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Korean Spicy Tuna

Discover the wonders of Korean style spicy tuna. It is very versatile, full of flavor and easy to make! A perfect solution for a busy weeknight meal.

Spicy tuna pasta made with multipurpose Korean spicy tuna | MyKoreanKitchen.com

I’m super excited about sharing today’s recipe. Because I know how beneficial it’s going to be! 🙂 So hear me out.

Korean Canned Tuna

In Korea, there is a canned tuna called gochu chamchi (고추 참치). Its direct translation is ‘chili tuna’ and it essentially is a spicy canned tuna. Though it’s not just spicy. It has a slight sweet and tangy flavor and is often mixed with small portions of vegetables as well.

This tuna is a popular side dish in Korea. For one thing, you can easily  buy a can from a Korean grocery store. And it looks like this (below picture) – red and spicy. Although, the below item is an extra spicy one. I used to take this canned tuna to school in my school lunch bag back in the day.

Korean spicy canned tuna | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Anyway, recently, spicy tuna became my new favorite go to dish because it’s so easy and quick to make. With this, I can quickly prepare a main meal either with rice or pasta, all in under 10 mins. You will be amazed!

Also, not only is it easy and quick to make, it is loaded with well balanced sweetness, tanginess and spiciness. And, did I mention that it is very versatile?

I can already see more applications of it such as making spicy tuna rolls with seaweed and spicy tuna sandwiches etc. ❤

When I try those, I will link up in this post, so you can find them easily.

Spicy Tuna Rice Bowl | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Anyway, I hope you give this a try soon and let us know how you prefer serving it!

Ingredients for Korean Spicy Tuna, serves 2 to 4 depending on purpose

Main

  • 185 g / 6.5 ounces canned tuna, oil or water drained
  • 50 g / 1.7 ounces mixed vegetables – sweet corn, baby peas, capsicum / bell peppers or carrots, cut into small pieces as necessary (you can use frozen or tinned ones too.)
  • 20 g / 0.7 ounces onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil – I used rice bran oil
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds to garnish

Spicy Tuna Sauce

Option 1) Use this sauce if you’re making Korean spicy tuna as a side dish.

  • 1 Tbsp gochujang (Korean chili paste)
  • 2 Tbsp tomato sauce / ketchup
  • 1/2 Tbsp honey

Option 2) Use this sauce if you want the extra spiciness or if you’re going to serve it over pasta or rice.

  • 2 Tbsp gochujang (Korean chili paste)
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce / ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp honey

*1 Tbsp = 15 ml

** If you want to learn more about Korean ingredients, check my 30 essential Korean ingredients list.

How to Make Spicy Tuna

Heat up a skillet over medium high heat. Once heated, add the cooking oil and the tuna. Stir quickly. Add the vegetables and the spicy tuna sauce and mix them well so that everything is coated with the sauce. (If you make the spicy tuna sauce from option 2 to serve over rice or pasta, only add half of the sauce so that the remainder can be used later – over rice / pasta.) Add the sesame seeds. Remove from the heat.

How to Make Korean Spicy Tuna | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Serving Suggestions

1) Serve the spicy tuna with steamed rice and with other Korean side dishes.

 

Korean sweet and spicy tuna | MyKoreanKitchen.com

2) Serve the spicy tuna over steamed rice and add the remaining sauce. With this extra sauce, you can make a simple tuna bibimbap. Just mix it all well!

Korean Spicy Tuna Bowl with Rice | MyKoreanKitchen.com

3) Serve the spicy tuna with some cooked spaghetti. (Thin spaghetti such as angel hair pasta works well.) Add the remaining sauce, a dash of sesame oil (optional) and chopped green onion (optional) then mix well.

Korean spicy tuna served with angel hair pasta | MyKoreanKitchen.com


Spicy Tuna Pasta made with multipurpose Korean spicy tuna | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Korean Spicy Tuna

Korean style spicy tuna recipe
4 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Korean
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 8 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 149kcal
Author: Sue | My Korean Kitchen

Ingredients

MAIN

  • 185 g canned tuna (6.5 ounces), oil or water drained
  • 50 g mixed vegetables (1.7 ounces), sweet corn, baby peas, capsicum / bell peppers or carrots, cut into small pieces as necessary (you can use frozen or tinned ones too.)
  • 20 g onion (0.7 ounces), diced
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil , I used rice bran oil
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds to garnish

Spicy Tuna Sauce: Option 1) Use this sauce if you’re making Korean spicy tuna as a side dish.

  • 1 Tbsp gochujang (Korean chili paste)
  • 2 Tbsp tomato sauce / ketchup
  • 1/2 Tbsp honey

Spicy Tuna Sauce: Option 2) Use this sauce if you want the extra spiciness or if you’re going to serve it over pasta or rice.

  • 2 Tbsp gochujang (Korean chili paste)
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce / ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp honey

Instructions

  • Heat up a skillet over medium high heat. Once heated, add the cooking oil and the tuna. Stir quickly. Add the vegetables and the spicy tuna sauce and mix them well so that everything is coated with the sauce. (If you make the spicy tuna sauce from option 2 to serve over rice or pasta, only add half of the sauce so that the remainder can be used later - over rice/pasta.) Add the sesame seeds. Remove from the heat.

Notes

Refer to the above post for serving suggestions.

Nutrition

Calories: 149kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 210mg | Potassium: 162mg | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 14.1% | Vitamin C: 3.5% | Calcium: 1.4% | Iron: 5.1%
Tried this recipe?I love hearing how you went with my recipes! Leave a comment below or Tag me on Instagram @MyKoreanKitchen.

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Written by: Sue

Last Updated: May 13, 2019

Hi, I'm Sue and I am the creator of My Korean Kitchen. Thank you for joining me in this delicious culinary journey!

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5 thoughts on “Korean Spicy Tuna”

  1. Hello, I’ve always been interested in making this.
    I’ve found a recipe that uses the canned version in it and I can’t find any in the shops near me (I live in England)

    Are the peas and sweet corn essential?
    Also I lost you a little bit at the sauce bit, do I make the sauce to go with the main?
    Or is that not needed?
    Best regards, Patrick

    • Hi Patrick, This recipe is to make Korean spicy tuna but using regular canned tuna. I believe any grocery store should sell it (whether it’s Korean or non-Korean).

      You don’t have to add any peas or sweet corn if you don’t want them, but they do add nice flavour and texture. Besides, the pre-canned Korean spicy tuna contains these, so I added them in the recipe to mimic that.

      You can serve the tuna as a side dish or serve over rice or noodle dishes. In the latter case, you would want to make more sauce, so that you can have a saucier meal. (You don’t have to though. It’s just my suggestion to make it tastier.) Hope this clears up your question.

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