Sesame Tuna Salad

Canned tuna is a lot more versatile than I think many people realize. In other words, there’s a lot more you can do with it than just mixing with mayo and slapping it between two slices of bread. 😅If you’re tired of the traditional mayo-based tuna salad, give this lighter, brighter, Sesame Tuna Salad a […]

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Canned tuna is a lot more versatile than I think many people realize. In other words, there’s a lot more you can do with it than just mixing with mayo and slapping it between two slices of bread. 😅If you’re tired of the traditional mayo-based tuna salad, give this lighter, brighter, Sesame Tuna Salad a shot. It’s savory with a hint of sweetness and deep nutty undertones, and can be served several ways. Scroll down to see ideas for substitutions and add-ins, as well as a few different ways you can gobble up this tuna salad.

Simple Sesame Tuna Salad

A bowl of Sesame Tuna Salad surrounded by crackers, cucumber slices, and red pepper slices

Red Bell Pepper Substitutes:

If needed, you can substitute the red bell pepper with one shredded carrot. The carrot will supply a similar mild sweetness and a decent amount of crunch. Use a large-holed cheese grater to shred the carrot.

What is Toasted Sesame Oil and Can I Substitute It?

Toasted sesame oil is the ingredient that brings most of the sesame flavor to this recipe, so I don’t suggest substituting it. You can find a photo of my toasted sesame oil (purchased at Aldi) in the step by step photos below. Toasted sesame oil is pressed from sesame seeds that have been toasted first, so it has a very strong toasted nut flavor.

Unfortunately, toasted sesame oil isn’t always labeled as “toasted” but you can differentiate it from regular sesame oil by the color. Un-toasted sesame oil, which has a very mild flavor, is a light straw color similar to canola oil. Toasted sesame oil, on the other hand, has a deep amber color. You can usually find it in major grocery stores in the International foods aisle, near the Asian ingredients.

If you’re not into toasted sesame as a flavor or can’t source this ingredient, try my Sweet and Spicy Tuna Salad as an alternative.

Other Add-in Ideas:

There are other fun things that you can add to this Sesame Tuna Salad, if you have them on hand. Edamame would be a great way to stretch the tuna salad, while adding both protein and fiber. Chopped water chestnuts would also make a fun, fresh, and crunchy addition, as would slivered almonds. If you like a little spicy kick you can always add a pinch or two of red pepper flakes.

How to Serve Sesame Tuna Salad

I love this recipe because of all the different ways you can serve it. As shown in the photos, it’s great on crackers or cucumber slices. You can also serve it over a bowl of rice with a few cucumber slices as a nice bowl meal, or use it to fill lettuce wraps (with or without rice). You could even use it to make a more American style wrap sandwich in a large wrap with baby spinach. And lastly, this sesame tuna salad would be a great topper to any bed of greens.

Meal prep container filled with Sesame Tuna Salad, crackers, and cucumber slices

Find these glass meal prep containers in my Amazon shop.

 
A bowl of Sesame Tuna Salad surrounded by crackers and cucumber slices
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Sesame Tuna Salad

This fun spin on canned tuna is savory, sweet, and nutty. Sesame Tuna Salad is great on crackers, sliced cucumber, in lettuce wraps, or on salad greens.
Total Cost $2.59 recipe / $1.30 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 2 about 1 cup each
Calories 218.6kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp soy sauce $0.04
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil $0.20
  • 2 tsp brown sugar $0.03
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds $0.02
  • 2 5oz. cans chunk light tuna in water $1.58
  • 1/2 red bell pepper $0.50
  • 2 green onions $0.22

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, brown sugar, and sesame seeds.
  • Drain the tuna well, then add it to a bowl. Dice the red bell pepper (I served the other half on the side with the tuna salad) and slice the green onions. Add the bell pepper and green onion to the bowl with the tuna.
  • Pour the prepared sesame dressing over the tuna and vegetables in the bowl. Carefully fold the ingredients together until everything is coated in dressing. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to eat.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 218.6kcal | Carbohydrates: 9.8g | Protein: 28.55g | Fat: 6.8g | Sodium: 607.45mg | Fiber: 1.9g

Scroll down to see the step by step photos!

