Reminiscent of the Vietnamese dish tép rang (tiny, dried shrimp the size of raisins caramelized in fish sauce and sugar), this remix using canned tuna achieves the same levels of umami with the addition of a smokiness that comes from charring the tuna. Both sweet and salty, this caramelized tuna dish can be served on rice, noodles, or a baguette. For a more complete meal, it can be accompanied by sautéed greens such as Vietnamese spinach, bok choy, or tatsoi.
- In a dry skillet heated over medium, break up the tuna with a spatula, into tiny, bite-size flakes.
- Mix in the fish sauce and maple syrup.
- Cook until tuna is a deep brown with some charred bits, about 8 minutes, stirring every once in a while to prevent sticking to the pan.
- Scoop onto a bowl of rice and serve immediately.
An Uong is a writer, editor, and recipe tinkerer whose work orbits themes of pop culture, food, and Vietnamese-American womanhood. Her writing is forthcoming or has appeared in Catapult, Eater, Hyphen Magazine, Roads and Kingdoms, Winter Tangerine, and elsewhere. Living between Los Angeles and Providence, Rhode Island, she’s always on the lookout for a good bowl of bún bò Huế. Find her bakes at @anuonganuong on Instagram.