Japanese-Style Tuna Noodle Salad
Here’s a simple udon salad I picked up from the chef and entrepreneur Bart van Olphen, who elevates canned tuna to the heights of deliciousness. Van Olphen dresses the noodles in what he calls wafu dressing, which translates roughly as Japanese-style: a sweet-salty vinaigrette of soy, sesame oil, mirin and rice vinegar. I add a little sweet miso for texture and taste, and increase the amount of seaweed in the salad as well. Garnish with sesame seeds or furikake, the Japanese seasoning blend, and you have a superior tuna casserole. It is as good served cold as hot.
- Serves: 4 persons
- ¼cup cut dried wakame seaweed
- 8ounces dried udon noodles (or whatever noodles you have on hand)
- 1to 2 tablespoons furikake or sesame seeds
- 10to 12 ounces tuna in oil, drained
- 2scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 2tablespoons sesame oil
- 2tablespoons canola oil
- 2tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1tablespoon mirin
- 1tablespoon soy sauce
- 1teaspoon sweet miso
Step 1Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high, and set the wakame in a small bowl. Once the water comes to a boil, ladle or pour enough over the wakame to cover it by 2 inches; let the wakame soak for 10 minutes. Transfer the wakame to a colander to drain and cool; set aside.
Step 2While the wakame soaks, cook the noodles according to the package instructions.
Step 3Meanwhile, prepare the dressing: In a measuring cup or bowl, whisk to combine the sesame oil, canola oil, rice wine vinegar, mirin, soy sauce and miso; set aside.
Step 4In a small skillet, lightly toast the sesame seeds, if using, over medium-low heat until fragrant; set aside.
Step 5Drain the cooked noodles in the colander, then transfer to a wide, shallow serving bowl. Add the wakame and about 3/4 of the dressing, and toss to coat. Divide the noodles among 4 bowls. Top each portion with tuna, drizzle with the remaining dressing, then sprinkle with the scallions and furikake or sesame seeds. Serve hot, cold or anywhere in between.