Tuna is truly a do-it-all protein. This delicious fish can be used to produce everything from ultra-pricy sushi-grade filets to humble, affordable canned versions perfect for a cheap lunch or easy dinner. Even if you focus strictly on canned tuna, there are still quite a few different varieties. However, one type stands out above the rest for tasty homestyle casseroles — chunk light tuna.
Chunk light tuna is made from younger or smaller skipjack tuna, the most frequently used species for canned tuna. However, the real difference between solid and chunk tuna comes down to the structure of the fish inside the can. Solid tuna contains larger pieces, while chunk is broken into smaller, bite-sized pieces that can be easily distributed in dishes like casseroles. However, it's more substantial than flaked tuna, which is broken up into even smaller pieces.
The "light" part is also crucial, even if the meat is often darker in color. Skipjack tuna meat is more varied in texture and has a more robust taste than albacore, another common kind of canned tuna. That's perfect for recipes where you need tuna flavor to shine through a mix of other ingredients and want that classic casserole mouthfeel.
Critical But Simple Tuna Decisions
Creating the perfect texture for your casserole also means avoiding the most significant mistakes everyone makes with canned tuna. Among these is failing to drain your tuna before using it. Undrained, your casseroles can end up with an unpleasant mushiness from too much packing liquid.
Speaking of this liquid, another critical decision is whether to use tuna packed in oil or water. The latter is more often seen and allows the tuna flavor to shine through. Meanwhile, tuna packed in oil can be moister, with a richer taste. Either can typically be used in most casserole recipes unless one, in particular, is specified.
Don't just grab any old can off the grocery store shelf. Chunk light tuna is the easiest way to make your next casserole just as good as the comfort food Mom used to make.
Read the original article on Mashed.