Spreadable Tuna Mousse

Spuma di Tonno 


If I could bring something to the world of gastronomy, this would be my first entry.

It is imperative to use a good quality oil-packed tuna when you make this. Since there isn’t a standard for retail tuna packing, the recipe calls for the drained weight. Please start with the quantities

of ingredients. However, due to variations, have a little more lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and soy sauce to make adjustments. The result wants to be a tame tuna flavor with balanced hints of acidity, salt (from the soy sauce), a hint of balsamic vinegar, and a little creaminess from the butter.

For about 1 1/2 cups: 

  • 1 tablespoon each:

    • lemon juice,

    • balsamic vinegar

    • and soy sauce

  • 10 ounces tuna packed in oil

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into small pieces

  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

Combine the lemon juice, vinegar, and soy sauce.  

Place the tuna in a food processor and pulse a few times then process until finely chopped but not pureed.  

Add the lemon juice, vinegar, and soy sauce.  

Blend until the mixture is smooth.  

Use a rubber spatula to scrape the mixture down the sides of the food processor bowl.  

Continue to blend the tuna and while the machine is running add the butter a few pieces at a time.*  

Add the cream while pulsing the machine. This will only take a few seconds.  

Transfer the mixture to a bowl or storage container and keep refrigerated up to five days.  

Take the spuma out of the refrigerator 30-45 minutes before serving to let it soften.  

* Make sure the butter is incorporated before adding the next amount. Do not over-mix. The butter needs to be incorporated with the tuna but not whipped to the point it will melt because of the warmth generated in the bowl of the food processor.  

** Serve with bread sticks, small toasts, croutons, crackers, or in celery stalks. It can be topped with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, thinly sliced radish, piment d'espelette, Spanish pimenton, a pinch of toasted and ground fennel seeds, shaved bottarga, or thin slices of black truffle. It also makes a great tuna sandwich.

Photo by Jennifer Davick