Canned Tuna and Egg with Sesame Soy {recipe} – College Food

Oats with Tuna Egg and Soy Sauce[The Oatmeal Project, Day 15: “College Bowl” (canned tuna, egg, sesame soy)]

It’s been a very long time since I’ve had to resort to this.

And I don’t know why I didn’t come back to it sooner.

Oh yeah. Maybe because the combination of canned tuna, egg, and soy sauce is something better left as a fond(-ish), but faded memory of how we ate our freshman year in college. Too busy holed up in our rooms studying general chemistry to spend time foraging for food. Too poor to afford even a $4 slice of Blondie’s. Too smart to actually eat anything offered in the dining commons.

So I’d plug in my little rice cooker in my dorm room, open up a can of tuna, and crack an egg over our bowl, knowing full well that the heat of the cooked rice wouldn’t do much to protect me from the suspicious things in raw eggs.

(I majored in biology, by the way.)

But the combination, now that I’ve tried it again (with a fried egg – I’m still too *ahem* “chicken” to do it with a raw egg), is actually delicious. I wouldn’t make 6 bowls of this and serve it at a dinner party. Heck, I don’t think I’d even make two servings for lunch with a very close friend. But when I’m alone in the TasteSpotting Kitchen, under a similar college-finals-like pressure though this time with cookbooks, I find it perfectly quick and convenient and in way, comforting. And it certainly works over a bowl of oats after two weeks straight of eating oats with nothing but sweet things.

The recipe for this shouldn’t even be called a “recipe,” though we’ve actually seen it on other sites. Top your bowl with canned tuna, egg, soy sauce and sesame oil to taste. We added nori kumi furikake this time, but let’s be real about the furikake. We didn’t have that kind of cash to afford such frivolous luxury when we were in college.

What kinds of strange foods did you eat back in the day?

Oats with Tuna, Egg and Sesame Soy


bowl of cooked steel cut oats (or rice, if you’re normal. then again, you probably wouldnt be eating this at all if you were actually normal)
1 six-ounce can of tuna (we used the chunk variety because that’s all we had left in the pantry)
1 egg, fried
soy sauce
sesame oil
nori komi furikake


Top bowl of warm cooked oats with canned tuna and fried egg. Drizzle with about 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Sprinkle with nori komi furikake.

(Yes, those are indeed my textbooks in the photo, though from business school, not college. I got rid of college textbooks faster than I finished out each semester…)

by Sarah J. Gim on February 15, 2011 · 8 comments

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Janet February 16, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Pre-rice cooker, pre-dorm fridge, pre-Top Ramen, we would heat water in the little hotpot, keep a can of evaporated milk on the window sill and use it to make Droste cocoa. Sugar taken from the cafeteria.


chefandsteward February 16, 2011 at 10:16 pm

Hahahahha! Yes this is a trip down memory lane that invites us to join (albeit with our own fond memories)! Our chef half’s college experience DOES NOT QUALIFY. Spending years holed up in culinary school with much better canteen food than average mere college mortals does not count! However, the steward, another story. Think gournmet canned corned beef; that is with everything imaginable to disguise what it really was. Think of it in soup. Yes, go there. Think experimental cooking with zealous portions of whole spices that would make your teeth crack on every bite. Think so much beef mince and egg noodles stir fry that for years after, the sight of mince was just nauseating. Think baking a cake that came out like a bun.


Gali February 17, 2011 at 2:51 am

Ah. Uni days. I pretty much had mastered the art of “shredded cheese goes with everything” and I was a pro for making crepes and pancakes, even the vegan versions for when I didn’t have eggs and proper milk. My most basic food was plain rice with thai chili sauce. With the left-over rice I would make tons of riz-au-lait.

Now that I think about it, I haven’t made riz-au-lait in years.


Diana February 17, 2011 at 6:26 am

Oh my gosh, I haven’t had lunch yet and that picture is just making me even hungrier!

I’m abroad right now and the weirdest thing I’ve made so far is couscous with boiled spinach, mushrooms, onions, scrambled eggs, SPAM and soy sauce.


Sivad-Galdian February 17, 2011 at 8:09 am

Speaking as a current college student, I am counting my scholarship blessings. All of my dorms have had kitchens and I never relied on the cafeterias. However, sometimes, I’d get really lazy. My favorite cheapest meal has turned out to be, not ramen, but a 79 cent can of chickpeas drained, zapped in the microwave, and mixed with garlic and onion powder, salt, and whatever warm spices I can conjure up, usually cumin. Sometimes I add canned tuna. I have never had to resort to hoping my egg cooks atop the rice, and for that, I thank all of you who went before and, like my parents, spent your initial graduated years unable to eat spaghetti or baked potatoes. Eventually, colleges improve.


Ange February 17, 2011 at 12:56 pm

I’ve about 4 months left of college life but this cheap+easy+lazy pleasure I will eat forever: rice with a generous topping of powdered milk.


jp May 7, 2013 at 1:07 am

Canned tuna for me is quickly served with fresh chopped onions and calamondin juice which can be mixed with of rice or bread crumbs. We do not have lemon, but I love the taste of calamondin – so there was my tuna days.


Linda January 3, 2018 at 9:11 am

Leftover cold spaghetti sandwiches.


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