A Recipe Inspired by the Philippines’ Tuna Festival: Tuna On a Leaf Salad


The city of General Santos in the Philippines is known as the tuna capital of the world. Tuna and the ocean are the inspiration behind the Tuna Festival held annually in September. The festival showcases delicious, cooked tuna, street carnivals, local dance, beauty pageants, water-based sport competitions, and extravagant float parades.

Hundreds of pounds of grilled tuna is displayed in the colourful streets accompanied by lively and vibrant music. The festival is an amazing event, celebrating culture, heritage, traditions, and of course, everything fish.

Tuna is a saltwater fish packed with proteins, vitamins and minerals. In this recipe the combination of tuna and cannellini beans adds to this salad’s flavour and nutritious value.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Refrigerate Time: 2 hours

Servings: 4 to 6


  • 4 cans of tuna in olive oil (80 gm each)
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsps. capers
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 tsps. Tabasco sauce
  • 2 tbsps. fresh mint
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 4 to 6 butterleaf lettuce leaves


  • In a medium size bowl, toss together the tuna, cannellini beans, onion, capers, salt, pepper, tabasco sauce, fresh mint, and lemon juice. Cover salad bowl with saran wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of two hours.
  • Arrange four butterleaf lettuce leaves on a platter. Add two tablespoons of tuna and bean mixture to each leaf. Garnish platter with sliced cucumber, tomato, and boiled eggs. This salad can be enjoyed on its own or with your favourite crackers.

Bon Appétit!