Spicy Tuna Roll

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Spicy Tuna Roll | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

Can you guess what is the most requested sushi roll recipes requested by Just One Cookbook readers?  Right, it’s Spicy Tuna Roll, and today I’m sharing this really quick and easy recipe.  If you are not familiar with the sushi rolling skills, I’d say this roll is an easy one to start because you only have one ingredient to roll unlike another one of my sushi roll recipes, California Roll.

Spicy Tuna Roll | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

Since I grew up in a country where mayonnaise is loved as a condiment (Japanese use mayo a lot, in pizza, rice ball, sushi, pasta, and salad, just to name a few), it was a little shocking to find out there are some people who actually don’t like mayonnaise.  In my defense, Japanese mayo is a bit different from “regular” mayo and tastes really good.  Rachael from La Fuji Mama talks about the differences in more detail if you are interested.  So for this recipe, I didn’t add any mayonnaise in the tuna mixture.  It looks like some restaurants add mayo and some don’t, so it’s really up to your preference.

I personally think a little bit of mayo goes well with Sriracha sauce so I put the Spicy Mayo on top of the roll (my easy Spicy Mayo recipe here).  It’s cute to put Spicy Mayo on top of the rolls like this with chopped green onion.  Hope you will try making this easy roll at home!

Spicy Tuna Roll | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

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Spicy Tuna Roll
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 2 Rolls
  • 1½ cups prepared sushi rice
  • 4 oz. (113 g) sashimi-grade tuna (available at FishforSushi.com)
  • 3 tsp. Sriracha sauce
  • 2 tsp. chopped green onion/scallion
  • ½ tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 sheet nori, cut in half crosswise
  • 2 Tbsp. white roasted sesame seeds
  • Spicy mayo for garnish (optional) (click HERE for the recipe)
  • Bamboo mat, covered with plastic wrap
  • Tezu (vinegared hand-dipping water): ¼ cup water + 2 tsp. rice vinegar
  1. Cut the tuna into ¼" (0.5 cm) cubes (or you can mince the tuna).
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the tuna, Sriracha sauce, 1 tsp. green onion and sesame oil.
  3. Lay a sheet of nori, shiny side down, on the bamboo mat. Wet your fingers in tezu and spread ¾ cup of the rice evenly onto nori sheet. Sprinkle the rice with sesame seeds.
  4. Turn the sheet of nori over so that the rice side is facing down. Line the edge of nori sheet at the bottom end of the bamboo mat. Place half of the tuna mixture at the bottom end of the nori sheet.
  5. Grab teh bottom edge of the bamboo mat while keeping the fillings sin place with your fingers, roll into a tight cylinder. Lift the edge of the bamboo mat and continue to roll it forward while keeping gentle pressure on the mat.
  6. With a very sharp knife, cut the roll in half and then cut each half into 3 pieces. Clean the knife with a damp cloth every few cuts. (When you wrap the roll with a plastic wrap, rice won't stick to your hands.)
  7. Put a dollop of spicy mayo on top of each sushi and garnish with the remaining green onion.
Cover the sushi rice and the completed rolls with a damp cloth at all times to prevent from drying.

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. Okay, spicy tuna and California are my top two favorite sushi rolls. Oh you are making me hungry. A big Asian market opened up near me and they sell sushi-grade seafood. Once I learn to make your sticky rice, you bet I will be rolling the sushi!

  2. jhiselle

    Hi nami love your tuna roll and your website! My favorite roll is eel roll, octopus roll, or the really spicy one with mayo I cant remember. If you coyld make one of these preferable the last because eel is expensive and I dont know where to find octopus lol but love your blog anyways !!

    • Hi Jhiselle! Thank you so much for your kind words. It’s nice to know you like octopus. It’s one of “strange” food here and I am a little discouraged to share an octopus recipe. 😉 Thank you for following my blog and I’m very happy to hear you enjoy my blog. Thank you!!

