Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice

Calling all sushi and seafood fans! Spicy tuna crispy rice has been steadily sneaking onto Japanese menus in recent years, and I am happy to announce is very easy to make with no sushi tools required!

Moving to LA for college began my love affair with spicy tuna crispy rice. I’ve always been a fan of spicy tuna rolls, but pre-Katsuya me had never had the spicy tuna on a crispy rice pillow. Sadly, spicy tuna crispy rice is ridiculously overpriced and only a meager 4-6 pieces. Feeling particularly adventurous, I set out to make spicy tuna yesterday. In the process of researching how to make it, I discovered most places use mayo in the spicy tuna (ew) so I obviously had to figure out a way to revamp this without dairy. I was pleasantly surprised by how easy this all was to make once I tracked down the ingredients. I highly encourage all sushi lovers to try this diary-free spicy tuna recipe!

BEST FOR- Sushi novices & spicy tuna lovers!

MUSICAL PAIRING- “Family Tree“ by Kings of Leon

(makes about 30 pieces)

2 cups premium grade rice (I used Nishiki brand)
3 cups water
½ cup rice vinegar
1 tbs vegetable oil
¼ cup white sugar
1 tsp. salt


  1. To get rid of the starchy powder that clings to the grains of rice (which apparently is a major problem), place your rice into a bowl of cool water. Swish the water with your hand then drain. Repeat this process until the water drains clear.
  2. Add the rice and 3 cups of water to a small pot. Heat on medium. Bring to a boil on medium heat, then reduce to low heat. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
  3. In a small saucepan, heat the rice vinegar, white sugar, and salt until the sugar dissolves. Set aside until cools.
  4. Place rice in large wooden (preferable) or ceramic dish. Pour in the mixture from the saucepan in small increments, mixing it in. Make sure it is evenly dispersed. Use your rice paddle (ora a spatula) to lift it up and turn it over. Set rice aside under damp paper towel or plastic wrap.

**** It is super important you make sushi rice. You cannot just make white rice normally without adding anything to it. You cannot use your normal white rice. Following these instructions, your rice will taste like the rice you get with your sushi in a Japanese restaurant. Sushi rice is not the same as normal white rice, and not using sushi rice will leave you with funky, messy sushi.


1 lbs. Sashimi-grade tuna, raw
2 ½ tsp. sriracha
2 tsp. sesame oil (+ more for frying the rice)
2 ½ tsp. soy sauce
½ tsp. wasabi powder
4 tbs. sesame seeds
chives or green onions
sushi rice from above


Slice tuna in ¼ inch strips against the grain. Cut those into small cubes. Place cubes of tuna into a bowl with the sriracha, 2 tsp. of the sesame oil, soy sauce, and wasabi powder. Mix gently with a spoon. Refrigerate if not using immediately, but for no more than a few hours.

Get the bowl of sushi rice. Then, get a bowl of hot water. Place hands in the bowl so that they’re coated. Using your hands, make TIGHTLY PACKED (this is very very important) small rectangles or circles of sushi. Dip your hands back into the bowl of hot water between rice balls/rectangles to ensure they don’t stick to the rice. Once you’re done, sprinkle your sesame seeds all over the rectangles.

Heat sesame oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is heated, carefully place pieces of rice in hot oil, and cook for 4-6 minutes on each side so that the rice is just crispy. Repeat with all pieces.

Place desired amount of spicy tuna & green onions or chives on each of the pieces. Enjoy!

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