Spicy tuna rolls are a ubiquitous item on sushi menus. Nori (dried seaweed) is filled with sushi rice and seasoned sushi or sashimi-grade tuna. When eating raw fish, it is important that you buy the best quality fish available. The fish is first inspected and then given a grade by wholesalers--the best fish is given a Grade 1 and often labeled "sushi grade." The Japanese name for bluefin tuna--the most common sushi tuna--is maguro. Make sure you are purchasing your fish from a reputable fishmonger and if it doesn't smell or look right, don't buy it.
The seasoning that makes the tuna spicy is Ichimi togarashi, which translates to "one flavor chili pepper" and consists of only ground red chili pepper. It has a mild spiciness, similar to chipotle chili peppers, and adds a nice extra kick without being overwhelmingly spicy. Ichimi togarashi is not only ideal for seasoning spicy tuna rolls but is also delicious sprinkled on scrambled eggs.
- 1/2 lb. sushi/sashimi-grade tuna (maguro)
- 1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
- 1/2 tsp. ichimi togarashi (ground dried red chili pepper, or to taste)
- 4 sheets nori (dried seaweed)
- 6 cups prepared sushi rice
- Chop sashimi/sushi grade tuna and mix with mayonnaise and ichimi togarashi in a bowl.
- Put a nori sheet on top of a bamboo mat. Spread 1/4 portion of sushi rice on top of the nori sheet. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top of the sushi rice.
- Place 1/4 portion of tuna mixture lengthwise on the rice. Roll up the bamboo mat, pressing forward to shape the sushi into a cylinder. Press the bamboo mat firmly and remove it from the sushi.
- Repeat this process to make more rolls. Wipe a knife with a wet cloth before slicing sushi. Cut the rolled sushi into bite-sized pieces.