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Crunchy Spicy Tuna Roll (With Step by Step Instructions)

Crunchy Spicy Tuna Roll (With Step by Step Instructions)

Skip the sushi restaurants and make Crunchy Spicy Tuna Rolls at home! This spicy tuna roll recipe is filled with fresh sashimi-grade ahi tuna, creamy avocado, a crunchy Panko topping, seasoned sushi rice, and a flavorful Sriracha sauce.

It includes many of the same ingredients as our beloved Spicy Tuna, Tuna Roll, Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl, Tuna Crudo, and Salmon Crudo.

Here are a few more popular seafood recipes and Imitation Crab Recipes for you to check out: baked lobster tail, steamer clams in garlic butter, Mexican shrimp cocktail, clam chowder and Spicy Krab Roll.

Sushi rolls on a white plate with one being picked up with chop sticks.

Crunch Roll Ingredients

Here are the ingredients you need to make spicy tuna sushi.

  • Fish – Raw ahi tuna (Must be labeled “sushi or sashimi grade tuna”)
  • Base – Short grain sushi rice and dried nori sheets. (Or you can always use soy sheets if you’re not into the flavor of seaweed.)
  • Vegetables – Creamy avocado slices and english cucumber
  • Pantry Staples – Seasoned rice vinegar, mayonnaise, sriracha and soy sauce for dipping (optional: wasabi or horseradish sauce).
  • Toppings – Panko and sesame seeds

Individual ingredients required to make spicy crunch tuna rolls.

How To Make A Spicy Tuna Roll

Making homemade sushi rolls is a breeze once you get the hang of it. Here are some detailed instructions to help you make a killer sushi roll! If you’re already a sushi roll making pro, skip the visuals and head to the “Tips” sections.

Make The Sushi Rice

We want you to have options, therefore included directions for making the sushi rice in a rice maker or on the stovetop in the recipe card below. You can also make sushi rice instant pot. The number one thing to remember is to rinse the Japanese rice until the water runs clear before cooking!

Build The Roll

Visual 1 – Cover the sushi mat with plastic wrap so the mat stays clean. Place the nori sheet, rough side up, on the bamboo mat. Wet your hands so the rice won’t stick to them. Take 1/4 of the sushi rice and spread it across the nori sheet, leaving a 1″ border on the top.

nori sheet and sushi rice on a cutting board.

Visual 2 – Gently flip the nori sheet, so the rice is facing down. Place a few pieces of avocado, cucumber, and thin strips of tuna on top of each other, in a straight line on the side closest to you. Sprinkle with a few pinches of panko.

Tuna and avocado on a dried nori sheet.

Visual 3 – Now for the most difficult task! Starting at the side closest to you, start rolling the nori around the fillings, as tight as you can, using two hands. When you reach the end of the nori without rice, brush it with water and finish rolling. The water acts as a sealing agent so the roll won’t unroll.

A sushi roll on a bamboo mat and cutting board.

Visual 3 – Using a very sharp wet knife, cut the sushi into 1″ pieces.  Run the knife under cold water (without drying it) between cuts. You’re now ready to top with the Sriracha sauce, or even Honey Sriracha sauce, and serve.

Cut sushi roll on a white and black cutting board.

Calories in Spicy Tuna Roll

There are 422 calories in our crunchy spicy tuna roll recipe. The majority of the calories come from the rice, avocado and mayonnaise. If your interested in reducing the total calories just cut back on the mayonnaise in the spicy sauce.

The spicy tuna mixture delivers a nice dose of omega-3 fatty acids while the avocado and cucumbers adds a ton of other nutrients to crunchy roll sushi.


There are a few supplies that will make life MUCH easier when making sushi roll recipes. Here are our favorite gadgets:

Bamboo Mat If you opt not to purchase a sushi mat, just use plastic wrap by itself to help with the rolling process.

Sharp and Wet Knife Make sure to wipe and wet the sharp knife, in between cuts, to help cut down on the rice sticking to the knife.

Spicy Tuna Sushi on a speckled plate with soy sauce.

Spicy Crunchy Tuna Roll Variations

Canned Tuna Sushi – If you don’t have access to, or the budget for, fresh sushi grade tuna, go ahead and replace the ahi tuna with canned tuna. This is also a great alternative if you’re not into eating raw tuna.

Albacore Tuna Sushi – Swap in albacore tuna for the ahi tuna if you prefer. No other edits to this crunchy tuna roll are required.


