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Hearty and protein-packed, this vegan tempeh “tuna” salad tastes surprisingly fishy, thanks to a secret ingredient!
Perfect for an on-the-go lunch.
I’ve posted a Chickpea “Chicken” Salad on the blog before, but today were’ tackling it’s fishy cousin. This tempeh “tuna” salad is packed with plant-based protein and all the classic tuna salad flavors. The best part? It all comes together in simple steps, and you only need 8 wholesome ingredients to make it.
First, prepare the tempeh
I chose to use tempeh (which is a protein source made of whole soy beans) in this recipe instead of chickpeas, which is a pretty common substitute. Mashed chickpeas are kind of mushy in texture, while tempeh has a firmer bite. It’s also higher in protein, and it holds up well to heat! Which is important, because first we’re going to simmer our tempeh in a seaweed-infused broth to (1) remove some of it’s bitterness, and (2) add in an extra layer of that fishy flavor.
The specific seaweed we’ll be using is Kombu, and it’s available both in grocery stores and online. Simply add the crumbled tempeh and kombu to a pot of water, and let it simmer away for 30 minutes. I like to marinate the tempeh and kombu in the simmering water overnight to really maximize the flavor infusion.
Then, mix the marinated tempeh with the remaining salad ingredients
Drain your tempeh (don’t rinse), and then add it to a bowl with some Vegan Mayo, mustard, lemon juice, parsley, and crunchy veggies. There’s just one more special ingredient to this recipe – Dulse flakes or granules! Again, adding this finely-chopped seaweed into your tempeh “tuna” salad will give it that realistic seafood taste we’re really aiming for.
You can serve this vegan tuna salad immediately, but I like to let it sit for at least 30 minutes, to allow all of the flavors to combine. Then, serve as desired!
Ways to serve this Tempeh “Tuna” Salad:
- With crackers
- In a sandwich or wrap, or open-faced on toast
- Served in crunchy lettuce boats
Or simply by the spoonful! This “tuna” salad makes for a quick, easy, and protein-packed lunch, but it’s just as great as an afternoon snack or light dinner too. It’s also school-friendly, making it great for your little on’s lunchbox 🙂
Tempeh “Tuna” Salad
Hearty and protein-packed, this vegan tempeh “tuna” salad tastes surprisingly fishy, thanks to a secret ingredient! Perfect for an on-the-go lunch or quick dinner.
- Prep Time: 20 Minutes
- Cook Time: 35 Minutes
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: Serves 2 to 4 1x
- Category: Salad
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
- 1 8 ounce block of tempeh
- 2 pieces kombu seaweed
- ⅓ cup Easy Vegan Mayo
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 1 tablespoon dijon or whole-grain mustard
- ½ rib of celery, finely diced
- 2 tablespoons red onion or shallot, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon freshly parsley, minced
- ½ – 1 teaspoon dulse flakes/granules (optional, but recommended)
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Prepare the Tempeh: use your hands to crumble the tempeh into small, bite-sized pieces over a medium pot. Break the kombu pieces in half, then add them to the pot with 3½ cups of filtered water. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, then cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes. Transfer the entire mixture to a glass jar and store in the fridge for at least four hours, preferrably overnight.
- Mix the Salad: add the Vegan Mayo, lemon juice, and mustard to a bowl and mix well. Drain the marinating tempeh, then add it to the bowl along with the celery, onion, parsley, and dulse flakes. Mix until evenly incorporated, then add salt and black pepper to taste.
- Serve as desired; leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to five days.
- Seaweed: both kombu and dulse flakes can be found in some grocery stores; if not, you can purchase them online. I highly recommend using both types of seaweed in order to get the “fishy” taste of a classic tuna salad
- Veggies: feel free to increase or add in some extra finely chopped veggies to this salad if you’re looking to make it a little heartier; grated carrot would be great here!
Keywords: vegan tuna salad, tempeh salad, tempeh recipes, vegan tempeh recipes, healthy tuna salad, plant based tuna