A cracker topped with sesame tuna salad held close to the camera

How to Make Sesame Tuna Salad – Step by Step Photos

Bottle of toasted sesame oil

This little bottle is where all the magic happens. Toasted sesame oil has a VERY strong nutty-sesame flavor. This brand labels it as “toasted” but sometimes the bottles just say “sesame oil.” You can tell it’s toasted vs. un-toasted by the color. Toasted sesame oil is a deep brown/amber color. Un-toasted sesame oil, which has a very mild flavor and is better suited for cooking, is a light straw color, like canola oil.

Sesame dressing in a small bowl

Prepare the sesame dressing first. In a small bowl, combine 2 tsp soy sauce, 2 tsp toasted sesame oil 2 tsp brown sugar, and 1 tsp sesame seeds. 

Tuna, diced red bell pepper, and sliced green onion in a bowl

Drain two 5oz. cans of chunk light tuna in water, then add them to a bowl. Dice 1/2 of a red bell pepper and slice two green onions. Add the bell pepper and green onion to the bowl with the drained tuna.

Sesame dressing being poured into the bowl with tuna

Give the sesame dressing another quick stir, then pour it over the ingredients in the bowl.

Finished sesame tuna salad in the bowl

Carefully fold the ingredients together until everything is coated in dressing. Don’t stir so vigorously that the tuna completely shreds.

A bowl of Sesame Tuna Salad surrounded by crackers and cucumber slices

Serve the Sesame Tuna Salad immediately, or refrigerate until ready to eat. The tuna salad will be good in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days, and you’ll probably want to give it a stir before serving if it’s been stored in the refrigerator. :)

The post Sesame Tuna Salad appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Simple Sesame Rice

Sometimes you just need something simple to flesh out your meal, to bulk it up without adding a lot of work, or without adding a lot of $$$. Rice is my favorite ingredient for that job. But as much as I love rice, even I can get sick of it sometimes, so it’s important to […]

The post Simple Sesame Rice appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Sometimes you just need something simple to flesh out your meal, to bulk it up without adding a lot of work, or without adding a lot of $$$. Rice is my favorite ingredient for that job. But as much as I love rice, even I can get sick of it sometimes, so it’s important to know how to jazz it up just a bit to make things interesting while still keeping it simple. This toasty Sesame Rice recipe does just that.

Super Simple Savory Sesame Rice

A bowl of sesame rice with chopsticks balanced on the rim and a small bowl of sesame seeds on the side

It’s All About the Toasted Sesame Oil

The magic in this savory sesame rice is the toasted sesame oil. If you haven’t discovered this magical ingredient yet, you’re in for a treat! Even just a small amount of this toasty oil gives any food a deliciously nutty aroma and flavor. It’s a finishing oil, so you’ll want to drizzle it onto your food after cooking for maximum impact.

Where to Find Toasted Sesame Oil

The tricky part about buying toasted sesame oil is that the label on the bottle doesn’t always say “toasted”, so you’ll have to take a closer look. Regular, or un-toasted, sesame oil has a light straw-like color similar to canola oil, and only has a mildly nutty flavor. Toasted sesame oil has a deep amber color and a strong nutty flavor and aroma. Most oil is sold in a glass bottle, so simply check the color to know if you’ve got the right oil.

Un-toasted sesame oil is usually sold near other cooking oils, while toasted sesame oil is usually found in the international aisle at major grocery stores. Thankfully, this ingredient is becoming more popular in the U.S. so even stores like Trader Joe’s and Aldi are carrying their own brand (and for a great price!). A little bit goes a long way with this oil, so don’t be afraid of the price tag. It will last you quite a while.

Do I Have to Use Jasmine Rice?

No, you can use plain long grain white rice if you prefer, but jasmine rice will provide more flavor. To find jasmine rice for a good price, skip the small containers of “specialty” rice and look on the bottom shelf for a large 5 lb. bag. It’s so good, you’ll use that 5 lbs. in no time!

What to Serve with Sesame Rice

Sesame rice makes a simple side dish to any Southeast Asian inspired meal. You can serve it along side Soy Glazed Eggplant, Easy Sesame Chicken, or Slow Cooker Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken. Or swap it out for plain rice in any of your favorite bowl meals, like Teriyaki Meatball Bowls, Sweet Chili Chicken Stir Fry Bowls, or Chili Garlic Tofu Bowls.

Close up side view of a bowl full of sesame rice garnished with green onions

Green onions added for garnish.

 

Simple Sesame Rice

Adding just a few ingredients to your rice can really make your meal pop. Try this Simple Sesame Rice with any of your Southeast Asian inspired meals.

