I know this doesn’t seem quite like something one might crave during the winter months in Ohio, but we just got back from a warm family vacation in Florida a couple of days ago and while we were away we ate such incredible food (shout out to my SIL for feeding hundreds of us like it was no big thang). The one thing I couldn’t stop thinking about was this awesome crab cake I had at a creative and cute restaurant called the LetterPress at the Hilton in Orlando. I knew I didn’t have any canned salmon or crab…wait do they even make canned crab meat? haha can’t you tell I am such a professional cook?! Anyhow, I digress. What I did know is I have been hoarding those little packets of tuna and I thought, what the heck let’s give it a try!
So as I mentioned, I used the air-tight packs of tuna. I do not think it would be a huge deal to use the canned tuna, but I think the meat in the packs are just meatier, thereby making it more tasty. Sometimes the water in the cans wears at the meat, but the air-tight packs do not! I used two packs and was able to get 6 pretty good sized patties.
In a medium sized mixing bowl, I put in the tuna first, sprinkled with a couple pinches of salt and pepper and stirred that all around. Next, I put in my mayo and mustard and mix that all together. See, this step is important because I never measure my ingredients so I can tell my mayo/mustard combo is just right based on the color it becomes when it is mixed. If you have a tuna recipe that you used often, make sure to take note of what that color is! It makes life so much easier not having to fuss with all the measuring cups and teaspoons and blah blah blah which we know just equals more dishes to do…no thanks!
Once I have my mixture just right I add a whisked egg, fold that in and then add my panko breadcrumbs. Regular breadcrumbs would be fine too, but I think the panko gives it a more light and crispy feeling. Fold those in, squeeze about 1/2 a lemon over it, mix again and let sit for a few while your oil; any kind is fine here, I used canola, warms on the skillet over medium-high heat, depending on your oven.
To get your patties just right, take a kitchen spoon, and scoop up enough mix to fit it in the spoon. Roll it into a meatball and then smoosh it in between your palms. Round out the outsides if they are a little uneven. Keep doing this until your mixture is gone, making sure they are all even in size so the cooking time will be the same for all.
Right before putting the patties in, I add about a tablespoon of butter to make sure the oil is up to temp, and to give it a little extra flavor! I mean, seriously, it’s butter! It does no harm! Give each side about 4 minutes back and forth. You will know it is done when they get this nice golden crust on the outside!
To serve, I put it over a bed of lettuce with freshly chopped jalapeño and a generous squeeze of a quartered lemon. I know the warm weather seems far away, but eating this just reminds me that it will be here sooner than we know it!
2 Packets Starkist Chunk Light Tuna in Water
3 tbsp. regular mayo (appx.)
2 tbsp. regular mustard (appx.)
1 cup panko breadcrumbs (appx.)
1 tbsp. oil of any kind
bagged iceberg lettuce for serving
salt and pepper to taste