Thai Tuna Salad Recipe (Easy Yum Tuna)

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Thai tuna salad recipe with refreshing Thai flavors and the best, most simple dressing ever. Perfect for meal prep or those busy weeknights when you need to get something out on the table in an instant.

Top-down view of spicy Thai tuna salad with chilies, shallots, lemongrass, and fresh herbs in a white dish.

Love spicy seafood salads? Try this refreshing yum talay recipe, loaded with shrimp, squid, and crab.

What is Thai tuna salad

Thai tuna salad is a simple, refreshing dish with a dressing of tangy lime juice and rich fish sauce. With the addition of fresh chilies, lemongrass, and cilantro, this healthy meal is perfect for a light and refreshing dinner.

Yum tuna

One of my new absolute favorites has got to be this yum tuna! If simple, flavorful salads are what you’re looking for, you’ve hit the jackpot.

The way Thai flavors can brighten up canned tuna is simply unbelievable – no need for fancy, pricey tuna here.

Spicy Thai tuna salad in a white dish and a wooden fork lifting a forkful of tuna, herbs, and spices.

It’s crunchy, fresh, and if you’re a fan of Thai cooking, I bet you got most of the ingredients waiting in your pantry. Seriously, there’s no need to make things complicated, a sprinkle of basic herbs is all you need.

I gave the veggies a pass and didn’t miss them at all. But hey, if you’re feeling the veggie vibe, throw them in!

You can enjoy it as a side or as a main-dish with rice or noodles. Have it with lettuce wraps or on crackers, it’s a winner anyhow!

Close-up of Thai yum tuna salad with chilies and fresh herbs and spices.

And if you’re on a diet, this is the perfect tuna salad recipe for you because there’s no room for mayo here. It’s super healthy and everything you can wish for in an easy yum tuna.

It’s a great make-ahead meal too, just store it in the fridge for later.

Want more? Take a look at my other Thai salad recipes.

5 Reasons to try this spicy tuna salad

  • Super simple and quick. This tuna dish is so easy and quick to put together. You can get a tasty dish on the table faster than takeout delivers.
  • Perfect year-round. It’s the perfect tuna summer salad, but it’s so good you’ll want to make it all year long!
  • Crowd-pleaser. Everyone loved this one! Grandma, the kids, my hubby, even the dogs were practically climbing the table, no kidding.
  • So versatile. Feel free to switch up the tuna with grilled chicken or other protein, and to add veggies.
  • Healthy. Healthy doesn’t have to be bland and flavorless. This salad is loaded with nutrients and fresh ingredients, plus it’s bursting with flavor.


For the exact measurements, please scroll down to the recipe card at the end of this post.

Top-down view of Thai tuna salad ingredients; herbs and lemongrass, red chilies, shallots, tuna, lime juice, white sugar, and fish sauce.
  • Canned tuna – The heart of this dish – canned tuna in water. You can use canned tuna in olive oil if you want to.
  • Coriander, scallions (green onions) – Feel free to add more herbs.
  • Lemongrass – Adds a fragrant, citrusy aroma and flavor.
  • Shallots – Adds a subtle sweet flavor and a hint of sharpness.
  • Chilies – I used Thai Jinda chili peppers, but feel free to use milder ones if spicy salads are not your thing.
  • White sugar – A sprinkle of sweetness is needed to balance the spicy and tangy flavors.
  • Fish sauce – This key ingredient of Thai cuisine adds umami and a salty flavor to our salad.
  • Lime – Fresh lime juice brightens up the dish and adds a refreshing tangy flavor.

Cooking instructions

  1. Instructional steps for making this Thai tuna salad recipe.

    1. Separate the canned tuna from the liquid using a sieve.
    2. In a mixing bowl, combine the dressing: fresh lime juice, fish sauce, and white sugar. Stir until the sugar is fully dissolved.
    3. Gently mix in the coriander, scallions, shallots, and chilies.
    4. Add the tuna and combine.

  2. Serve for lunch or dinner.

Kitchen tools

REcipe tips

  • If the salad turns out too spicy, try adding a bit more sugar to balance it out. If you can’t eat spicy, you can remove the chili seeds.
  • Taste as you go and adjust the seasoning to strike the right balance between salty, sweet, spicy, and sour.
  • Feel free to add vegetables like tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, beans, onions, fresh basil, or others.

How to serve

Serve alongside steamed jasmine rice or noodles.

For a lighter meal, spoon it into crisp lettuce wraps.

You can totally spread it over crunchy crackers or toasted bread as well, it’s so delicious!

How to store

Pop the leftovers into an airtight container and keep it in the fridge. It’ll stay fresh for up to 2 days.

Frequently asked questions

Is this a spicy tuna salad?

This salad is medium spicy. You can easily adjust the heat by lowering the number of chilies or removing the seeds.

Can I make this in advance?

Totally. It keeps well in the fridge for up to 2 days. Perfect for a flavorful lunch at work.

Is this recipe gluten-free?

Yes. Just make sure to double-check the labeling of your fish sauce brand.

More easy Thai salad recipes you’ll love

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Difficulty: Beginner Prep Time 5 min Cook Time 5 min Total Time 10 mins
Servings: 1 Calories: 290


This Thai tuna salad recipe comes together quickly with simple ingredients and delicious flavor.



  1. Separate the tuna from the liquid using a sieve.

  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the dressing: fresh lime juice, fish sauce, and white sugar. Stir until the sugar is fully dissolved.

  3. Gently mix in the coriander, scallions, shallots, and chilies.

  4. Add the tuna and combine. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts

Servings 1

Amount Per Serving
Calories 290kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10.3g16%
Saturated Fat 2.1g11%
Total Carbohydrate 13.4g5%
Dietary Fiber 0.4g2%
Sugars 0.6g
Protein 35.4g71%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.


  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.
  • Feel free to add your favorite vegetables or to replace tuna with grilled chicken or other protein.
Keywords: Thai tuna salad, Thai tuna salad recipe, yum tuna

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About Author


I owned my own Thai restaurant and have years of experience in various other Thai restaurants. I've been whipping up classic Thai dishes by my mother's and grandma's side since I was just a little girl. Now I'm sharing my deep-rooted passion with my authentic Thai recipes on this food blog.

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