Super Easy Homemade Tuna Sushi Recipe: Deconstructionist Edition

July 6, 2012 2:54 PM EDT | By Anthony Smith
We'll show you how to make a deconstructed sushi that'll make you seem like you know what you're doing. (Photo: Creative Commons)

Here's everything you need to know to make super-easy sushi in the comfort of your own home. While a working knowledge of Japanese isn't required for this, it's recommended if you want to feel super authentic!

Let's face it: if you're reading this, chances are you aren't a formally trained sushi chef. That's totally cool, though: neither am I. But when it comes to the kitchen, I'm pretty much a scrapper. What that means is I can take a look at my lack of formal training and devise some dishes that playfully confront that everything I know comes from poring through cookbooks and falling asleep to Julia Childs. So if you're looking for a guide that'll teach you how to roll like the pros, it's not this one. I'm going to teach you how to make and plate a sushi dish that'll make you look like the next big thing in food, in spite of the fact that you and I know literally nothing about food. Say it with me now: "Friends, loved ones, and haters: this is a Deconstructed Spicy Tuna Roll"

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Protip: If you're a vegetarian or a vegan, I'll give you some advice as we go on how to do this without fish/with vegan mayo.

1. Cook some sushi rice.

Grab two cups of sushi or short grain rice and rinse it in a mesh strainer over cold water until the water starts to pour out of the strainer nice and clear.

Once done, place the rice in a saucepan and cover with two cups of cold water. Bring to a boil, uncovered. Once it's boiling, lower the heat and uncover the pan. Cook it for fifteen minutes. Remove from heat, leaving the lid on, and let it stand for ten more minutes.

Add two tablespoons of heated seasoned rice vinegar, two tablespoons of sugar, and one teaspoon of Kosher salt to the rice. Stir well.

Protip: Keep your hands and surfaces just a little wet when you're dealing with sushi rice. It's notoriously sticky.

2. Prepare your fish.

Tell your fishmonger than you need sushi-grade tuna, bluefin or yellowfin work well here, like the kind you'd use if you were making ceviche. Next, if the tuna's fairly thick, cut it in half width-wise to get more surface area. The more surface area you can make for this, the better: just don't cut your tuna anywhere near lox-thin.

When you have your tuna prepared, place a circular cookie cutter on top of the tuna and, using a good knife, trace the circular cookie cutter. You should get lovely, perfectly circular pieces of raw fish cookie. Bravo!

If you're a vegetarian or a vegan, instead of fish, grab a cucumber and cut rounds out of it. Rub each round with just a little salt. Optional: top each round with a slightly smaller round of mango. Rub the top of the round with a little freshly ground black pepper.

3. Prepare your spicy tuna sauce.

Spicy tuna sauce is simple: put mayo in a bowl. Add sriracha sauce to the mayo until desired level of spiciness. I like a deep pink for my sauce.

Protip: If you're a vegan, use a vegan mayo or omit this step entirely. Vegan mayo isn't one of my favorite vegan products, so I totally understand if you're reluctant. I am, too.

4. Plate it!

Here's the fun part. I like a wider, rectangular plate for this more than I like a circular one, but use whatever you have. Here's my suggestion for how to do this.

Moving from left to right on the plate:

A) On the left side of the plate, place two pieces of dried seaweed a half-inch apart from one another, moving left-to-right. Make sure that each piece is oriented vertically, with the long way moving top-to-bottom.

B) In the center of the plate, about two inches from the right-most dried seaweed piece, place two rounds of tuna/cucumber-mango a half-inch from one another moving top-to-bottom.

C) On the right side of the plate, use a rectangular cookie cutter to shape the sushi rice. Place the rectangle of rice about two inches from the sushi/cucumber-mango.

D) Optional: In the upper-right corner of the plate, put four slices of avocado, wasabi, and pickled ginger.

E) Using a spoon, on the top and bottom of the plate, trace a horizontal line of the spicy mayo you prepared earlier.


Serve with gusto, you iron chef, you!


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