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 Salad Ingredients
For the Tangy Asian Dressing:
- rice vinegar
- soy sauce
- gochujang paste
- sesame oil
For the Salad:
- solid white tuna (albacore)
- mixed greens
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 me know in the comments and please check out some of our other kimchi recipes!
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
- 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.
- 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 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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This salad is so good! Love the dressing. It’s different from anything I’ve had before.
Thanks Lucy! I love the dressing too. It goes well with the tuna.