This delicious vegan tuna mayo is made from chickpeas and nori (seaweed) for maximum 'fishy' flavour. Packed with protein and easy to make.
Ever in search of new and exciting vegan sandwich fillings, I've been experimenting this week with something known by those in-the-know as "choona".... chickpea tuna. And very delicious it is too.
Crushed chickpeas give this creamy sandwich filling a really excellent texture - a bit of bite. Shop bought vegan mayonnaises are so very good these days, that they are impossible to tell from non-vegan mayo.
The secret 'fishy'-tasting ingredient is nori - seaweed flakes, (often used for sushi making or widely available as snack-packs). Lemon juice and mustard add to the deep, savoury flavour.
I really recommend adding just a splash of beetroot juice, (I now save the juice from packs of pre-cooked beetroot specially for making 'choona'!). They say you eat with your eyes, and the slightly pink-ish tinge to the tuna mayo fools your brain into thinking it is the real thing!
📝 What you need
- Tinned chickpeas
- Vegan mayonnaise
- Dijon mustard (check it is vegan)
- Nori sheets (2 small as pictured, or 1 large sushi-sized sheet)
- Beetroot juice (from cooked beetroot, NOT vinegar!)
To grind the nori sheets into very small pieces it is useful to use some sort of mini-chopper. Mine is this Breville Blend Active which I mostly use for morning smoothies but is handy for lots of quick chopping jobs around the kitchen.
Or a coffee / nut / spice blender like this one would be ideal too.
If you don't have either of these, you can just tear and crush the nori into as small pieces as you can. A pestle and mortar can help a little but won't get a fine powder as you will with some electrical help.
Once you have made the basic tuna mayo recipe you can add all sorts of variations to change around your sandwiches. How about trying some of these:
- Sweetcorn for the classic tuna-sweetcorn combination
- Finely chopped spring onions or red onion to add a punch of flavour
- Fresh herbs like parsley or dill add green freshness
- Chopped gherkins or capers add a salty tang
- Cooked jackfruit adds a very realistic fibrous texture and has a very mild flavour so works really well here. If you have some leftover from cooking, go half and half with chickpeas for an excellent twist.
🔪 What else can I make with nori?
If you've bought a packet of nori specially to make your vegan tuna you might be wondering what to do with the rest of it. How about trying:
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Vegan Tuna Mayo
- 400 g tin chickpeas
- 2 tbsp vegan mayonnaise
- ½ tsp dijon mustard (check it is vegan)
- ½ lemon
- salt and black pepper
- 2 small sheets nori (or 1 large sushi-sized sheet)
- 3 tsp beetroot juice (from cooked beetroot, NOT vinegar!)
Optional extra ingredients (try some rather than all of these!):
- 4 tbsp sweetcorn
- 2 spring onions finely chopped
- ½ red onion finely chopped
- 1 tbsp parsley finely chopped
- 1 tbsp dill finely chopped
- 2 tbsp chopped gherkins
- 2 tbsp chopped capers
- 3 tbsp cooked jackfruit
- Drain and rinse the tinned chickpeas and tip into a bowl. Use a fork or potato masher to crush them into a chunky mash.
- Add the mayonnaise, mustard and juice of half a lemon, then season with salt and black pepper.
- Crumble the nori sheets with your hands then crush them in a mini-chopper. If they aren't crushing well, take a spoonful of the chickpea mixture and add it to the mini-chopper - this will give them something to bind to.
- Stir the nori and (optional) beetroot juice through the chickpea mayonnaise mixture. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Add any of the optional extras at this point.
- Serve in sandwiches or as a salad.
I'm linking this post with the CookBlogShare challenge, hosted this week by Marita at MyDinner - The World in my Kitchen.