Mushroom Tuna Pasta きのことツナのパスタ

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Japanese Style Mushroom & Tuna Pasta |

Several weeks ago, Jen from Taste of Home asked me if I have Japanese style pasta recipes (the girl knows what she’s talking about!).

What is Japanese pasta?? You might ask. Yes, not Ramen, no Udon, not Soba, but pasta. Japanese pasta is simply Italian pasta prepared with Japanese ingredients and flavors. Italian food is very popular in Japan, and as I had mentioned in my Creamy Mushroom & Bacon Spaghetti post before, some people do think Japan has the best Italian food outside of Italy. What’s interesting is one of the Italian bloggers that I met recently also said the same thing.

When Italian food was introduced to Japan around the post war period, only Italian style pasta was served. Then around the ’70s, people started experimenting with Japanese flavors and ingredients. Now Japanese style pasta (also known as Wafuu Pasta) are very popular in Japan and there are many kinds of Wafuu pasta that we eat at home or at restaurants. Today I’m sharing one recipe that my family loves and I will share more Japanese style pasta in the future.

Japanese Style Mushroom & Tuna Pasta |

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Japanese Style Mushroom & Tuna Pasta
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2-3
  • 2-3 servings Spaghetti
  • 1 Bunashimeji (brown beech mushroom), rinsed and the bottom discarded
  • 2 Shiitake mushrooms, rinsed and sliced
  • 4 Mushrooms, rinsed and sliced
  • 1 Package of Enoki (I didn’t have this today), rinsed and the bottom discarded
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. sake
  • 1 can tuna in oil/water, drained
  • 1 tsp. Konbucha, or substitute with salt (See Note)
  • 4 Tbsp. Mentsuyu (Japanese noodle soup base)
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 shiso leaves, chiffonaded (optional)
  • Kizami Nori (shredded nori)
  1. In a large pot, bring water to a boil and start cooking spaghetti according to the package instruction but minus 1 minute because you will cook spaghetti again later.
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil on medium high and cook mushrooms.
  3. After a few minutes, add sake and let it evaporate while you sauté with wooden spoon.
  4. Add tuna from the can and mix.
  5. Add Konbucha, Mentsuyu, and butter and mix all together. Scoop one ladle of pasta’s cooking water and add as needed.
  6. Add drained pasta in the pan and mix well by shaking the pan. Serve immediately with shiso leaves and Kizami Nori.
*This is not Kombucha, a fermented drink. Konbucha/Kobucha is made from Konbu seaweed. It is full of konbu glutamine and asparagine umami deliciousness. Konbucha is a salty seasoning so if you can’t find this, you can substitute with salt instead. But Konbu gives nice umami… I hope you can find this seasoning. At Japanese supermarkets, you can find it in the tea section as we drink it as a tea.

Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.


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  1. I have not eaten Japanese style pasta before, just curious the taste, let me if i can get Konbucha, then i must make this. Have a nice weekend ahead, Nami. This weekend i going to school again after so long, ..but this is a pastry school, hehehe..

  2. Wow! All mushrooms me and my girls LOVE! They love Enoki most and I’ll cooked in soup or stir-fry with veggies.
    I’m sure they’ll like this Japanese Pasta! 😀

  3. Four different mushrooms in one pasta dish! Now that, my dear Nami, is better than any Italian mushroom pasta dish I’ve ever encountered. And I never knew there was even such a thing as Japanese pasta, but now I do, thanks to you!

  4. I had no idea Japanese pasta existed!!! This one looks delicious! I am starting to think that Italy and Japan have quite a few things in common… especially after talking about potato salads and seeing this recipe! So cool!!! <3

  5. Nami, once again you’ve posted a unique and delicious dish…I’m going to have to start a list of these exotic ingredients and check out our Asian market. I know I’d love this!!!

  6. Nami, thank you for introducing me to the Japanese pasta. I had no idea what it looked like (you told me once it existed, but I thought you meant fried Asian noodles 😉 )
    This dish looks delicious, original and reminds me of the experiments I sometimes make with Italian pasta and Asian cuisines (usually Thai – I often add some coconut milk and Thai curry). And I still haven’t bought konbucha…
    I love the tiny shoes!!! They are supposed to be the chopsticks support??? Wouldn’t you say “kawai” in Japanese? 😉
    Have a great weekend!

  7. Hi Nami! haha you mentioned me (I know I asked the right person when I asked you)..when I saw this on my reader, I could not wait to click over. Your Japanese style pasta looks delicious and gorgeous…your version with konbucha & mentsuyu sound very yummy! Do you think I could substitute the tuna with clams? Wish we could have a noodle party hehe totally making me hungry looking at your photo now :O

  8. Thanks for sharing your knowledge Nami. It is always such a pleasure to learn more about Japanese cuisine from you. This looks delicious and I always try to find a way to have mushrooms in my pastas. I may have to wait until I go to the Bay Area to find the Konbucha. I’m intrigued…but I’m pretty sure that the local store in Mariposa won’t have it! Have a great weekend.

