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Fiery Spicy Tuna Rolls with sashimi grade tuna tossed in sesame Sriracha sauce, topped with spicy mayo for that extra oomph!
Can you guess what is the most requested sushi roll recipe requested by JOC readers? Right, it’s Spicy Tuna Rolls, and today I’m sharing this simple and easy recipe. If you are new to sushi rolling, this spicy tuna roll is a good one to start as you only have one ingredient to roll.
Watch How To Make Spicy Tuna Rolls
What is Spicy Tuna Roll?
Spicy Tuna Roll is one of those sushi staples in Japanese Resturants across the US, along with California Rolls, Dragon Rolls, and Rainbow Rolls as opposed to traditional Japanese sushi rolls, like Futomaki and Hosomaki.
The basic concept for all the sushi rolls are similar, but the details often differ. Typically, spicy tuna roll is made of 3 main ingredients. Sushi rice (steamed rice seasoned with sushi vinegar), nori (seaweed), and sashimi-grade tuna.
Sesame seeds and green onions/scallions are optional. If you cook Asian dishes often, you probably have these ingredients in your kitchen already.
So where does the “spice” from “spicy” tuna roll comes from? It’s the popular Thai/Vietnamese condiment called Sriracha sauce. Sashimi-grade tuna is seasoned with Sriracha sauce and sesame oil. You can season the tuna with soy sauce along with Sriracha sauce and sesame oil, but if you are normally dip your sushi rolls in soy sauce, then I suggest you skip soy sauce in the sushi rolls as it might be too salty.
3 Tips to Make Perfect Spicy Tuna Roll
1. Make Good Sushi Rice
First thing first, making good sushi rice is so important to make delicious sushi. You will need to:
- Get good Japanese short grain rice
- Cook the rice properly
- Prepare the sushi rice with sushi vinegar
- Spread the sushi rice on nori (seaweed) without smashing the rice.
The sushi rice is simple to make, but most of sushi rolls from supermarkets fail big time because their sushi rice is smashed and the texture is completely wrong. The rice in sushi rolls has to be fluffy even though it’s tightly rolled.
2. Find Sashimi-grade Tuna
Depending on where you live, sushi/sashimi-grade tuna can be hard to get locally. Contact your local Japanese grocery stores to see if they carry sushi/sashimi-grade fish. If you live anywhere within the U.S. (no Hawaii/Alaska due to shipping logistics), I highly recommend FishforSushi.com (I sold the company last year but I still buy sashimi from them. Best quality! No, I’m not getting commission by writing this.).
I also purchase my sashimi-grade fish in my local Japanese grocery stores (Nijiya and Suruki in San Mateo).
3. Roll Sushi Gently but Tightly
Your sushi falls apart? Maybe because you don’t squeeze the sushi rolls tightly enough. You have to tuck in and pull the bamboo mat while you roll. Also after you finish rolling, place the bamboo mat over the sushi roll and gently squeeze the sushi roll over the bamboo mat.
Rice sticking to your hands while making sushi? You will need to prepare Tezu (手酢), or vinegared hand dipping water made with equal part of water and rice vinegar. Moisten your hands and fingers in Tezu so the rice won’t stick. This vinegared water not only eliminates the odor of previously handled fish but also has anti-bacterial effect on the hands.
Not a Fan of Spicy Tuna Roll?
If you don’t want to roll sushi because it might be difficult, try the easy Temaki Sushi (Hand Roll). If you are an artistic and creative person, you might enjoy making Temari Sushi (Ball Shape Sushi). Lastly, if you don’t like nori seaweed, don’t worry! You can make this refreshing Cucumber Wrapped Sushi.
I hope you enjoy making sushi at home!
- ¼ cup water
- 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
Gather all the ingredients. For complete guide to make sushi rice, please check sushi rice recipe.
Make vinegared hand-dipping water (Tezu ) by combining ¼ cup water and 1 Tbsp rice vinegar in a small bowl. Applying this water to your hands prevents rice from sticking to your hands.
Cut the tuna into ¼" (0.5 cm) cubes (or you can mince the tuna).
In a medium bowl, combine the tuna, Sriracha sauce, sesame oil, and some of green onion (save some for topping).
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.
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.
Grab the 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.
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.)
Put a dollop of spicy mayo on top of each sushi and garnish with the remaining green onion.
Please note that time spent for preparing rice is not included in prep/cook time.
Cover the sushi rice and the completed rolls with a damp cloth at all times to prevent from drying.
Equipment you will need:
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.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on May 29, 2013. A video tutorial was added on February 23, 2017.
Our Recommendations for Buying Sashimi Online
When we have a sudden craving for sashimi we usually buy from our local Japanese supermarkets. If you don't have a reliable shop to purchase quality sashimi nearby, we would recommend buying from Catalina Offshore online.
They've been in business for over forty years and all the sashimi products we've tried from them are outstanding. The products we love are the saku cut tuna, hamachi loin, and all types of salmon. Disclosure: We earn a small percentage commission from your purchase of products linked to Catalina Offshore.