I loved An Uong’s story about her mother’s ability to adapt the cheap, canned foods from the 99 cent store into facsimiles of the meals she grew up eating in Vietnam. A can of tuna, some maple syrup, and a splash of fish sauce became “her remix of tép rang, a sweet and salty Vietnamese dish of tiny shrimp caramelized in fish sauce and sugar.” I used our local Pacific albacore, Louisiana dried shrimp, and Nong’s Kao Man Ghai Sauce, and while Uong and her family ate it over rice, I tossed it with spaghetti.
Heat a skillet over medium, then add the tuna and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Break it up and let cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.
Add the drained shrimp and 3/4 cup Nong’s sauce. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until the sauce has reduced and thickened.
Add 1/2 pound spaghetti to a large pot of well-salted boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally, until done, then drain.
Add the cooked pasta to the tuna and cook together for a few minutes.