Come close, I have a secret to tell you… Not that close — your breath stinks. Okay, so when I was a kid, one of my favorite things in the world was tuna noodle casserole. Don’t laugh at me! There was just something about the creamy noodles made with a few veggies scattered in, then more creamy cheese. I don’t know, I just loved it.
Fast-forward to today and I cringe to think of my girlfriend’s reaction to me making a classic tuna noodle casserole. But the truth is, I still love the idea of it. That’s why I decided to revive the old favorite and completely revamp it. This is a Japanese-influenced version with soba noodles and miso cream. Honest to God, scout’s honor, or whatever else, this dish is delicious and waaaaay easier than you’d think. Also, if you’re a vegetarian, feel free to serve without the tuna; it’s still awesome on its own.
- 1 pound soba noodles
- 10 tablespoons white miso paste
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup salted roasted peanuts
- 1 1/2 cups scallions, julienned
- 1 1/2 cups red bell pepper, julienned
- 1 1/2 cups carrot, julienned
- 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 tablespoons Togarashi
- 1 1/2 pounds fresh tuna (albacore, yellowtail, doesn't matter - it just needs to be sashimi-grade)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Cook the soba noodles according to the instructions on the package, but undercook them a bit because they’re going to get cooked more in the oven (my package said 8 to 10 minutes, but I cooked the noodles for about 5 1/2 minutes). Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath (large bowl of ice water).
- Drop the noodles into the ice bath and let them sit until fully cooled.
- Bring the cream, butter and miso to a boil, cook for 5 minutes, then remove from heat.
- Toss the noodles, peanuts and vegetables together, then transfer to a 9 x 12 casserole dish.
- Pour the miso cream mixture over the top, moving everything around a bit to make sure it’s as evenly distributed as possible.
- Sprinkle the seasoned panko breadcrumbs evenly over the top.
- Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs have browned.
- Meanwhile, season the tuna on both sides with salt, pepper and togarashi.
- Sear on very high heat for about 2 minutes on each side, then remove to a cutting board and slice thinly. Serve with the soba casserole.
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