  • 1 clove garlic ($0.08)
  • 1 Tbsp butter ($0.13)
  • 1 cup long grain jasmine rice ($0.67)
  • 1.75 cups water ($0.00)
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce ($0.06)
  • 1/2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil ($0.15)
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds ($0.02)
  1. Mince the garlic and add it to a medium sauce pot with the butter. Sauté the garlic for 1-2 minutes over medium heat, or just until the garlic begins to soften and becomes very fragrant.

  2. Add the rice to the pot and continue to stir and cook for 2-3 minutes more to toast the rice.

  3. Carefully add the water and soy sauce, then give the pot a brief stir to combine. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to high, and allow it to come to a full boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 15 minutes.

  4. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let the rice rest, undisturbed and with the lid in place, for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Drizzle the toasted sesame oil over top, add the sesame seeds, and gently fold the rice until the sesame oil and seeds are distributed throughout. Serve warm.

A pot full of sesame rice with a bowl of sesame rice on the side, both garnished with green onion

 

How to Make Sesame Rice – Step by Step Photos

Garlic and butter in sauce pot

Mince one clove of garlic and add it to a medium sauce pot with 1 Tbsp butter. Place the pot over medium heat and sauté the garlic for 1-2 minutes, or just until it has softened a bit and is very fragrant.

Rice being poured into the pot

Add 1 cup jasmine rice to the pot and continue to stir and cook for 2-3 minutes more to toast the rice.

Water being poured into the pot

Carefully pour 1.75 cups water into the pot…

Soy sauce being added to the pot

Along with 1 Tbsp soy sauce. Give the pot a brief stir to combine. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to high, and allow it to come up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and let the rice simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let it rest for 5 minutes.

Add sesame oil to the cooked rice

After resting without heat for 5 minutes, remove the lid and drizzle ½ Tbsp toasted sesame oil over the cooked rice. Add 1 tsp sesame seeds and gently fold the rice until the oil and seeds are evenly distributed throughout.

Finished sesame rice garnished with green onion

Serve the rice while warm, next to your favorite main dish! (I garnished with green onion, but this is not necessary for the overall flavor of the dish).

The post Simple Sesame Rice appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Crunchy Chicken Ramen Stir Fry

I’m all about quick stir fry dinners because they’re easy, you can work a LOT of vegetables into them, and they’re just plain delicious. My newest creation, Crunchy Chicken Ramen Stir Fry, is kind of a new twist on an old favorite Beef and Cabbage Stir fry. This time we’re using chicken instead of beef, […]

The post Crunchy Chicken Ramen Stir Fry appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I’m all about quick stir fry dinners because they’re easy, you can work a LOT of vegetables into them, and they’re just plain delicious. My newest creation, Crunchy Chicken Ramen Stir Fry, is kind of a new twist on an old favorite Beef and Cabbage Stir fry. This time we’re using chicken instead of beef, using the same light and easy sauce, tons of shredded cabbage and carrots for inexpensive bulk, and some crushed up ramen noodles for crunch. Oh, and I added a drizzle of creamy sriracha mayo because I was feeling a bit #extra. ;)

Quick & Easy Crunchy Chicken Ramen Stir Fry

A bowl of crunchy chicken ramen stir fry next to a ramen package, yellow napkin, and a bowl of sliced green onions

Can I Skip the Ramen?

Sure! If you’re not the ramen type, this is still a really killer (although slightly less crunchy) stir fry recipe! No hard feelings. You do you. 

Same goes for the sriracha mayo topping. While *I* love the contrast of the creamy spicy with the fresh crunch, you don’t have to add it to your stir fry if you’re not into it.

How to Store Your Stir Fry

If you plan to eat some of your stir fry as leftovers, make sure to keep the crunchy crushed ramen noodles separate from the stir fry and just stir them in after the stir fry has been reheated. Same goes for the sriracha mayo topping. Add that after reheating. The cabbage and carrots do get slightly softer after refrigeration and reheating, but I still find it to be quite delicious.

Other Vegetables You Can Add:

The other awesome thing about stir fries is that you can add just about any vegetable that you might have leftover in your fridge. Some other good options would be spinach, broccoli, bell pepper, mushrooms, snow peas. Keep in mind that if you increase the amount of vegetables, you may also want to increase the sauce.

