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Friday 8 January 2016

Sriracha Tuna Melt

I am a big fan of the tuna melt and, despite having previously only done one write-up for a very cheaty home-made version and one shop-bought frozen version, it's something I have made for myself, from scratch, quite a few times by mixing up a tin of tuna, some mayonnaise and some capers, then slapping the result into what would otherwise be a humble toasted cheese sandwich.

This week, while I've been away from work due to a lingering illness, I had a moment of inspiration while searching my fridge for the capers: I noticed a small, squeezy bottle of Sriracha sauce (acquired from Yo Sushi months ago, as a result of ordering one of their specials) and wondered what that would taste like in a tuna melt...

...And so, here's the first post of 2016 - a quick, simple and spicy variant on an old favourite. Enjoy!

  • Bread (2 slices per melt, I used Kingsmill 50/50)
  • Tuna Chunks (160g tin - 120g drained - makes 2-3 melts, depending on how generous you are with the tuna mix)
  • Mayonnaise (1.5 to 2 heaped tablespoons, depending on your preference and how high you heap)
  • Siracha Sauce (about 2 generous teaspoons, but basically according to your preference)
  • Mature Cheddar Cheese (grated or sliced according to your preference, I used Tesco ready-sliced from a 250g pack, but had to use just over 1 slice per melt due to the size of bread)
Preparation Time: Less than 10 minutes in total

Tools Required:
  • Tin Opener (duh)
  • Toaster (duh, again)
  • Small Bowl
  • Mixing Implement of Choice (such as a fork)
The Process: 
Preheat your grill to about 170C. Open the tin of tuna, drain thoroughly, then empty into the small bowl. Add mayonnaise and stir, then add the Sriracha sauce and stir in so it's all nice and even. Toast a slice of bread for the base of the melt, then spread the mix over evenly. Top with cheese, then place under the grille and start another slice of bread toasting for the top of the melt. While the timing may not be perfect for everyone, I've found that my toaster, on my preferred setting, finishes toasting at precisely the right moment for a nicely melted cheese topping, so the moment the second slice pops up, I took the melt out from under the grill and topped it with the second slice of toast.

The quantity of tuna mix makes at least 2 melts, so the most efficient way of doing it would be to make 2 simultaneously: toast 2 slices of bread, add the mix to both, top with cheese and pop both under the grill while toasting another 2 slices of bread.

The Results:
My only concern, going into this, was whether cheese was still a suitable accompaniment for a tuna melt imbued with the spicy power of Sriracha, but I needn't have worried. Just as supermarkets have so-called 'Mexican Cheese' which is basically cheddar with added chilli, the combination if spicy Sriracha and sharp mature cheddar is excellent. I'm not sure whether capers might still be able to add something worthwhile, or whether they would clash with the Sriracha, but I suppose there's no harm in finding out at a later date...

And if you're not a fan of the tuna melt, this concoction works equally well as the filling for a baguette, or if you fancy something hot in temperature as well as in spiciness, I'm sure it could be used as the topping of a baked potato.
Spicy Tuna Melty Perfection!