21st-Century Tuna Casserole Recipe

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.

21st-Century Tuna Casserole Recipe
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- 8
  • 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
  • 1 1/2 cups red bell pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups carrot
  • 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons Togarashi
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh tuna (albacore
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. 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).
  3. Drop the noodles into the ice bath and let them sit until fully cooled.
  4. Bring the cream, butter and miso to a boil, cook for 5 minutes, then remove from heat.
  5. Toss the noodles, peanuts and vegetables together, then transfer to a 9 x 12 casserole dish.
  6. Pour the miso cream mixture over the top, moving everything around a bit to make sure it’s as evenly distributed as possible.
  7. Sprinkle the seasoned panko breadcrumbs evenly over the top.
  8. Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs have browned.
  9. Meanwhile, season the tuna on both sides with salt, pepper and togarashi.
  10. 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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