Tuna, Egg, Shrimp Salads: easy, versatile and satisfying
Last updated 9/6/2023 at 5:24pm
“Mom, how do you make….” was the beginning of today’s food column. My son Elliot asked me how I made something as simple as Egg Salad. I couldn’t give him a definitive answer.
Maybe, like you, I make certain “staples” in my culinary repertoire from memory. And, despite our zooming rate of technical wizardry, we are not yet capable of transferring information (recipes?) from one mind’s storage to another mind’s receptors.
So, we write down recipes our family, friends, neighbors and food column readers might want. I encourage everyone to write down the recipes for Family Favorites. Your collection will be a gift no one else can create. It will be a legacy. Maybe aim for it to be your family’s Christmas gift. It doesn't have to be fancy, bound or even printed. Handwritten will work. Just do it!
My son’s query led me to my kitchen to make egg salad, tuna and shrimp salad. …and write down the ingredient amounts and processes so anyone can duplicate these creations at will.
As an aside, I researched and cannot find any source that tells me how these recipes were named a “salad”? In many cases, the mixture is used as filling for a sandwich. Pardon the old-fashioned sexism statement: these “salads” were mostly served at Ladies Luncheons.
My husband loved my Egg Salad. However, he did not like sweet pickle relish and I did. So, I always made two batches…one with pickle relish and one without. Egg Salad Sandwiches can be a nice choice for weekend lunches all year.
Bell’s Egg Salad
7 large eggs, hard cooked*
1 ½ cups finely chopped celery
⅓ cup finely chopped onion
1 Teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ cup mayonnaise
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 Tablespoon sweet pickle relish (optional)
Peel and chop** eggs to medium dice. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl. Add celery and onion and toss together with a fork. Add mustard and mayonnaise and blend lightly. Add salt and pepper to taste. Blend in pickle relish, if desired.
To serve as salad, heap spoonfuls of salad onto leaves of lettuce; as filling for a ripe avocado, filling for a ripe tomato cut into quarters.
For a sandwich, divide the mixture into four to six portions and place each portion onto a slice of bread, pressing down lightly around edges and middle so that egg salad doesn’t fall from the sandwich. Top with a leaf of lettuce and close with a slice of bread. Cut into halves to serve. * Betty Crocker’s directions for hard cooking eggs are the best I’ve found:
Betty Crocker's Hard Cooked Eggs
Place eggs in a single layer in a saucepan. Cover with cold water 1 inch above eggs. Cover and heat to boiling. Remove from heat. Let stand covered for 15 minutes. Drain. Immediately place eggs in ice water until completely cooled. Use in recipes or refrigerate until needed.
**I use an egg slicer to prepare hard cooked eggs for egg salad: place eggs in the slicer and cut one direction. Turn the eggs and cut in the opposite direction. The result is not “perfect” and it works for me.
Tuna Salad is a memory so deep I’ve no idea how I started making this staple. Likely it was in high school when I started cooking so I could have foods the way I wanted.
Bell’s Tuna Salad
2 (5-oz) cans tuna, in olive oil or water-packed
1 1⁄2 cups finely chopped celery
1⁄2 cup finely chopped onion
1⁄2 cup mayonnaise
3 Tablespoons sweet pickle relish (optional)
Drain tuna. Turn into a medium bowl. Using a fork, flake the tuna until it is broken up. Add celery and onion. Mix with fork until celery and onion are well distributed. Add mayonnaise. Blend well. Add pickle relish.
Use salad as filling for avocados, quartered tomatoes or mounded on a light bed of lettuce.
For sandwiches, divide into 6-8 portions. Place each portion on a slice of bread. Cover with a leaf of lettuce and then a slice of bread. Cut into halves to serve.
To round out the experiment, I used the frozen shrimp from for this simple shrimp salad.
What size shrimp you use is not important. What it yields as an ingredient is what is important. You’ll need 1 1⁄3 cups of cooked, chopped shrimp.
Bell’s Easy Shrimp Salad
10 Extra Jumbo shrimp* (16-20 count per lb.)
1⁄3 cup finely chopped celery
2 Tablespoons finely chopped red onion
½ cup mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon chili sauce
Follow package directions to cook the shrimp. Peel, devein and chop the cooked shrimp to yield 1 ⅓ cup chopped shrimp. Place chopped shrimp in a medium bowl. Add celery and onion and mix with a fork. Blend in mayonnaise and chili sauce.
For salad, mound shrimp mixture in a ripe avocado half; quartered tomato or in a nest of lettuce leaves.For sandwiches, divide into 3 portions. Place each apportion on a slice of bread. Top with lettuce leaf and a second slice of bread. Cut into halves to serve.