Easy Spicy Tuna Sushi Roll Recipe

Sushi has always had an air of mystique to it, according to food blogger and photographer Ksenia Prints of At the Immigrant's Table. Thanks to movies like "Jiro Dreams of Sushi," the astronomical price of most high-grade sushi dinners, and the popularity of sushi as a "celebration meal," we have developed of view of sushi as fancy and out of reach for most of us. As for making sushi at home? Well, that just seems like a complicated and far-fetched dream.

But once you gather the basic ingredients — short-grain sushi rice, sushi rolling mats, nori sheets, and a few of your favorite toppings — and figure out the basics of assembling a sushi roll, having a sushi party at home actually becomes very easy.

This easy spicy tuna sushi roll recipe is a basic one you can keep in your sushi repertoire, and whip up whenever you're craving a simple, easy sushi fix. Made with canned tuna, homemade spicy mayo, and quickly cooked sushi rice, it's a delicious solution for when you don't feel like splurging for overpriced sushi, or just want to feel like a sushi master for a few hours.

Gather the ingredients

To make easy spicy tuna sushi like a pro, you actually don't need that many ingredients. Short-grain white rice is the rice of choice for sushi. It is starchier than typical white rice, which helps it stick together. You can often find it alongside regular rice in your supermarket aisles, in the Asian food aisle, or in specialty Asian markets. If you cannot find sushi rice, short-grain arborio rice will also do — the same kind you use for risotto. To flavor the rice, you will need some seasoned rice vinegar, sugar, and salt.

We will be using canned tuna in these easy rolls, so choose any kind of canned tuna you like. To add the spicy flavor to our spicy tuna rolls, grab some mayonnaise, Sriracha sauce, and a few drops of sesame oil. Fresh scallions and sesame seeds will help round up the flavor of the sushi rolls.

Finally, we will need dried nori sheets for assembling the rolls, and your choice of sushi accoutrements: soy sauce, pickled ginger, and wasabi are the most common choices, though none are strictly necessary for this recipe.

Prepare sushi rice

We will start by preparing the sushi rice for our rolls. As the sushi rice needs to be completely cooled by the time you make the rolls, it's best to make this a few hours in advance.

Cook the rice according to package instructions; in most cases, this would mean mixing it with water in a 2:1 ratio, bringing it to a boil, and then cooking it on the lowest heat for 12 minutes.

Season the cooked sushi rice with 3 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and stir to combine. Let the rice cool to room temperature.

Mix the spicy filling for the tuna rolls

In a medium-sized bowl, mix mayonnaise, Sriracha sauce, 1/2 teaspoon of rice vinegar, sesame oil, and finely diced scallions.

Add the canned tuna to spicy mayo sauce, and mix well to combine. If your tuna is not flaked, make sure you flake it with a fork. You should end up with a cohesive, pink-tinged tuna salad mixture, with pops of green from the scallions.

Taste and correct seasonings as needed. The spicy tuna filling should taste zesty and creamy, with an umami flavor from the sesame oil and a zing from the Sriracha sauce.

Assemble the sushi rolls

On a cutting board or flat surface, lay a bamboo sushi rolling mat. Place a piece of nori on the mat, shiny side down. Set a small bowl of warm water beside your sushi mat. Wet your hands, and spread approximately 3/4 cup of rice across 2/3 of the nori sheet, leaving about 1/3 of the nori sheet empty on the top.

Spread a large spoonful of the tuna filling in the middle of the rice and sprinkle sesame seeds, about 1 inch from the bottom of the rice.

Grab the mat and lightly hold the nori from the bottom. Begin to roll the mat upwards, firmly applying pressure down to keep the roll tight, using your fingers to tuck any errant tuna filling in. Continue rolling tightly until you reach about 1 inch from the top. Wet your fingers, and dab a small amount of water along the edge of the nori, to act as a sealant. Dab a couple of grains of rice in the middle of the moist row (it also helps bind the nori together). Finish rolling the tuna roll completely. Repeat with remaining rolls until you run out of ingredients.

Cut the sushi roll into 6 pieces with a sharp knife

Transfer the spicy tuna roll to a cutting board. With a very sharp chef's knife that's been dipped quickly in water tinged with vinegar, cut the roll in half, and then cut each half into three equal portions. You should end up with 6 equally sized pieces of easy spicy tuna sushi.

Transfer the pieces to a serving platter of your choice, cut side up. You can decorate each piece with a dollop of Sriracha in the middle, but do this only if you really like spice!

Serve the rolls with your favorite sushi sauces

Prepare the table for your sushi feast! Pour yourself some warm sake or some cold Sapporo beer, choose a nice platter to display your perfectly rolled and cut sushi, and arrange all the sushi toppings and dippings you like around your rolls. We recommend serving these spicy tuna sushi rolls with soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger.

These spicy tuna sushi rolls will keep in an tightly sealed container in the fridge for 3 days, though they will begin to dry up soon after preparation. It's best to consume sushi immediately after rolling, especially if dealing with any raw fish.

Easy Spicy Tuna Sushi Roll Recipe
5 from 9 ratings
Make these spicy tuna sushi rolls with canned tuna filling and short-grain sushi rice for a night in, and be amazed at how easy it is to make sushi at home!
Prep Time
20
minutes
Cook Time
0
minutes
Servings
4
rolls
grabbing sushi piece from tray
Total time: 20 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 cups cooked short-grain white rice, warm
  • 3 tablespoons and ½ teaspoon rice vinegar, divided
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons scallions, finely diced
  • 5 ounces canned tuna, well drained
  • 4 nori sheets
  • Toasted sesame seeds for sprinkling
Optional Ingredients
  • Soy sauce, for serving
  • Pickled ginger, for serving
  • Wasabi, for serving
Directions
  1. Season cooked sushi rice with 3 tablespoons of rice vinegar, sugar and salt, and stir to combine. Cool to room temperature.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the mayonnaise, Sriracha sauce, ½ teaspoon rice vinegar, sesame oil, and scallions. Add the canned tuna to the mixture, and mix well to combine.
  3. On a cutting board or flat surface, lay a bamboo sushi rolling mat. Place a piece of nori on the mat, shiny side down.
  4. Set a small bowl of warm water beside your sushi mat. Wet your hands, and spread approximately ¾ cup of rice across ⅔ of the nori sheet, leaving about ⅓ of the nori sheet empty on the top.
  5. Spread a large spoonful of the tuna filling in the middle of the rice and sprinkle sesame seeds, about 1 inch from the bottom of the rice.
  6. Grab the mat and lightly hold the nori from the bottom. Begin to roll the mat upwards, firmly applying pressure down to keep the roll tight, using your fingers to tuck any errant tuna filling in. Continue rolling tightly until you reach about 1 inch from the top. Wet your fingers, and dab a small amount of water along the edge of the nori, to act as a sealant. Dab a couple of grains of rice in the middle of the moist row (it helps bind the nori together). Finish rolling the tuna roll completely.
  7. Transfer the spicy tuna roll to a cutting board. With a very sharp chef's knife that's been dipped quickly in water tinged with vinegar, cut the roll in half, and then cut each half into 3 equal portions.
  8. Repeat with remaining rolls until you run out of ingredients.
  9. Serve the spicy tuna sushi rolls with soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger, if desired.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 488
Total Fat 10.4 g
Saturated Fat 1.6 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 17.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 82.4 g
Dietary Fiber 0.1 g
Total Sugars 4.8 g
Sodium 388.3 mg
Protein 13.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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