So, there was a certain point during the testing of tuna recipes for our last contest that we became confused. Baffled. Stricken with bewilderment.

And it came immediately on the heels of trying this recipe.


But more on the confusion later.

Right now, all you need to know is that this recipe is from Eartha Kitsch’s mom, Opal, and is from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook from 1976.

And IT is Sweet-Sour Tuna.


This recipe is the greatest because you don’t serve the tuna over rice or noodles. Oh no, that would be boring. Instead, you serve it over crispy fried chow mein noodles!

God, sometimes I LOVE the 70’s!



Now, I’ve eaten a lot of chow mein noodles in my lifetime. Sprinkled on top of cans of La Choy chop suey. Thrown in chicken soup. Eaten in cookies. Heck, they’ve even been a snack a few times when I was desperate.


But I’ve NEVER used them in place of rice. Has anyone ever done this? Ever? Is this some glorious culinary time period that I missed out on?


But no worries. Because using chow mein noodles instead of rice is BACK! At least at our house.

Too bad I had to put tuna garbage over it.


He didn’t even want a plate. He was so sure it was going to be awful, that he didn’t even bother with it.






“You know, this isn’t actually that bad.”

“What the-” I threw down the camera (“Careful”!”) grabbed the platter and snatched away his fork. I scooped up a huge bite and stuffed it into my mouth.

By now Tom was laughing. “See?”

“Oh my god, this is actually pretty good.”

The Verdict: GOOD! I know what you are thinking. How?  HOW!?!? But it was, in a fake-Chinese way. The best part was the pineapple and the green peppers with the chow mein noodles. You couldn’t even taste the tuna. Which…now that I think about it…might have been why it was so good.

Okay, NOW we can address our confusion. What the heck?  HOW could this possibly be good?!?!? How? We were mightily confused, because this was the latest in a LONG string of tuna recipes that I thought would be bad but actually turned out to be good!!! Wild.

Thanks for a great one, Opal!

Sweet-Sour Tuna
Recipe Type: Main
Author: Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook, 1976
Serves: 3 or 4
A sweet and sour tuna mixture served on a bed of chow mein noodles. Yum!
  • 8 3/4 ounce can pineapple, drained reserving syrup
  • 1 cup green pepper strips
  • 1 vegetable bullion cube
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 T sugar
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • 1 T vineagar
  • 1 t soy sauce
  • 7 oz can tuna
  • 1 T butter
  • 2 cups chow mein noodles
  1. In saucepan, combine 1/3 cup of reserved pineapple syrup with pineapple tidbits, green pepper strips, bullion cube and water. Heat to boiling. Simmer 5 mins.
  2. Mix together sugar, cornstarch, remaining pineapple syrup, vinegar and soy sauce.
  3. Add to pineapple mixture. Cook and stir until mixture thickens and bubbles.
  4. Add drained tuna and butter. Heat through.
  5. Serve over chow mein noodles.


Wait. What? Why are you still here?  Aren’t you supposed to be working or something?

Oh, you don’t believe me that a bunch of weird tuna recipes turned out to be good? Well check THESE out:

Tuna and Deviled String Beans

Tuna Cakes With Mushroom Sauce

Rosy Tuna Ring

See?!?!? I told you!