Why Japanese Milk Bread Is The Ultimate Vehicle For Tuna Sandwiches

Tuna is a popular fish as a good source of protein that's readily available and budget-friendly thanks to the canned variety. In fact, without canned tuna, it's hard to say whether the beloved tuna salad sandwich or better yet, the cheesy tuna melt, would exist. Canned tuna comes pre-cooked and ready to consume, making it a quick ingredient to toss into a bowl with a mayonnaise-based dressing and crunchy components such as celery and onions. With the other ingredients in a tuna salad playing prominent roles, the bread is fighting for just as much importance, and rightfully so.

Every sandwich calls for a different type of bread to get a flavor that balances well with the fillings and a pleasant texture. When it comes to tuna salad sandwiches, the filling offers a soft texture with a slight crunch, so you'd assume that a firm slice of toasted bread would be ideal as a contrast, but surprisingly, a softer type of bread, such as Japanese milk bread, is the perfect match.

It's softer than sliced bread

In fact, squishier bread is better. White bread is often much softer than whole wheat, and Japanese milk bread offers even more pillowy softness compared to your average loaf of pre-sliced white bread from the store.

Japanese milk bread (sometimes called Hokkaido milk bread) is called shokupan in Japanese, which translates to "food bread" or "eating bread."If you've never had it, it's basically a very fluffy, soft loaf of moist white bread that is served in Japan at breakfast as toast or sliced for sandwiches. Surprisingly it's still very tender even after it's toasted. Milk bread offers a subtly sweet and buttery flavor, which contrasts nicely with sandwich fillings, particularly the savoriness of the tuna salad. It also acts as a pillow-like vehicle for the filling, allowing every delicious bite to melt in your mouth.

Japanese milk bread can be found at many Asian markets, but if that's not a convenient option for you, it's also very simple to make and definitely worth the effort. Plus, there are so many fun ideas for using up this pillow-y loaf, including searing slices for French toast, using it in bread pudding, or even cutting it into cubes and toasting it as melt-in-your-mouth croutons. The delicious possibilities are almost endless, but we can't help but recommend sandwiching a hefty scoop of tuna salad between two slices.