Be prepared to be "wowed" by this spicy tuna roll recipe. And although I say that, I have to admit that I am also a big fan of just the plain old tuna roll (or tekka-maki if you wanna get technical...) too.
But...sometimes the cravings for this spicy tuna roll are just to strong when I know that the plain old tuna roll just ain't gonna cut it. Usually it's because I got a hankerin' for tuna mixed with this special sesame-mayo sauce.
('hankerin' is a word used exclusively in the deep south and basically means that you are seriously wanting to woof down a particular food item...explaining what 'woof' means is beyond the scope of this clarification...)
Sushi Rice (this will yield 4 cups of rice and this recipe 4 rolls)
(Try to buy a high quality Japanese short grain white rice if you can)
4 tsp toasted or roasted white sesame seeds (or 8 tsp if you don't have black sesames seeds)
4 tsp toasted or roasted black sesame seeds (or 8 tsp if you don't have white sesames seeds)
4 oz. Sushi grade Tuna diced or minced
(In the leftmost picture above, we are slicing 1/4 inch slabs of tuna using the "straight cut". In the middle picture, stacking the slabs to make 1/4 inch matchsticks. In the rightmost picture, dicing the matchsticks into 1/4 inch squares. You can also mince the tuna if you prefer).
1/2 salt-scrubbed english (hot house) or Japanese cucumber sliced into slivers (optional)
Sesame-Mayo Spicy Tuna sauce
Ingredients (makes enough for 4 rolls)
2 Tbsp Japanese or Regular Mayonnaise
2 Tbsp finely minced green onions
2 Tbsp Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce
1 tsp hot sesame oil (rayu), or to taste
imitation wasabi or real wasabi
Combine mayonnaise, green onions, hot chili sauce and hot sesame oil in a bowl and mix well.
Add the diced tuna to the spicy tuna sauce. Cover and store in refrigerator until you are ready to use in your spicy tuna roll.
Assembling the Spicy Tuna Roll
1. A Spicy Tuna roll is normally made by taking a 8 x 7 inch sheet of Nori and cutting or folding the sheet in half on the 8 inch side so that you end up with two 4 x 7 inch sheets, although I recommend not using this method, but rather the next one where we cut the nori into a 5 x 7 inch sheet.
The following is just to show you how to make a 4 x 7 sheet in case you decide to try it this way later.
In the leftmost picture above, I am bending the nori sheet over on the 8 inch side. When the left edge is even, I take my right hand and pinch up and down the right edge.
Next, in the middle picture the nori is folded back the other way to help make the break.
In the rightmost picture, the final separation is made.
I think a 5 x 7 inch sheet is better and easier for making a Spicy Tuna roll. This is the way I'd recommend you making this roll, if nothing at least for the first few times.
When you've built your confidence then you can try it with a 4 x 7 sheet and see how you like it.
Anyway, measure 5 inches from the edge of the 8 inch side and either cut it with scissors or fold and break.
2. Put the bamboo sushi mat in a gallon ziploc bag or wrap it entirely in saran wrap.
If you use a gallon ziploc bag, buy the cheapest ones you can find. The plastic will be thinner and more flexible and easier to roll. This is the one time when cheaper is better :-)
3. Dip your hands in vinegared water (1/4 cup rice vinegar + 1 cup water) and tap your fingers on a folded damp rung-out towel to remove any excess water.
4. One of the best ways that I have found to make your spicy tuna rolls a consistent size is by measuring your rice each time. Take your 1 cup measure and moisten the inside with vinegared water so that the rice will not stick. Shake out any excess. Then measure out 1 cup of rice and put it on your nori sheet. Refer to the pictures above.
5. Spread the 1 cup of rice over the entire nori sheet so that it goes to all four of the edges. If you want to distribute roe, tempura, or sesame seeds over the rice, you can do it here before flipping the sheet over or wait to sprinkle it over the top of the roll when finished; it is up to you.
6. Mix the white and black sesame seed together.
7. Spread 2 tsp of sesame seeds evenly over the rice.
8. Flip the sheet over so that the nori side is now facing up. Swipe wasabi across the nori not quite centered on it but a little closer to you.
9. Spread about 1/4 of the spicy tuna mixture over the wasabi.
10. Add a row of 2 or 3 slivered cucumbers in front of the spicy tuna if you want to add a crispy crunch to your roll.
11. Lift the edge of the mat closest to you with both hands by putting your thumbs under the mat and while lifting up, use your fingers to hold the fillings in place.
12. Keep rolling the mat until the end of the mat touches the nori straight down, enclosing all of the fillings.
13. Now, lift the edge of the mat with your fingertips (so that it won't get turned under) and continue rolling until it is all sealed.
14. Flying fish roe, tempura or sesame seeds can be sprinkled on the top or you can roll it in them (if you did not do it earlier).
15. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap over the roll. Moisten your sushi knife with vinegared water and cut the roll exactly in the center (leftmost picture above). Then cut each half in half again (middle picture). Finish by cutting the 4 pieces in half.
Remove the plastic wrap, arrange on a sushi plate and serve!
And there you have it. The Spicy Tuna Roll Recipe with a special Sesame-Mayo sauce.
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