  9. sensiblecooking

    Oh Nami, I am a big time sucker for pasta. And with tuna and mushroom with Japanese style oh got me on the spot. I wish you were nearby.

  10. Looks great Nami! It’s amazing how we take recipes from some other country and infuse a bit of our own spices and flavors into it! In India we have Indian pasta! lol! a little bit of ginger with garlic, some gharam masala and lots of chili for added spice is Indian pasta!

  11. Oh woah! I am trying this recipe for sure! I make a similar “tuna” pasta, but I use cream of mushroom soup as a base. Totally gross but delicious! This recipe is much more sophisticated. :)

  12. I have to try this! Love the history lesson and the caution about “Konbucha/Kobucha vs. Kombucha”. Sure enough, I’d glanced it and thought, ‘I’ll have to go to Whole Foods for that Kombucha tea’…That would have been a disaster :(

  13. I love Japanese Pasta! Whenever I go home to Hawaii I visit Pietro’s- they have amazing Japanese pasta and make those wonderful dressings you see at the Japanese supermarket. Love all the mushrooms in there too!

  14. Nami, this is beautiful and I’m learning so much about Japanese cuisine reading your blog. While I’m a little tuna shy these days I do love the mix of mushrooms – I have to make a trip down to the Japanese supermarket asap!

  15. Nami, you are not just a good cook you really know how to share your culture in a most interesting (not boring!!!) way. I know what you mean by Japanese pasta just as we have our own Filiipino Spaghetti hahah.
    I love the Japanese infused flavors. It perks up a pasta dish unlike the usual way of cooking it.

    Have a Grrreat Weekend girl,

  16. You know what? If my memory serves me correctly, I took a liking for pasta when I was much much younger while having it at a Japanese bistro/eatery within Japanese departmental stores (both SOGO and Isetan) back in Singapore! But I remembered the pasta did not have much Jap. influence – it was just Spaghetti Bolognese; OR maybe it did have some Japanese fused elements in the sauce, just that I didn’t knew. I actually added nori seaweed to my pasta before and I love it!

  17. What a yummy looking pasta Nami.I love the beautiful yellow color.Your narration of how Japanese pasta evolved is so similar to how indo- chinese cuisine evolved, mainly bu east indian and lots of spices :) I m yet to try seaweed but you have topped the pasta with it so beautifully!
    Have a nice weekend :)

  18. Hey, lovely photos. Things like “konbucha”, “mentsuyu” are a little difficult to pronounce for non-Japanese people. But this Japanese pasta? It is going to be an ABSOLUTE HIT with your global readers (I am included)!!! What a delicious recipe, Nami!

  19. I love this recipe! I’m a fan of tinned tuna. I had some tuna cooked Japanese style and it was so good. Love the different kinds of mushrooms in this dish. What a lovely dish, Nami.

  20. I have always wanted to try Japanese pasta and this one looks like one that I’d like to try (minus the tuna, because I am not that into tuna ;)) – I know, I am by nature a very picky eater :(. I intend to spend some of my summer holiday in Jakarta, Indonesia and I’ve heard that there are many fantastic Japanese restaurants there, including ones specialising on Japanese pasta. I can’t wait to stuff myself there ;D)!!
    I’m still very busy at the moment, but in a few days it’ll be much better and I’ll have more time to blog, reply e-mails, etc. Sorry for being so slack the last few weeks…:(!!

  21. Pasta is one of my favorite types of food. I can eat it everyday. You know, I always keep cans of tuna in my pantry because one of my favorite ways to use it is in pasta. However, I don’t think I’ve ever added mushrooms to mine. Will have to borrow your recipe soon. My husband and I have been meaning to visit Japan–now I have something else to look forward to when that day comes–the pasta! :-)

  22. Fusion cooking is very popular these days and it is not just East meets West, but also East meets East. I stir fry pasta and soba, Chinese style. Your mushroom and tuna pasta with all the different kinds of mushrooms sound very flavorful!

  23. I never knew that Japan was known for great Italian food! That’s really neat. 😀 This dish sounds delicious and I would have never thought of the flavor combos. Thanks!

  24. Thanks so much for sharing this. I love Japanese Italian much more than Italian. I like the flavours and I love that the sauces aren’t as heavy as they are in many of the Italian dishes. I cook a creamy Japanese pasta dish quite a lot at home. Do you by any chance have a recipe for the avocado and shrimp pasta you see all over the place in Japan? If you’re not sure which dish I mean, I have a picture here:

    Thanks so much!