how to make tuna soboro

March 12, 2009

in basics,how-to

Shreela had asked me what the tuna soboro looks like when I did “How to make soboro”, so I decided to cook it tonight! I also wanted to do an experiment with Japanese and American mayonnaise in tuna soboro, because I almost always use Japanese mayonnaise when I cook. So I went out and got a jar of kraft “real mayonnaise”! I think having a bigger fridge is definitely encouraging me to do more food experiments. :P

[How to make tuna soboro]
- 2 cans of tuna
- 3 tbs of soy sauce
- 2 tbs of sugar
- 1 tbs of mayonnaise

I didn’t need 4 cans worth of tuna soboro, so I used a can of tuna for each mayonnaise.

1. Drain water or oil from tuna as much as you can, and start cooking.

2. Mix mayonnaise, soy sauce and sugar. The mayonnaise will not completely dissolve, but don’t worry because the heat will melt mayonnaise.

3. When the tuna gets drier, put the mixture of mayo, soy sauce and sugar in and cook until all the fluid is gone. It doesn’t get as dry as beef or pork soboro. Tuna soboro is mushier.

It takes longer than beef/pork soboro because of the water in tuna.

The difference in American mayonnaise and Japanese mayonnaise is that American uses white distilled vinegar, and Japanese uses rice vinegar. Also American mayo has a more thick gelatinous texture than Japanese mayo.

Left: American mayonnaise, Right: Japanese mayonnaise Both soboro look exactly the same, but each has very distincitve taste

Turns out from my experiment, tuna soboro with American mayonnaise is milder than tuna soboro with Japanese mayonnaise. My boyfriend thought the one with Japanese mayo tasted like it had more soy sauce in it, even thought they both had the same amount of soy sauce. I think because American mayo is thicker and contains more fat, it makes the tuna tastes milder than with Japanese mayo.

I think I mentioned this a couple of times before, but Japanese dishes tends to taste a bit salty because it is usually meant to be eaten with rice. So if you’re just using tuna soboro in a sandwich or something, American mayo might be better. If you’re using tuna soboro with stir fried vegetables or eating it with rice, Japanese mayo might suit better.

For those who don’t know what to do with soboro, you can use beef/pork/tuna soboro for…

- Onigiri filling. You can just put it inside onigiri.
- Soboro-don (Soboro rice bowl). Put soboro over rice, and you have soboro-don! You can also put scrambled eggs, and stir fried string beans (or any type of green veggie) with soboro and make Sanshoku-don. (three colored rice bowl)
- Stir fried with anything! Since soboro is already seasoned, you can just put it in plain stir fried vegetable.
- Croquettes. (mix with potato)
- Potato salad.
- Making the ground for your kyaraben. That’s what I do. :P

There are so many ways to use soboro, but I suggest you just sprinkle over food and find out for yourself. :)

How to make tuna soboro on my flickr

How to make soboro on my flickr

For more pictures of my bento, visit Bento! set and Bento details! set on my flickr page.
If you have any questions about any of my how-to’s, please feel free to leave a comment or email me!

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

NikkiNo Gravatar March 13, 2009 at 1:17 am

yay, thanks for posting about this! I wanted to know what mayo you used, I only have japanese mayo. Thank you for telling us what the resulting taste difference was too! Good to know! I want to try to make beef soboro with American mayo now for sandwiches for my friend. :D


LizzieNo Gravatar March 14, 2009 at 6:29 am

How long do you think soboro would keep for? I always make too much stuff so I have leftovers for the next few days and I was wondering how long I could push keeping this ;p


ShreelaNo Gravatar March 17, 2009 at 12:29 am

Wooo, what a nice post to find after being offline a few days (monitor died). I’m going to try this tomorrow while hubby is at work, but I only have Miracle Whip (hubby is from the US south, where many prefer their mayo ‘sweeter’). If it tastes too sweet, I’ll make some mayo from scratch with the blender to compare.

I have plenty of rice premade, and stored in serving size squares in gallon ziploc baggies in the freezer. So I’ll be having tuna soboro ongiri tomorrow 8^)

Thanks again!


ShreelaNo Gravatar March 17, 2009 at 12:32 am

PS: I’m going to try it as a salad sprinkle too.


AmyNo Gravatar March 19, 2009 at 3:47 pm

Thanks for this! I made this for my husband, and he really likes it. I’ve definitely gotta try this as onigiri filling.


NicoleNo Gravatar April 17, 2009 at 11:41 pm

There used to be a Japanese restaurant here that had some sort of delicious tuna treat in bowls for all of their customers as soon as they were seated. My friends all hated it so I got to have their portions, which was awesome, but I never got back to the restaurant before it closed.

This HAS to be what they served and I am absolutely stoked to have found it here. You rule.


LauraNo Gravatar September 12, 2011 at 4:27 pm

I can’t wait to try this! I was wondering if you have a preferred soy sauce?


AnnaTheRedNo Gravatar September 19, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Hmm, not really. I’ve used both regular soy sauce and low-sodium soy sauce before. If you aren’t sure, add soy sauce little by little, and keep tasting it!


AlexNo Gravatar June 3, 2012 at 5:36 am

Nice post which American mayo has a more thick gelatinous texture than Japanese mayo. In which If you’re using tuna soboro with stir fried vegetables or eating it with rice, Japanese mayo might suit better. Thanks a lot for posting this article.


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