Spicy Tuna on Crispy Rice

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)!

Pictured here without sesame seeds & with Kabayaki sauce



  • 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:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix all tuna ingredients together.
  2. 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:

  1. Cook the sushi rice according to package. Set aside to cool.
  2. 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.
  3. Cut the rice in 2″ x 1.5″ rectangles with a very sharp knife.
  4. Combine the black and white sesame seeds on a plate or bowl and lightly press the rice in the seeds.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

Top ↑


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s