Tuna fried rice is a savory and satisfying dish made by stir-frying cooked rice with tuna, vegetables, and a flavorful combination of soy sauce, sesame oil, and spices.Jump to Recipe
Tuna fried rice is a delectable fusion of flavors and textures that's both quick to prepare and incredibly satisfying. Not to mention it's extremely easy to make and very cost efficient.
This recipe can be enjoyed as a quick weeknight dinner or a convenient way to repurpose leftover rice and canned tuna into a culinary delight. This unconventional pairing will surprise you!
Why You'll Love Tuna Fried Rice
Quick and Easy: Tuna fried rice is a simple and fast dish to prepare, making it an ideal option for busy weeknight dinners or last-minute meals.
Versatile: You can customize tuna fried rice to suit your taste by adding your favorite vegetables, herbs, or spices. It's an excellent way to use up leftover ingredients in your kitchen.
Budget-Friendly: Canned tuna is an affordable source of protein, and when combined with rice and vegetables, it creates a filling and economical meal.
Nutrient-Rich: Tuna is packed with essential nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and various vitamins and minerals. When incorporated into fried rice, it adds a nutritious boost to your meal.
Perfect for Leftovers: Tuna fried rice is an excellent way to repurpose leftover cooked rice and canned tuna, minimizing food waste.
Great for Meal Prep: Tuna fried rice can be made in batches and stored for future meals, making it a convenient family friendly option for meal prep and planning.
For The Rice
Jasmine rice - This is a perfect choice for this fried rice and tuna recipe. It's aromatic, absorbs flavors well, and doesn't get overly sticky. Basmati and American long grain rice are great alternatives for this recipe.
Water - To cook the jasmine rice.
Salt - To season the rice and allow the water to boil more quickly.
To Make Fried Rice
Cooking oil - Choose a mild cooking oil with a high smoke point like canola or vegetable oil.
Sesame oil - To add a nice nutty flavor to the rice.
Large onion - White onion, yellow onion, or sweet onion can be used. You could even add a red onion for extra color.
Garlic - Fresh garlic is best in this recipe.
Frozen carrots and peas - For added color and nutrition. Who doesn't love a few veggies in their fried rice?
Frozen corn - For a little bit of crunch and sweetness to the rice. This compliments the other vegetables well.
Salt and pepper - To enhance the flavors of the other ingredients. I like to use seasoned salt.
Spicy sweet chili tuna - Regular canned tuna can be used but I personally found this flavored tuna to be absolutely delicious. It's sweet and spicy and takes the flavor of the rice to the next level. If you're using regular tuna, be sure to drain before adding.
Soy sauce - You can't have fried rice without a little soy sauce. I used reduced sodium soy so I could control the sodium content. If using regular soy, you may need to reduce the amount of salt you use.
Fish sauce - For extra umami and flavor to the rice.
Sesame seeds - For added crunch.
Green onions - For freshness and added color
How It's Made
Step 1. The day before you cook the fried rice, prepare the jasmine rice. In a sauce pan bring 2 cups of salted water to a boil. Once boiling add jasmine rice. Cook covered according to the package directions and let cool. Store in the fridge overnight.
Step 2. In a large skillet heat cooking oil and sesame oil over medium high heat. Once heated add onion and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the onion has started to soften and become translucent.
Step 3. Add frozen vegetables to the large frying skillet and cook then cook for 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Step 4. Add cooled and cooked jasmine rice to the skillet and toss to combine with the vegetables. Pan fry until the oil has been absorbed about 1-2 minutes. If you have excess moisture from the frozen vegetables, increase heat a little bit. Stir frequently to avoid sticking.
Step 5. Add tuna, soy sauce, and fish sauce. Stir well to combine and cook for an aditional 3-4 minutes until the rice is well seasoned. Remove from heat and serve immediately. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onion.
Use Day-Old Rice: For the best results, use rice that has been cooked and cooled in advance, preferably the day before. This helps prevent the rice from being too sticky and clumping together during frying.
Choose High-Quality Tuna: Select good-quality canned tuna for the best flavor and nutritional value. If you're not using seasoned tuna, I suggest going with canned packed in water to keep the rice from getting too greasy. Be sure to drain the tuna so your rice doesn't get soggy.
Vegetable Variety: Use a colorful mix of vegetables for added flavor. Don't feel like you're limited to the vegetables on the ingredients list. Use what you have on hand. You can use fresh vegetables but you may need to saute them a little longer until softened.
High Heat for Stir-Frying: Use a hot skillet or wok and cook over high heat. This allows for quick cooking and prevents the rice from becoming mushy. Keep the ingredients moving in the pan to avoid sticking.
