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Old 07-18-2003, 11:39 AM
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: I am Queens Boulevard
Posts: 14,142
Tuna Substitute For Salade Nicoise

I have a friend who recently had a baby. I offered to come by and make her a nice dinner next week. She was excited.

After some thinking I was going to make a salade nicoise since it is healthy, yummy, and can be prepared ahead almost entirely (no need to destroy her kitchen in the process).

However, recently I am reading that nursing mothers should limit their tuna consumption. I'm not sure if she's nursing or not, but let's assume for the moment she is.

What kind of fish can be sustituted for tuna and still feel like a salade nicoise? (I was going to use tuna steak broken up into bite-sized chunks, NOT canned tuna). Bear in mind that the substitute cannot be:
tilefish (AKA golden bass/golden snapper)
king mackerel
Since these are absolutely verboten for nursing moms.

I am blanking here... it needs to be a firm fish that won't fall apart into flakes but will absorb the vinagrette marinade. Skatewing? Monkfish? Is there a salmon that would work? Any other bright ideas?
Old 07-18-2003, 12:13 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Flavortown
Posts: 34,324
Try canned Sockeye salmon, the texture is similar to tuna. Don't buy the Pink salmon!
Old 07-18-2003, 12:20 PM
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: I am Queens Boulevard
Posts: 14,142
Clarification: what fresh fish can I buy that will substitute for fresh (not canned) tuna?
Old 07-18-2003, 12:26 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: May 1999
Location: da UP, eh
Posts: 13,099
What about mahi-mahi? Fairly firm, flavorful. I bet it would work.
Old 07-18-2003, 12:39 PM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: my own private Idaho
Posts: 1,140
How about skipping the fish and going vegetarian? A nice marinated tempeh could be good. Or you could not make the nicoise, and make a gado gado instead with the tempeh. Mmmm...peanut sauce....

Sorry, it's just hard to fathom salad nicoise without tuna. And most firm fish has the potential for high mercury, as they're mostly predatory fish. I can't really think of a substitute. Mahi-mahi would probably fall under the tuna category, I'm afraid, as would yellowtail. I wouldn't do salmon, because it just has such a distinctive flavor. I guess monkfish, or chilean sea bass could work (except the sea bass is over-fished...).

Good luck! Sorry for the completely unhelpful post.
Old 07-18-2003, 01:24 PM
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: I am Queens Boulevard
Posts: 14,142
I'm not to fond of tempeh (or most tofu or ::shudder:: TVP) so I probably won't be going in that direction.

Don't feel right adding to the sea bass problem, one pound at a time.

I just looked up mahi-mahi and it has a "low risk"... I presume since it is fished out of relatively clean waters. Nursing moms can eat it up to once a week. I think we have a winner!
Old 07-18-2003, 02:37 PM
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Silicon Valley
Posts: 9,515
Check out any other sort of solid white flesh fish. Halibut or cod should flake nicely after cooking in a small amount of oil or being poached instead. Sole or snapper are other candidates that are easy to find.
Old 07-19-2003, 05:27 PM
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Madison WI
Posts: 22,505
Is it too late to put in a plug for TUNO? It's vegan "tuna" and it's as clearly as I can recall very close in flavor to tuna (it's been 12 years since I ate tuna so my memory of the taste is pretty hazy). I don't know how it cooks up in comparison to the dead fish, though in something like what you have planned.
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