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Kimchi salad is an easy, healthy and unique recipe. It may sound like an odd combination, but the fish, the array of mixed vegetables and the homemade dressing makes this salad a delicious and nutritious recipe. It just takes some chopping of the vegetables, a mix with the tuna, kimchi and tangy dressing, and your salad is ready!

Kimchi tuna salad in bowl on wooden background, dressing on the side.

Kimchi Salad Ingredients

For the Tangy Asian Dressing:

  • mayonnaise
  • rice vinegar
  • soy sauce
  • gochujang paste
  • sesame oil
  • sugar

For the Salad:

  • solid white tuna (albacore)
  • cucumber
  • carrots
  • mixed greens
  • celery
  • Korean kimchi
  • Black sesame seeds – as a garnish

Kimchi happens to go great with seafood, which is why we added tuna to this salad. Solid white tuna, also known as albacore tuna, comes in larger pieces instead of chunks or shredded, giving you a bigger bite. It has a mild flavor, making it an excellent accompaniment to the tangy, flavorful kimchi.

Canned tuna first came out in 1904 when Albert P. Halfhil realized it had a good mild flavor without the fishiness, and it turned into an appealing white color when steamed, hence the name white tuna. Sardine availability was decreasing and fishermen were searching for other types of fish; tuna became it, although previously regarded as trash. Now people use canned fish as an affordable source of protein.

Kimchi tuna salad in bowl with Asian dressing.

The dressing is so worth the extra couple of minutes to combine the mixture. The gochujang paste gives it a unique touch so I really recommend making sure you have some on hand for this recipe.

Storage

When it comes to storing your kimchi salad, there are a few important steps to follow. One of them is to make sure certain ingredients, like the mixed greens, are kept fresh, cool and are not crushed by other items.

Kimchi tuna salad in bowl on wooden background.

Keep your ingredients dry to stop them from breaking down faster and becoming soggy, especially the greens. That also means keeping moist ingredients like your dressing and kimchi separate from your salad until serving. The dressing can be made well in advance as it can last 1 to 2 months in the fridge.

Another trick is to keep the salad in the fridge with a paper towel in the container. The paper towel will absorb the moisture, and the fridge will keep the ingredients at an ideal temperature. This will allow you to have all of the ingredients ready in the fridge ahead of time, so you can quickly whip up the salad come lunch or dinner.

Kimchi tuna salad in bowl, front view.

Serving Suggestions

With the tang from the kimchi and the dressing, I recommend a sweet side of fresh fruit like grapes and pineapples. If you want something more filling, bread is a classic choice or you could add some quinoa to the salad. There is also the classic salad and soup combo, but to keep with the Asian theme, you can serve yourself a bowl of egg drop soup.

What did you think of this unique kimchi salad? Let us know in the comments and please share the recipe!

Kimchi tuna salad in bowl, top view.

Kimchi Salad

Joss D
This kimchi salad with tuna and homemade Asian dressing is an easy, healthy and unique recipe.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Salad
Cuisine Korean
Servings 4
Calories 137 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

For the Dressing:

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons gochujang paste
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

For the Salad:

  • 12 oz. solid white tuna - drained and broken into chunks
  • 1 small cucumber - thinly sliced
  • 1 cup carrots - cut into matchsticks or grated
  • 4 cups mixed greens
  • 1 cup celery - sliced
  • ½ cup kimchi - drained well and coarsely chopped
  • Black sesame seeds - to garnish

Instructions
 

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, rice vinegar, soy sauce, gochujang paste, sesame oil and sugar. Reserve.
  • Add all of the salad ingredients to a large bowl or divide evenly between 4 individual bowls.
  • Sprinkle with black sesame seeds. Serve with the dressing on the side.

Notes

  • Nutrition information does not include the dressing.
  • You can use a colander or fine mesh strainer to drain the kimchi. Reserve the kimchi brine for other recipes!
  • If you are making this salad ahead of time, keep the dressing and the ingredients that are moist (tuna, cucumber, kimchi) separate from the lettuce. It is best eaten on the day of preparation.
  • Leftover dressing can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container, jar or squeeze bottle for 1 to 2 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 137kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 21gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 374mgPotassium: 492mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 5959IUVitamin C: 13mgCalcium: 43mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information on In the Kitch is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. It may not include toppings and/or sauces.

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