Miso-Ginger Noodles With Tuna & Spicy Sesame Crumbs

April 30, 2020
Photo by Anna Billingskog
Author Notes

These saucy, umami-rich noodles strewn with tuna and topped with spicy bread crumbs are a perfect example of a low-effort, high-reward dinner. The bright miso-ginger dressing comes together quickly and easily—mostly an exercise of gathering a few bottles on the counter—and is ready in the time it takes to cook the noodles. And from there, all that’s required is tossing the warm noodles with the dressing, a handful of greens, and tuna—then topping with a zippy mix of toasted panko, sesame seeds, and chile flakes. The whole thing comes together in under 20 minutes, yet tastes like it took triple the time and effort to pull off.

A few notes and tips: The earthy flavor and chewy texture of soba and udon are great in this dish, but virtually any type of noodle works well, including spaghetti. For a vegetarian version, simply omit the tuna, or feel free to add sautéed mushrooms for a little extra bulk. Substitute any leafy greens or herbs for the spinach, or add other types of vegetables, such as thinly sliced fresh radish or cucumber. Even the crumb topping is adaptable: it can be made with just panko or just sesame seeds, or if you happen to have a bottle of furikake or gomashio in your pantry, you can use it in lieu of the crumbs. The miso-ginger dressing has so many uses beyond this dish (leafy salads, grain bowls, roasted vegetables, you name it) so consider doubling the recipe and using it to enliven your lunches and dinners throughout the week. —EmilyC

  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • Serves 4
  • Noodles, Tuna & Spicy Sesame Crumbs
  • 8 ounces to 10 ounces dried noodles, such as soba, udon, ramen, or spaghetti
  • 2 cups to 3 cups tender greens, such as baby spinach or arugula
  • 1 can oil- or water-packed tuna (5 or 6 ounces), drained
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or sesame oil (light, not toasted, since it’ll be heated)
  • 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds (white and/or black)
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
  • 1 pinch kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • Miso-Ginger Dressing
  • 2 tablespoons miso (I use white, but any variety will work)
  • 3 tablespoons warm water
  • 1 2-inch piece of ginger, finely grated (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar or lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil (light or toasted)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
In This Recipe
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water if using pasta. If using soba or another noodle, check the packaging to determine if you should salt the water.
  2. Meanwhile, make the dressing: In a bowl, combine miso and warm water, whisking until the miso is smooth and mostly dissolved. Add remaining ingredients, whisking until well integrated. Adjust seasoning and acidity to taste.
  3. Cook the noodles according to the package directions. Drain the noodles and immediately return them to the pot (don’t rinse). Add about 3/4 of the dressing, tossing until the noodles are evenly coated. Add the spinach, tossing a few more times to wilt, then the tuna. Add the remaining dressing, if desired. Taste again for seasoning and balance; add a little salt or a splash of soy sauce or sesame oil (toasted or regular) to brighten the flavors, if needed.
  4. In a small skillet over medium heat, warm the vegetable or sesame oil (see ingredient note above). Add the panko, sesame seeds, and red chile flakes (as much or as little as you like!), stirring constantly until the panko is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Season with a pinch or two of sea salt.
  5. To serve, divide the noodles amongst plates, and top with the spicy sesame crumbs.

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Recipe by: EmilyC

I'm a home cook. I love salads. Two things you'll always find in my refrigerator are lemons and butter, and in my pantry good quality chocolate and the makings for chocolate chip cookies.