    • Hi CK! I have another sushi roll recipe with shrimp tempura in it. :) Hope to share it soon…(done photo shooting but haven’t written up. :))

  3. I’ve not tried Sriracha sauce with mayo, but just thinking of the combo, I know it’ll be great! Definitely something I’ll be trying. The tuna roll looks wonderful! And the pictures are perfect. Thanks for this.

  4. Angela

    Every time my boyfriend and I have made spicy tuna rolls we’ve added a mayo/sriracha combo inside the roll to make it spicy. You’re way looks delicious, and I have to agree that the spicy mayo on top does look cute.

    We’re definitely still mastering rolling them with the rice on the outside(although he’s now an expert at nori on the outside…I, on the other hand, have decided that my sushi looks better when he rolls it…yes, that’s cheating…but I’m trying to improve. :) ). Ours definitely wont look as pretty, but I think we’ll have to make sushi again soon to try your recipe out!

  5. Tuna is one of my favourite sushi fillings. I haven’t had any in much too long. You’ve given me such a craving that I must go out and have some soon. :)

  6. Great looking homemade rolls! Spicy tuna and spicy salmon are my two favorite sushi rolls. And the simple spicy mayo is a great tip/addition!

  7. Oh Nami! I was trying to not eat sushi this week (only because I tend to over eat it). Now there is no avoiding it. These look too good and are one of my favorites. :)

  8. Nami-san, this is my youngest teenagers favourite sushi roll. Spicy tuna is always a big hit with my family. Just looking at that beautiful sushi grade tuna must have cost you a fortune. It is beautiful. We love Japanese mayo and thankfully you can buy that here in HK, so life is good. Wishing you a super weekend. Ja Mata, BAM

  9. I have always been wanting to try to make sushi at home but I somehow didn’t dare yet. This looks so simple though, I really need to give this a try. Thanks for sharing :-)

  10. This is definitely giving me sushi cravings, even though I generally go for salmon instead of tuna! But I bet salmon could be prepared exactly the same way, right? Spicy rolls are the best, in any case!

    • Hi Sue! You don’t have to, if you are quick and familiar with what you are doing. However, when you are still new at cutting/slicing sushi, rice from the rolls tends to stick to your hands and knife and it can ruin the look of roll. The wrap tends to hold down the rice, while you hold the roll to slice. When you are used to cutting the sushi roll with a very sharp knife, you are very quick and you don’t need plastic wrap at all… it’s just practice. :)

      Hope that helps!

      • Thanks Nami! I think it’s a great tip. I’ve never made sushi roll inside out (rice covering the ingredients), so I guess I’ve never experience the situation you are describing before, but I can totally imagine it could easily happen. Thanks again for the handy tip!

  11. I love spicy tuna roll…but never made it at home, always have it in restaurants or at my mom’s.
    Beautiful pictures Nami :) Hope you are having a wonderful week!

  12. Spicy tuna roll is the best, Nami! Thank you for sharing your recipe – I’m not surprised it’s the most requested. Your photos are beautiful and I wish I could pluck a piece or two right off the platter.

  13. Eha

    Lovely easy-to-make sushi roll once you have accessed some premium tuna :) ! Mayo: well no, not because I have anything against the taste, but the nutritionist in me does not allow 😀 !

  14. なるほど Sriracha sauce + Kewpie mayo. Very intriguing, Nami-san. Usually I stick to old-school standards at the sushi bar. But you may have prompted me to venture into a brave new world of spicy tuna rolls =) After all, anything with Kewpie mayonnaise has got to be great!

  15. Nami, I love, love spicy tuna roll…and never tried making inside-out roll (uramaki), but looking at your instructions I think I will not have any problems making it, all I need is some nice fresh piece of tuna :) Such a beautiful pictures–making me hungry!

  16. Nami, I cannot even begin to tell you how much I LOVE this post! First of all, your tuna roll looks perfect. PERFECT! Secondly, I will be trying this asap. We eat so many tuna rolls out, but to make one at home will just be awesome.

  17. Nami, the art of making a pretty presentation lies in being attentive to each and every detail and these Spicy Tuna Rols were prepared by you with so much care for each detail that they look like a piece of art. Wonderful recipe and wonderful touches all around, respect!
    Hope all is well with you and the children!

