This recipe tastes very similar to the spicy tuna rolls found in Japanese restaurants, but the best part is that you use canned tuna rather than raw tuna. Don't get me wrong, I love raw tuna; I just don't feel comfortable playing with it at home. I created this recipe when I wanted sushi rolls but didn't have a lot of fresh ingredients on hand. This can also be adapted to use in an asian salad. I plan on putting up that recipe at a later time. Note: the sumeshi (the term for cooking rice in the japanese style) portion of the recipe is copied from Sushiday.com.
Sumeshi (sushi rice)
- 1 1⁄2 cups uncooked short-grain rice
- 1 1⁄2 cups water
- 6 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 5 tablespoons sugar
Spicy Tuna Salad
- 2 (6 ounce) cans tuna (albacore or regular)
- 1⁄3 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon chili paste
- 2 teaspoons chili oil
- 1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ginger powder (if using fresh ginger use 1/4 tsp)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 4 green onions, chopped
- 8 -10 lettuce leaves
- Sumeshi: Rinse the rice thoroughly to drain some of the gluten from the rice.
- Cook the rice, using equal parts rice and water. I use a rice cooker, but you can also cook it on the stove if you don’t have a rice cooker.
- Put the rice vinegar and sugar in a small pot over medium heat.
- Stir until the sugar has melted into the rice vinegar.
- Once the rice is finished cooking, take the rice out of the pot and put it in the hangiri (japanese wooden bowl), or a large bowl if you don’t have a hangiri.
- Cool the rice and rice vinegar mix, then slowly pour the rice vinegar mix over the rice, using a cutting motion to mix it into the rice with the rice paddle (or wooden spoon). Keep a little leftover to use in the sushi preparation.
- To Prepare the sushi: Drain your tuna and mix all of the tuna salad ingredients together.
- Now take one piece of nori and place it on your sushi roller (recommended for getting tight rolls but in a fix you could use a stiff towel). Wet your fingers with the cooled rice vinegar mixture and press a fairly thin sheet of rice onto the bottom 3/4 of the sheet, leaving room at the top of your roll to seal it.
- Using a spoon, place a generous line of tuna a little lower than the half way point on your rice square. Then add a line of your lettuce leaves on top of the tuna.
- Begin rolling from the bottom, tucking firmly with each roll to tighten it. Be careful not to smoosh it though, it's a delicate balance but you'll get the hang of it after awhile.
- Once you've gotten to the blank top of your roll take a little of the rice vinegar mixture and apply it to the inside, roll it up and use a little more on the closed roll if it's not fully sealed.
- Using a sharp, wet knife cut into bite sized pieces. You can serve this with the traditional wasabi-soy sauce mixture but it's so flavorful it's not necessary.