

• Olive oil

Add sea salt and pepper to taste, and serve on top of lettuce.

Option 2: Traditional Tuna Salad Sandwich

The second adaptation is a traditional tuna salad sandwich.  I’m a die-hard tuna salad sandwich fan, and this can easily be made as a tuna melt by adding cheese and grilling in a pan with a little butter until the bread toasts and the cheese melts.

Drain the tuna thoroughly, and mix with:

• 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (Homemade is best, and fermented if available.)

• 1 teaspoon mustard

• 1-2 tablespoons capers

• 1-2 tablespoons finely chopped onions

• 1-2 tablespoons finely chopped celery

Serve on toasted bread.

Option 3: Wild Rice Salad

Toss the tuna, along with its marinating liquid, with the following ingredients:

• 1 cup cooked wild rice, cooled

• 1/2 onion, finely chopped

• 1/2 red pepper, finely chopped

• 1 garlic cloves, minced

• 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped

• 1 tablespoon olive oil

• 1 tablespoon sauerkraut juice

• Salt to taste, if desired

Mix all the  ingredients and refrigerate for at least one hour to allow the flavors to marinate.  Serve cold, or allow to return to room temperature before serving as a side dish or stand-alone lunch.


Ashley is an off grid homesteader in central Vermont.  She is passionate about fermentation, charcuterie and foraging.  Read more about her adventures at VermontMangoPlantation.com.

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