  18. Hi Nami, here I am again, I’ve not been bloggin for ages but now I am back :). Miss your posts and you have so many new, mouthwatering recipes! Great photos as usual well :).

  19. I understand you, I really like mayo, and I always have some at home, well, my son also likes it, but I have to say that we always have the light version.
    And I have a very close friend that doesn’t like it, and I cannot believe she can eat french freis without mayo :)

  20. Oh these are one of my favorites, sweet friend! I can’t wait until I’m no longer pregnant and I can eat sushi again. Ryan and I will be making these as soon as possible. Thank you for sharing. Beautiful photos, as always.

  21. Beautiful sushi! I have never made sushi with the rice on the outside and the seaweed on the inside. I must try that next time. Thanks very much for showing how to do it. Sometimes I do need to be shown how to do even simple things….haha

  22. I’m so glad to have found you! Japanese food can seem intimidating but it’s nice to have blogs like this that make it more accessible. Spicy tuna is one of my favourite sushi fillings.

  23. Your spicy tuna roll looks much better than the one we had last night! We usually don’t get the spicy tuna because salmon skin roll is our favorite roll, but last night when we went out for sushi we splurged and got 2 rolls. :) I love the way you left the tuna in pieces rather than mushing it up into a paste. I didn’t like the texture of the paste but would have loved the pieces. Maybe I should pass your recipe along to my sushi chef. :) Thanks for the link to your quick spicy mayo. I see 101 uses for that.

  24. My favorite! I want to gobble up that whole plate, Nami. lol They look so good, and so beautiful too. I never understood people not like mayo, especially when they broadly characterize it as “I don’t like creamy white things.” Which I’m pretty sure doesn’t apply to ice cream. And spicy mayo is the best!

  25. Nami, I’m going to give Japanese mayo a try. Thanks for the fascinating articles to read, including yours. :) Seriously, I could eat these Spicy Tuna Rolls for breakfast right now — they look so, so good!

  26. I really have to try making my own sushi. I know I can have it almost anywhere here but I bet this is so much better.

    I don’t think I can have a kitchen without mayo. I even use the vegan variety (tastes just like the regular kind) but it’s always around. I wouldn’t consider skipping it here.

  27. I wonder if spicy mayonnaise is the same sort of thing as what they call “Samurai sauce” over here (lol!) – you can buy great big bottles of the stuff and they often use it on kebabs and the like. It’s basically mayo, and spicy, so I suppose it’s the same thing. It’s a big weakness of mine… I could easily eat that stuff straight out of the bottle on it’s own :p.

    • Interesting! Thank you for letting me know about “Samurai sauce”. Yes, the name or the spicy mayo itself DOES NOT exist in Japan! LOL. I wonder who created it. Either way, Japan/Japanese will probably import “samurai sauce” or “spicy mayo” from outside of Japan soon! 😉

  28. I would never have guessed this to be the most requested recipe. But why not? It is the roll that I myself order most often for my lunch. Your version looks perfect. I like the little dab of mayo on the outside of the roll. Of course we don’t see that in to-go orders, would not be pretty.

  29. Looks so good and so appetizing! This kind of food I can eat all day long and if you waik me up in the middle of night I never say “no” to rolls or sushi-)))

  30. This is the one recipe my hubby craves! When I say the words, he always looks like he is daydreaming….he probably is! He orders this whenever we go out for sushi, now I need to have him make me some in the comfort of our home:-) YUM! Hugs, Terra

  31. Gosh, this is my favorite roll and I always order these when I go out. I’m going to have to give sushi making a shot soon, your recipes and writing are so inspiring and you make it seem so simple!

  32. 何これ!まるでプロそのもの!すごいじゃないの?すご~い!うちの旦那がからいものだめだから、辛さ控えめに作ってみよう。

  33. I’m not surprised tuna rolls are so requested, I simply adore them! If tuna wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg, I think I’d be having them nearly every day :)

  34. Good god there are actually people out there that don’t like mayo?! I can’t believe it. lol
    Ah nami I needed a new Sushi roll idea and tuna is anyway a fish that I can get here easily (during the season) so I am looking forward to try your recipe pretty soon. Take care!

