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How to Make Your Tuna Salad Taste Like It Came From Jimmy John's

Jimmy John's and a tuna salad sandwich

Tuna salad is a lunchtime classic. It makes a great sandwich, is a protein-packed addition to a green salad and it's a diner classic when transformed into a tuna melt. The basic ingredients: canned tuna, mayo, salt and pepper and maybe something crunchy (like celery) or tangy (like pickles) is a solid base recipe, but what if you could add one more thing to make your tuna salad taste like it came from your favorite sandwich shop?

There's something about a sandwich shop sandwich that tastes better than anything you can make at home. Maybe it's the bread or the toppings or the fact that you didn't have to make it yourself, but when it comes to the secret ingredient in Jimmy John's fan-favorite tuna salad, the internet is pretty sure they've cracked the code: it's soy sauce.

Related: Best Chickpea Tuna Salad 

Why You Should Add Soy Sauce to Tuna Salad

Soy sauce is one of those ingredients that improves pretty much anything it's added to—rice, noodle dishes, marinades, stir fries and so much more. Its deep umami-rich flavor makes meat taste meatier, can perk up lackluster soups and stews and makes a great dipping sauce all on its own (or mixed with other ingredients).

When you add soy sauce to tuna salad it makes the tuna taste richer and more flavorful and adds a hit of saltiness too, of course. The Jimmy John's soy sauce tuna salad is a favorite topic for Redditors (some of whom claim to be former Jimmy John's employees), who like to share their preferred ratios for the sandwich upgrade.

How to Add Soy Sauce to Tuna Salad

Many Redditors have shared their ratios for the Jimmy John's style tuna salad, but it's often given in amounts that you might make for the restaurant, which means you're starting with something like 2-ish pounds of tuna. If you want to make a more modest batch, say for your WFH lunch, one commenter shared that they add 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and 2 tablespoons of mayo to a small can of tuna. Because some tuna is salty and soy sauce is salty, it's always a good idea to start with a small amount and add to taste.

Once you dial in the right amount of soy sauce, add your favorite mix ins. The soy sauce will enhance the flavor of the tuna but not affect the flavor so much that it tastes overwhelmingly like soy sauce, which means that you have free reign to get as creative (or not) as you'd like with your tuna salad additions. Serve on a sub roll, like they do at Jimmy John's, or put it between two slices of your favorite sandwich bread—or spoon onto crackers for a quick snack.

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