Cooking Local: Spicy Tuna Rolls

CONTRIBUTED BY SARAH FILLMAN

Spicy Sauce Ingredients
Spicy Sauce Ingredients

Inexpensive, delicious and fun!

My husband and I tried some of the local sushi the other night at Sushi Zen, along the Sunabe Sea Wall. It was good, but sushi can get so expensive! SO, I decided to take a trip to small Japanese grocery and find some fresh fish, seaweed, sticky rice etc. and make sushi at home.

With some fresh ingredients, lots of Googling step by step recipes, and experimentation I made Spicy Tuna rolls!

The Japanese grocery store was a maze of symbols. I had no idea what was what; it took me an hour to find the rice section (which they sell by the kilo!) and I’m sure the attendants wanted to help me, but had no idea how. So I wandered around aimlessly. The fresh fish section was easy…there were a variety of fresh sea creatures to choose from (I mean a variety of species…like there were strange eyeballs staring at me.)

Spicy Nori
Spicy Nori

I’ve loved sushi for years! It’s probably my favorite food…so choosing what type of fish was not too difficult. They had sashimi packages–big chunks of fish, cut into rectangles, fresh and raw. The deep pink color is your tuna, the orangey color is salmon, yellowtail is usually white, and so on…I grabbed some tuna, and some shrimp. I also found some type of chili sauce, fresh nori seaweed, and Japanese sticky (or sweet) rice…I had to ask the lady checking me out if it was the right rice for sushi. There were literally 100 types of rice to choose from, most of them were vacuum-sealed bags weighing 2 tons. Others looked like bags of sand, they were enormous! The Japnaese don’t play around when it comes to rice.

Anyway, I gathered my stuff, shelled out some yen and went home to wrap up some rolls. It’s SO easy to do, and fun…a great thing to do with a group of friends. And way cheaper than eating out!

Here’s the step by step process that I went through, and some things I would have done differently.

1. First, find yourself some sweet rice, sticky rice, Japanese rice, or whatever it may be called. Long grain rice will not work for this meal because it doesn’t get sticky. This is the website that I followed in making the perfect sticky rice, and it really was perfect. Note that rinsing is a very key step. I didn’t have any vinegar to add to the rice when it was finished cooking. This would definitely add the flavor that my sushi was lacking.

2. While my rice was cooking, I mixed up some spicy mayo. (When I do it again, I will make it a lot spicier!) I used some weird Japanese chili sauce, chili powder, hot sauce and mayo. I started out measuring it by the spoonfuls, then just started dumping it in. So taste as you go.

3. I got my sashimi tuna and sort of pulled it/shredded it, and then mixed in a few spoonfuls of the spicy mayo. Optional.

Spicy Mixture
Spicy Mixture

4. Slice up some fresh avocado. Mmm!

Spicy Rice Spread
Spicy Rice Spread

5. When the rice is finished, get out a piece of seaweed and lay it with the rough side facing up. This helps the rice stick to it. Then get a big scoop of rice, and with the back of a spoon, just spread the rice out evenly over the seaweed.

6. After you’ve got the rice nice and even over the seaweed, place a piece of saran wrap over the rice (this helps hold it into place) and flip it over, so the smooth side of the nori is face up.

7. Now take a generous amount of filling (whatever you choose…it could be cucumber, crab, any kind of fish, avocado, shrimp, you name it) and spread it out.

8. Next you want to roll it up. It would be helpful if you had a makisu, or bamboo mat, to help you roll it and form it into place. I didn’t have one and it worked ok for me. I kept the saran wrap on it and that helped me roll it really tight. Be careful not to squish the roll with your hands.

9. Once you have it in a roll, you can cut into pieces. Keep the saran wrap on, and wet your knife with water, then slice it starting in the middle. After I made a cut, I would rinse the stickiness off the knife…it made it much easier. Cut into four even pieces, then cut those in half to make 8 yummy bites!

Spicy Slicing
Spicy Slicing

Yum! Here is my finished product. The small amount of raw fish that I bought made 4 rolls! That’s like a $30-$40 sushi meal at a restaurant. I didn’t spend more than $15 on all of these ingredients!

Spicy Roll
Spicy Roll

10. I sprinkled the top of mine with thinly sliced green onions. And then topped it off with some spicy mayo sauce. MMMMMM! It was delicious. Grab some chopsticks and soy sauce and enjoy!

Spicy with Sauce
Spicy with Sauce

2 COMMENTS

  1. Sushi – can’t get enough! We’ve used sriracha (red sauce, green top, with a rooster) for the spicy part of spicy tuna. I’ve seen it bhind the counter of a few sushi places, so while it may be Thai instead of Japanese, I’ll call it authentic ;). Thanks for the post!

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