Umami Tuna Stir-Fry

published Mar 25, 2024
Umami Tuna Stir-Fry Recipe

The versatile, oil-packed canned tuna makes the weeknight stir-fry extra delicious.


Prep10 minutes

Cook20 minutes

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overhead shot of umami tuna stir fry in a wok.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: James Park

Canned tuna is one of the most versatile ingredients you can have in your pantry. You can toss it over a salad, turn it into a delicious tuna melt, or add it to a quick and flavorful stir-fry, which is my new favorite way to enjoy this canned staple. 

What makes this stir-fry so good is the umami-rich sauce that seasons everything. And, a little bit of serrano pepper adds a nice punch of spice. Serve it over a bowl of white rice with fried eggs for a delicious, easy weeknight dinner.

Why You’ll Love It

  • It’s a quick weeknight dinner that can be prepared in under 30 minutes.
  • A can of tuna and a handful of vegetables result in a hearty, flavorful stir-fry.

Key Ingredients in Umami Tuna Stir-Fry

  • Cabbage: Cabbage is a fantastic budget-friendly vegetable, and it’s particularly fantastic in this stir-fry dish. A small amount makes the dish hearty and filling.
  • Soy sauce: It’s the main seasoning ingredient that flavors the vegetables and tuna.
  • Oyster sauce: It’s slightly saltier than soy sauce, but has more depth of flavor with a hint of sweetness.
  • Honey: Its sweetness balances the other salty flavors present in the sauce.
  • Rice vinegar: The slight tang from the vinegar makes the sauce more rounded and balanced. 
  • Canned tuna: A pantry staple that’s so versatile in so many ways, but in this recipe, it becomes a main protein source for a flavorful stir-fry. Get the oil-packed solid tuna so that you can use the oil for cooking. 
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: James Park

How to Make Umami Tuna Stir-Fry

  1. Prepare the veggies. Cut and prepare your vegetables, like cabbage, onion, and scallions.
  2. Make the sauce. Make the sauce by mixing soy sauce, honey, mirin, toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar, and oyster sauce. 
  3. Stir-fry the veggies. In a large skillet, cook the prepared veggies with a little bit of sauce.  
  4. Add the tuna to the veggies. Add the tuna with the remaining sauce and stir-fry everything over medium-high heat until the sauce is well-absorbed.   

Helpful Swaps

  • Instead of cabbage, you can use any type of vegetable, such as green beans, bok choy, Napa cabbage, and more.
  • You can substitute honey with granulated sugar or maple syrup.
  • Feel free to swap canned salmon for tuna. 

Umami Tuna Stir-Fry Recipe

The versatile, oil-packed canned tuna makes the weeknight stir-fry extra delicious.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


  • 1/4

    medium green cabbage (about 7 ounces)

  • 1

    medium serrano pepper (optional)

  • 2

    medium scallions

  • 1/2

    medium red onion

  • 3 cloves


  • 3 tablespoons

    soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon


  • 1 tablespoon


  • 2 teaspoons

    toasted sesame oil

  • 1 teaspoon

    rice vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon

    oyster sauce

  • 1 teaspoon

    coarsely ground black pepper

  • 2 (5-ounce) cans

    albacore solid tuna in extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon

    toasted white sesame seeds

  • Cooked white rice, for serving


  1. Core and cut 1/4 medium green cabbage into 1/2-inch wide shreds (about 2 cups). Thinly slice 1 serrano pepper crosswise if desired (about 1 tablespoon). Thinly slice 2 medium scallions (about 1/4 cup); reserve about 1 tablespoon of the dark green parts for garnish. Thinly slice 1/2 medium red onion (about 1/4 cup). Mince 3 garlic cloves (about 1 tablespoon).

  2. Place 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon mirin, 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, 1 teaspoon rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon oyster sauce, and 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper in a small bowl and stir to combine.

  3. Open 2 (5-ounce) cans albacore solid tuna in extra-virgin olive oil. Drain the oil from the canned tuna into a large nonstick or a cast iron skillet. Heat over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the garlic and remaining scallions, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

  4. Add the cabbage, onion, and 1 tablespoon of the sauce. Cook until the cabbage and onions are slightly translucent and tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tuna, remaining sauce, and serrano if using. Stir-fry until combined and the tuna is all mixed through the cabbage, 4 to 5 minutes.

  5. Garnish with the reserved scallions and 1 teaspoon toasted white sesame seeds. Serve over white rice.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days.