Frugal Food Series

Its week two of the Frugal Food Series over with Jenn at Frugal Upstate and this week concentrates on tuna.

Now tuna in Northern Ireland is a bit middle of the road. Some own brand tuna is very inexpensive but the quality can be awful, mostly a watery shredded mess awaits you inside the can. The name brands like John West and Princes are a lot better quality but you will pay for this, around £1.00 for 200g. This is a fair bit more expensive than say whiting or mackerel which are still dirt cheap.

However tuna will carry you a bit further in flavour, with plain white fish a dish needs to be packed with stuff so that you would even be aware of it's presence. You can get away with a lot less tuna because the flavour carries through everything making it at least seem as though there is more fish in the dish.

I don't often use tuna for anything apart from salads and sandwiches which have already been covered by Jenn. One other recipe I have used and more so to use up leftover potatoes rather than tuna are fishcakes.

These don't follow a recipe as such. I usually take a can of tuna (200 - 400g) and whatever potatoes are left over and mix together with a little egg, spring onion, salt and pepper to taste. I then roll them into balls and flatten slightly into fat disks, dip into a little beaten egg then breadcrumbs and shallow fry on each side for a few minutes until breadcrumbs are browned. They're very quick to make because everything it already cooked and ready to go, and if I'm honest I'm more inclined to make these if I have leftover champ which already has the spring onions, salt pepper, butter and milk in there. If I use champ I usually don't need the egg to bind everything together.

I've also made a mini version of these, making them into one inch balls before flattening and serving with a selection of dips and salsa.

You can add whatever herbs or spices to these that your family happens to like and I'd love to hear about any other variations on this that you try.

For more great tuna recipes head on over to Jenn at Frugal Upstate for the Frugal Food Series.


  1. Thanks so much for linking to this for the "Frugal Food Series: Tuna".

    Wow, isn't it interesting that something we have as cheap food in the US can be more middle of the road somewhere else! I'm sure that a lot of recipes that folks are posting for tuna could be used with less expensive fish as well.

    I make a tuna cake-but it is pretty much solid tuna with a tad of flour and egg to hold it together. I really like the idea of using the potato, especially with wheat prices on the rise, and potatoes growing out in my garden (well, I hope-no green yet but I only planted them 2 days ago.)

  2. It's not overly expensive compared to other types of meat, it's just that white fish and prawns in season are quite cheap here because of local fishing. I'm lucky enough to have a few fishing towns very near me and some very good fish markets. I'm looking forward to having a good look through all the recipes. Sometimes things work out a lot cheaper depending on the recipe they're used in if that makes sense. I'm really looking forward to the beans next week.


Your comments make me smile. I love that you stopped by.