Zesty Tuna and Rice Salad

This is one of my favourite dishes when I need a really quick meal. The origins of this dish was an accident. I had a really busy morning at home one day and was ready to cook myself a nice, tasty lunch when my landlord at the time decided that the microwave and kitchen stove needed replacing. It was 2pm in the afternoon. I was dismayed, how long did I have to wait? My stomach was growling. I looked into the fridge and started opening the doors of my kitchen cabinets, desperately looking for things that I could put together. That’s when I realised that I had some leftover rice and a few random types of vegetables in the fridge. Of course, in my pantry, I had my trusty stock of canned tuna, condiments, and herbs.

From my hunger and helplessness of that moment was where this delicious zesty tuna and rice salad was born.

If you like this dish, or even fried rice, and would often make them, it’s a good idea to always have some leftover rice in the fridge. It saves time and helps you cut the step of having to cook rice; but please make sure you store it right.

More than convenience though, did you know that cooked and cooled rice develops resistant starch, which behaves like fibre? It is still starch, but as its name suggests, resists digestion in the small intestine. It is eventually digested in the large intestine where it serves as food for the good bacteria there, and is fermented to produce short chain fatty acids, such as butyrate. Butyrate takes care of the cells of your intestinal lining, preventing colon cancer. As a “fibre”, it also helps you to feel full, and reduces spikes in your sugar levels after a meal.

For a dish that is both tasty and healthy, I would highly recommend you giving it a try.

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Zesty Tuna and Rice Salad

Serves 2


  • 1.5 cups brown rice, cooked
  • 2 medium tomatoes, finely minced
  • 1 shallot, finely minced
  • ½ avocado, coarsely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 2x 150g can tuna in olive oil, drained
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (or white wine vinegar)
  • 1 tsp mixed Italian herbs
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper


  1. In a large bowl, mix together rice, tomatoes, shallot, avocado, celery, and tuna.
  2. To the rice mixture, add in olive oil, lemon juice, mixed herbs, salt, and black pepper. Toss to mix.
  3. Serve immediately; if you prefer it cold, chill in the fridge for an hour before serving.
Zesty tuna and rice salad nutrition information panel
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