  35. My non-sushi and sashimi eating husband loves these spicy tuna rolls, they’re one of my favorites too. I would vote for the spicy mayo sauce.:) Thanks for sharing this mouthwatering recipe, Nami!

  36. It looks awesome! I must say I have tasted and tried making many maki sushi kinds but I have never seen this one here (and never tried making at home). Tuna is my favourite raw fish, so I’m sure this maki would be among my favourite or maybe even my number one.
    Japanese mayonnaise is exceptional, indeed. I could eat it by spoons 😉 Mayonnaise is different in every country, but after the Japanese my favourite is French: both have a lot of taste compared to for example Swiss mayonnaise… (Of course I talk about good brands, not cheap “supermarket own” mayonnaise). I don’t even mention home-made mayonnaise because this simply can only be delightful, whatever the country or method.

  37. carol | a cup of mascarpone

    You are amazing, Nami!!! These are fabulous! My daughter would love me until the end of time if I could learn how to make these for her! :)

  38. Jessica

    I made it last Friday and it was so delish! I could not resist by looking at your post so I decided to give it a shot. This is my first time ever making sushi and I was surprised that it tasted so good. I will definely do it again. Thank you very much for such great recipe.
    I also baked your famous cheese cake on Saturday. It was a hit. This is my third time baking this in 5 weeks…. Thanks again for sharing all wonderful recipes.

    • Hi Jessica! YAY! Thank you so much for trying the sushi and cheesecake recipes! I have two more sushi roll recipe coming up this summer… hope you will give those a try too! :) And wow, you made cheesecake 3 times in 5 weeks! I wish I lived near you.. 😀 I’m really happy to hear the recipes worked out and you enjoyed them. Thank you for your kind feedback!

  39. So, you recommend cutting wrapping the roll with plastic and cutting it with plastic on? Just want to make sure I got that right…hehehe. Thanks for always giving such wonderful tips! Your roll looks like restaurant-quality! You are very talented and skilled, Nami!2

    • Hi Jen! I use both ways – with or without plastic wrap. When I’m in hurry and don’t care about the look so much, I quickly cut sushi rolls with a sharp knife. If I compared with the result, one that I cut with plastic on is much cleaner. I made my hands wet to hold sushi rolls to cut, yet rice still clings on to the fingers. With plastic on, I can hold on to the sushi roll with ease (without worrying about rice sticking to my fingers) and I can take some time to cut nicely. Of course, if you are a sushi chef, you have a super sharp knife and cut the rolls really fast, so they probably won’t have same issues that home cooks have. :) Hope that makes sense. So… I recommend plastic method for home cooks, IF you care to have a good looking sushi. :)

  40. This is hands down our favorite sushi when we go out to eat. My daughter gets her own and won’t share it. It’s really funny to see her gobble the whole plate up.
    This looks amazing! I love how you have shown the step by step method . I wish I can gather some guts and actually try making it at home now.

  41. Austin

    so your cooking recipes are awesome. im getting ready to make my first sushi rolls which one would you suggest for first timers?

    • Hi Austin! Awesome! Well, it depends on what kind of sashimi/sushi-grade fish you can get. If you can get variety of fish, I’d go with Temaki Sushi (Hand roll sushi). It’s a fun way to start making sushi and in fact, you don’t really need to roll sushi so anyone can make their own hand rolls.

      However, if you want to make “sushi roll” then I’d recommend this Spicy Tuna Roll or Negihama (Yellowtail) roll. Both uses simple ingredients and much easier to roll.


      Hope this helps! :) Good luck with making your first sushi!

  42. Kennis

    I just discovered your site today while searching for how to make sushi rice. I can’t wait to make some spicy tuna roll, but first a trip to the Japanese grocery store needs to be in the very near future. I love your site! Thanks for sharing your recipes!

    • Hi Kennis! Welcome to my blog and thank you for your kind words! Hope you enjoy making this roll and like the sushi rice recipe! Let me know if you have any questions. :)