A little over a year ago, I had my first experience with spicy tuna over crispy rice at a restaurant in Manhattan Beach called Sashi, where I was celebrating my birthday. And while tuna and/or spicy tuna has always been my favorite type of sushi/sashimi, this marked the official beginning of my love affair with the scrumptious combination. Just recently, I decided to try a restaurant very close to my house, Hoka Hoka, and much to my surprise (and sheer joy), I discovered they serve the same dish. Score!! So while on my regular shopping spree at Trader Joe’s this past weekend, I picked up their sashimi-grade Ahi (with thoughts of spicy tuna dancing in my head). I needed a few other ingredients, which I got at a Japanese market, and saw they had some beautiful red Maguro, so quickly tossed a package in my basket. This recipe generally calls for Ahi, but feel free to mix in Maguro or even, Yellowtail, if you so desire. As for the rice, there are a couple of ways to cook it, which I tried, and am posting the way I thought was best, after a weekend of my kitchen looking like a battle zone with oil, rice, and soy. Oh, and a grease fire. Oops. The lesson learned, which may be common sense to some/most, is to never, ever, add soy to hot oil. Nonetheless, I had a sushi-rific holiday!
Oh, and it should be noted that the spicy tuna is also great on top of crispy crackers (see below)!
- 1/2 lb. sushi grade tuna, minced
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise (Kewpie brand preferred)
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha (use more or less according to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 scallion, chopped ultra fine
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Tobiko (roe)
- 2 cups sushi rice
- 2 tablespoons white sesame
- 2 tablespoons black sesame
- Sliced jalapeño, optional
- Dash soy sauce, optional
- Cooking oil
For the tuna:
- In a medium bowl, mix all tuna ingredients together.
- Cover and reserve in refrigerator. You can make this up to four hours in advance, and two is ideal so that the flavors mesh well.
For the rice:
- Cook the sushi rice according to package. Set aside to cool.
- When the rice has cooled enough to handle, form the rice in a rectangle. The key to making the crispy rice is to make it very tight and compact. If your rice is too loose, it will fall apart during frying. I use this Takamura Large Sushi Maker and press the rice as tightly as possibly into the mold.
- Cut the rice in 2″ x 1.5″ rectangles with a very sharp knife.
- Combine the black and white sesame seeds on a plate or bowl and lightly press the rice in the seeds.
- Heat cooking oil (and dash soy sauce, if using) to approx. 350 degrees F. Make sure to use enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan.
- Fry the rice in batches for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown, and carefully remove and place on a paper towel to drain.
- Top with spicy tuna, and garnish with a small slice of jalapeño, if desired.
Another idea for an appetizer/snack is to serve on a thin, crispy sesame cracker with a little seaweed salad.