Crispy Rice and Tuna Bundles

I love sushi. I love poke. I love blending the two in a little bundle that I can pick up and pop in my mouth. While this recipe is a lovely appetizer for a crowd, I actually prefer having it as my main course because I love it that much. So many excellent flavors and textures to make my little foodie heart sing!

I actually like to plan ahead and make the sushi rice a day before if I can and press it into the baking pan and refrigerate it overnight. I find that extra step makes it easier to keep the rice from falling apart while pan frying. Also, I like to drizzle a touch of toasted sesame oil into the avocado oil for a little extra flavor, but it's entirely optional and not an issue if it's skipped.

What to have with a dish like this? I love slicing cucumbers and tossing them with some toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, scallions, and poppyseeds or black sesame seeds as a dressing. What a fresh, wonderful meal to enjoy as the weather starts to make you think of summer days!

Crispy Rice and Tuna Bundles

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups prepared sushi rice
  • ½ pound sushi-grade tuna, cut into small cubes or minced - the smaller the cut, the less tuna flavor comes through
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon rice vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon poppy seeds or black sesame seeds
  • 1 large ripe avocado
  • Avocado oil
  • ¼ cup scallions, finely diced

Spray a square or rectangular baking pan with cooking spray. Mold the sushi rice into the pan and press it to 1-inch in height. Place the pan in the freezer while preparing the tuna and avocado layers.

Place the cubed or minced tuna in a small mixing bowl. Add the mayonnaise, sriracha, rice vinegar, and poppy seeds to the tuna and mix until incorporated. Place the mixture in the refrigerator.

Chop the avocado in a separate small bowl and, using a spoon, stir and mash until smooth; set aside.

Heat the avocado oil in a large skillet on high heat. While preheating the skillet, remove the rice from the freezer and flip the pan onto a cutting board. Dip a sharp knife in warm water and cut even 2-inch by 3-inch rectangles out of the firm rice.

Carefully transfer the rice pieces to the hot skillet in batches, frying untouched for 2-3 minutes. Use a spatula to flip while keeping the shape together. Transfer the crispy rice to a paper towel-lined plate and continue with the second batch.

To assemble, remove the tuna mixture from the refrigerator. Carefully spread the avocado on each piece of crispy rice, followed by a heaping spoonful of the spicy tuna mixture. Sprinkle the top of the tuna with diced scallions and serve immediately.

  • Yields: 4-6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes

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