A skillet full of Crunchy Chicken Ramen Stir fry with a spatula in the side and a package of ramen on the left

 

Crunchy Chicken Ramen Stir Fry

Crunchy Chicken Ramen Stir Fry is an easy weeknight dinner with tons of cabbage and carrots, crunchy crushed ramen, and a creamy sriracha drizzle.

Stir Fry Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce ($0.12)
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil ($0.30)
  • 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar ($0.02)

Sriracha Mayo Drizzle (optional)

  • 1 Tbsp mayonnaise ($0.09)
  • 1 Tbsp sriracha ($0.11)

Stir Fry

  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 2/3 lb.) ($4.08)
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.08)
  • 1 14oz. bag coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots) ($1.49)
  • 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger ($0.10)
  • 3 green onions ($0.30)
  • 1 3oz. block ramen noodles (seasoning packet discarded) ($0.25)
  1. Prepare the sauces first so they're ready to use when needed. In a small bowl stir together the ingredients for the stir fry sauce (soy sauce, sesame oil, and brown sugar). In a separate small bowl stir together the sriracha and mayonnaise.

  2. Mince 2 cloves of garlic, grate about one teaspoon of fresh ginger, and slice three green onions.

  3. Without opening the package of ramen, use a rolling pin or mallet to crush the noodles into small pieces. Once crushed, open the package and discard the seasoning packet.

  4. Chop the chicken into small 1/2-inch pieces.

  5. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the cooking oil and swirl to coat the surface of the skillet. Add the chicken pieces and sauté until they're cooked through (3-5 minutes). Add the garlic and ginger to the skillet about half way through cooking the chicken.

  6. Once the chicken is cooked through, add the coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots). Continue to sauté for about 2 minutes more, or just until the cabbage begins to soften slightly (do not overcook at this step).

  7. Add the stir fry sauce to the skillet and continue to sauté for 1-2 minutes more, or until the cabbage has softened to your liking (I prefer mine still slightly firm).

  8. Finally, turn off the heat, stir in the crushed ramen, and top with sliced green onions and a drizzle of sriracha mayo.

Close up of Crunchy Chicken Ramen Stir fry in the skillet

 

How to Make Crunchy Chicken Ramen Stir Fry – Step by Step Photos

Stir fry sauce in a small white bowl

This stir fry cooks SUPER fast, so it’s best to prepare all of the components before you begin cooking. Start with the stir fry sauce: stir together 2 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil, and ½ Tbsp brown sugar. The brown sugar might not dissolve all the way, but that’s okay.

Sriracha mayo being stirred together in a small white bowl

For the sriracha mayo, simply stir together 1 Tbsp sriracha and 1 Tbsp mayonnaise.

Garlic, ginger, and green onions being prepped on a cutting board

Mince two cloves of garlic, grate about 1 tsp fresh ginger (I keep mine in the freezer for easier grating and longer storage), and slice three green onions.

Crush ramen noodles in the package

Without opening the package of ramen, use a rolling pin or a mallet to crush the noodles into small pieces. After crushing the noodles you can open it and discard the seasoning packet (or use it for something else).

Chopped chicken breast on an orange cutting board

Chop one boneless, skinless chicken breast (about â…” lb.) into small 1/2-inch pieces.

Cooked chicken in the skillet with garlic and ginger

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add 2 Tbsp cooking oil and swirl to coat the skillet. Add the chicken and sauté until the chicken is cooked through, adding the garlic and ginger about half way through cooking. Because the chicken pieces are so small and the pan is so hot, it should only take a few minutes for the chicken to cook through.

Coleslaw mix being poured into the skillet

Add one 14oz. bag of coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots) to the skillet. Continue to sauté for only 2 minutes, or just until the cabbage begins to soften.

Stir fry sauce being poured into the skillet

Add the prepared stir fry sauce, making sure to scrape any sugar that has settled to the bottom into the skillet. Continue to sauté for a couple minutes more, or until the cabbage is to your desired softness. I like mine still a bit firm, so I only sauté for about 2 minutes more.

Crushed ramen noodles being added to skillet

Pour the crushed ramen into the skillet. Turn the heat off, and stir the crunchy noodles into the stir fry.

Close up of sriracha mayo drizzled on stir fry

Sprinkle the sliced green onions on top and then drizzle the sriracha mayo over everything.

Finished skillet full of Crunchy Chicken Ramen Stir Fry

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