Flake Tuna Gently: When adding the canned tuna, gently fold it into the rice mixture. Be careful not to break up the tuna into tiny pieces; you want to maintain some texture.
Taste and Adjust: Taste the tuna stir fry rice as you go along and adjust the seasonings to suit your preferences. Remember that it's easier to add more soy sauce, salt, or other seasonings than to correct an overly salty dish.
Serve Hot: Tuna fried rice is best enjoyed right after cooking when it's hot and freshly prepared. Serve it as a standalone meal or as a side dish.
Tuna Fried Rice Variations
Spicy Tuna Fried Rice: Add some heat to your tuna fried rice by incorporating red pepper flakes or sriracha sauce. You can also toss in some diced jalapeños for extra spiciness.
Tuna and Avocado Fried Rice: Combine flaked tuna with diced avocado for a creamy and rich variation. The avocado adds a delightful buttery texture and flavor.
Tuna Kimchi Fried Rice: Spice up your fried rice by adding chopped kimchi and a bit of kimchi juice. The tangy and spicy kimchi pairs wonderfully with the tuna.
Tuna and Pineapple Fried Rice: Incorporate diced pineapple chunks for a sweet and savory contrast. The natural sweetness of pineapple complements the rice and tuna beautifully.
Tuna and Teriyaki Fried Rice: Drizzle teriyaki sauce over your tuna fried rice for a sweet and savory profile. You can also add some steamed broccoli florets for added freshness.
Tuna Egg Fried Rice: Add egg before the vegetables are sauteed to give the rice extra nutritional value and flavor. 1-2 eggs will suffice.
Storing and Reheating
Allow tuna fried rice to cool to room temperature before storing. Placing hot food in the refrigerator can lead to excess condensation. Once the food has cooled, transfer to an airtight container. Store for up to 3-4 days.
To reheat the fried rice place in a microwave-safe bowl. Add a small amount of water over the rice to keep it from drying out too much. Cover with a damp paper towel. to retain moisture. Microwave for 30 seconds at a time then stir to promote even heating. Repeat until the rice is heated through.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I don't have day old rice?
If you don't have day-old rice for making this tuna rice, you can still make a delicious dish using freshly cooked rice. Here's what I recommend:
Begin by cooking the rice as you normally would. After it's cooked, spread the rice out on a large baking sheet or tray in a thin, even layer. This allows the rice to cool down and release excess moisture more quickly.
Place the rice in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes or until the rice has cooled and dried slightly. Fluff it with a fork before cooking.
What is the best tuna to use?
The best type of tuna you use in this canned tuna fried rice recipe comes down to personal preference. If you're having a hard time choosing the right one for you, consider the following:
Chunk Light Tuna: Chunk light tuna is one of the most commonly used varieties. It's made from smaller tuna like skipjack or yellowfin. It has a milder flavor and a flakier texture compared to solid white albacore tuna. This makes it a good choice for fried rice as it easily blends with other ingredients.
Solid White Albacore Tuna: Solid white albacore tuna is known for its firmer texture and slightly stronger flavor compared to chunk light tuna. If you prefer a heartier texture I suggest going with this.
Flaked vs. Whole: Canned tuna is available in flaked form or as whole chunks. Either can be used in tuna fried rice, but flaked tuna tends to distribute more evenly throughout the dish. Just be sure not to overmix.
Is this gluten free?
This fried rice recipe is not gluten free because of the soy sauce. To make this easy tuna and rice recipe gluten free, substitute the soy sauce for a gluten free option like liquid aminos. All other ingredients are naturally gluten free.
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Easy Tuna Fried Rice
- 1 cup jasmine rice
- 2 cups water
- pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 large onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup frozen chopped carrots and peas
- 1/4 cup frozen corn
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 2.5 oz containers of spicy sweet chili tuna drained
- 3-4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce optional
- sesame seeds
- green onion
- The day before you cook the fried rice, prepare the jasmine rice. In a sauce pan bring 2 cups of salted water to a boil. Once boiling add jasmine rice. Cook covered according to the package directions and let cool. Store in the fridge overnight.
- In a large skillet heat cooking oil and sesame oil over medium high heat. Once heated add onion and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the onion has started to soften and become translucent.
- Add frozen vegetables to the large frying skillet and cook then cook for 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add cooled and cooked jasmine rice to the skillet and toss to combine with the vegetables. Pan fry until the oil has been absorbed about 1-2 minutes. If you have excess moisture from the frozen vegetables, increase heat a little bit. Stir frequently to avoid sticking.
- Add tuna, soy sauce, and fish sauce. Stir well to combine and cook for an aditional 3-4 minutes until the rice is well seasoned. Remove from heat and serve immediately. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onion.