  • For fish buying and storage tips, check out our FAQ’s on raw fish.
  • Practice makes perfect! The first few times we made sushi rolls our rolls weren’t pretty. This was circa 2000, before YouTube. Remember, no matter how imperfect the crunchy spicy tuna roll is, it still tastes the same! Have fun and enjoy!
  • The spicy sauce is made with sriracha sauce, which is hot. Omit the spicy mayo from the spicy avocado roll recipe if you prefer non-spicy tuna rolls.
  • Serve with a side of Sriracha AioliEel Sauce or Sweet Soy Glaze.
Crunchy Spicy Tuna Rolls on a white plate next to soy sauce.

Crunchy Spicy Tuna Roll

Skip the pricey restaurant and make Spicy Crunchy Tuna Rolls at home! This spicy tuna roll recipe is filled with fresh sashimi-grade ahi tuna, creamy avocado, crunchy toppings, sushi rice, and a flavorful Sriracha sauce. Many of the same ingredients are in our Hawaiian Poke and Kani Salad recipe.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Chill Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Ahi Tuna, Sushi Recipe
Servings: 4 Rolls
Calories: 422kcal
Author: Darcey Olson
Cost: $20



Sushi Rice:

  • 1 cup Short Grain Sushi Rice  (*Note 1)
  • cup Water 
  • 1 tbsp Seasoned Rice Vinegar (*Note 2)

Sushi Roll:

  • 4 Dried Nori Sheets (*Note 3)
  • 1 Avocado, Thinly Sliced 
  • ½ English Cucumber, Cut Into Matchsticks 
  • 4 oz Sushi Grade Tuna, Sliced Into ¼” Thick Rectangles  (*Note 4)
  • 3 tbsp Panko Breadcrumbs   (*Note 5)
  • Optional: Sesame Seeds (Garnish) and Soy Sauce (Dipping)

Spicy Mayo:

  • ¼ cup Mayonnaise 
  • 1 tbsp Water (+ More As Needed) 
  • 2 tsp Sriracha 


Sushi Rice (Stovetop or Rice Cooker):

  • Place the sushi rice in a fine mesh strainer and rinse it under cold water until the water runs clear. 
  • Rice Cooker Directions: Add the rinsed rice and water to a rice cooker. Cover and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 
  • Stovetop Directions: Add the rinsed rice and water to a small saucepan set over medium heat. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, or until the rice is tender. 
  • Transfer the cooked rice to a shallow bowl or plate. Pour the rice wine vinegar over the rice and gently fold in to combine. Place the rice in the refrigerator to cool for 15 minutes. 

Sushi Roll:

  • If you have a sushi mat, make sure to wrap it in plastic before rolling. If you don’t have a mat, no problem– just use plastic wrap. 
  • Place a sheet of nori rough side up on a cutting board. Wet your hands with cold water (it will help prevent the rice from sticking to your hands) and spread it to the edges, leaving a 1” border on the side furthest from you. Make sure not to compact the rice too much or it will become mushy. 
  • For a rice-outside roll, flip the nori over so the rice is facing down. For a rice-inside roll, leave the rice facing up. Rice-inside rolls are recommended for beginners as they are easier to roll and seal. 
  • Place a few pieces of avocado, cucumber, and tuna in a straight line on the side closest to you. Then, sprinkle a few pinches of panko over the fillings. 
  • Starting at the side closest to you, roll the nori around the fillings as tightly as you can. 
  • When you reach the end of the nori without rice, brush it with water and roll to seal. Use a very sharp knife to cut 1” pieces of sushi. Running the knife under cold water (without drying it) can help prevent the rice from sticking to it. 
  • Repeat steps 2-6 with the remaining three rolls. Top with sesame seeds and serve with spicy mayo (below) and/or soy sauce. 
  • Sushi is best served immediately.

Spicy Mayo:

  • Combine the mayo, water, and sriracha in a small bowl. Thin with additional water to your desired consistency, if necessary. 
  • Serve alongside the sushi rolls.


Note 1 - Short grain sushi rice is the key to great sushi! You cannot substitute long grain rice or another short grain rice. You can find sushi rice in the international aisle of most grocery stores. 
Note 2 -  Rice wine vinegar adds that classic “sushi” flavor. If you have unseasoned rice wine vinegar (vs. seasoned), combine 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon granulated sugar. Microwave until the sugar and salt are dissolved and use as directed. 
Note 3 - Nori is dried seaweed typically used in sushi rolling. I like using toasted nori because it has a more subtle briny flavor. 
Note 4 - Make sure to use good quality sushi grade tuna– I recommend finding a good fishmonger and asking them for sushi grade fish. Always ask if it is safe to eat the fish raw– do not assume! 
Note 5 - Panko breadcrumbs add a delicious crunch in the roll– for a gluten free roll, feel free to leave them out. 


Calories: 422kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 219mg | Potassium: 453mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 879IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 1mg
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