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spicy tuna roll

Spicy Tuna Roll (Poor Man’s)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.9 from 12 reviews
  • Author: Caroline Phelps
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6 people 1x
  • Category: Rice
  • Method: Rolling
  • Cuisine: Japanese
  • Diet: Low Calorie


A kid friendly Poor Man’s Spicy Tuna Roll Recipe you can easily make with everyday pantry ingredients! Ready in 25 minutes from start to finish.


Units Scale
  • 5 ounces can tuna in water (well drained)
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 6 nori sheets (seaweed)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked Japanese rice, at room temperature


  1. Make the spicy tuna. In a bowl, mix tuna, sriracha sauce, chili oil, rice vinegar, scallions and mayonnaise.
  2. Prep the bamboo mat. Place a sheet of nori on top of a bamboo mat (sushi roller) and set a small bowl of water next to the bamboo mat. Use it to dip your fingers to spread the rice more easily.
  3. Spread the rice. Add ¼ cup of the rice to the side of the nori sheet closest to you and spread it by pressing down with your fingers. Continue until about 3/4 of the nori sheet is covered (you may need to add more rice – just make sure it’s thinly spread out.)
  4. Add the spicy tuna. Add a line of spicy tuna to the center of the rice (about 1½ tablespoons, or more if you like bigger rolls).
  5. Make the maki roll. Roll up the bamboo mat starting with the side closest to you. You have to roll it tight enough that the rice feels condensed, but not so tight that the tuna mixture spills out (or the nori sheet breaks). You’ll get the hang of it after doing it a couple of times. Keep rolling until there is only a bit of nori left visible.
  6. Seal the nori sheet. Wet your index finger and run it across the inside edge of the nori sheet. This will seal the end of the roll. Keep rolling and delicately remove the bamboo mat.
  7. Slice the roll. Wipe a sharp knife with a wet cloth and cut the roll into bite size pieces.
  8. Serve. Serve with soy sauce and wasabi.


This Spicy Tuna Roll Recipe is best served fresh. To save the leftovers, transfer them to a storage container and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Before you eat, take the container with the roll out (leave it closed) and let it warm up for about an hour on the kitchen counter to give the rice time to soften. 


  • Serving Size: 6
  • Calories: 106
  • Sugar: 0.5g
  • Sodium: 98.1mg
  • Fat: 2g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.4g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0.9g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 14.3g
  • Fiber: 0.1g
  • Protein: 6.8g
  • Cholesterol: 10.5mg
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