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Make sushi at home recipe: Spicy Tuna Hand Roll (Easy Temaki Anyone Can Make)

Updated: May 12


Total: 40 - 50 minutes

Sushi Rice: 30 - 40 minutes

Prep (Spicy Tuna): 5 - 10 minutes

Rolling: 1-2 minutes


When people think of sushi outside of Japan, they often envision "rolls," specifically inside-out rolls. Not known to many regular sushi eaters is Temaki, an ice cream cone shaped roll also know as hand roll.

As a sushi class instructor since 2021 (online since 2020), I've recommended temaki to those who find inside-out rolls daunting. Temaki is incredibly easy to make—almost anyone can do it if they can prepare sushi rice and ingredients.

I can demonstrate the technique in just one minute, and in over ten years, I have yet to meet anyone who couldn't make temaki (that's more than 20,000 people!). I'm confident that you can do it too. However, if you encounter any issues, please email me for assistance.



Scrape Tuna, Don't Chop:

Avoid chopping it with a knife to preserve the delicious tuna flavor and prevent the fish from becoming mushy. Instead, the spoon scrapes the tuna, keeping the pieces thick and chunky.

Consider Tuna Pieces:

Opt for less expensive Tuna pieces or Tuna Tails rather than the pricier Tuna Saku blocks if available.

Hot Sauce, Mayo, and Sesame Oil:

Sriracha is a popular choice for Spicy Tuna, but feel free to use any hot sauce you prefer, such as Tapatio for a Mexican twist or even Tabasco. You can substitute Sesame Oil with Olive Oil, which pairs well with Tuna, like Carpaccio.


INGREDIENTS (for one roll):

30 - 50g (1 - 1.5 oz.) Sushi Rice

  • 1 Nori Seaweed, half sheet

  • 80g (2 - 3 oz.) Sushi Grade Yellowfin Tuna Pieces, Tails or Saku Block

  • 2 -3 pcs Avocado, sliced ½ inch thick

  • 5g (1 tsp) Sesame Seeds

  • 30g (1oz.)Sriracha

  • 30g (1oz.) Mayo

  • 5g (1tsp) Sesame Oil (substitute with Olive Oil)


  • 5g (1tsp) Masago or Tobiko Fish Egg

  • 5g (1tsp) Cilantro, Chopped


  • Cutting Board

  • Knife

  • Makisu, Sushi Rolling Mat

  • Spoon

  • Mixing Bowl


Making Spicy Tuna with Steak-Shaped Sushi Grade Tuna

The ingredients in this recipe call for Tuna pieces or Tuna Saku block. However, you can find these at Japanese or Asian supermarkets that carry Sushi Grade Fish. Most retail supermarkets will also likely have sushi grade Tuna in steak shape. Here are the instructions to make Spicy Tuna with steak-shaped Tuna:

1. If there is a dark spot, it is a bloodline. Remove it with a knife and discard.

2. With the round "eye" like part facing up, cut the Tuna into slices. The middle piece should be a long rectangular shape.

3. The middle piece is typically used for Nigiri or Sashimi but can be scraped to make Spicy Tuna.

4. Use a spoon to scrape the two smaller pieces. Place your thumb behind the scoop and use the edge to scrape along the grain, removing as much white tendon as possible.

5. mix the scraped Tuna, Sriracha (or your preferred hot sauce), Mayonnaise, and Sesame Oil in a mixing bowl.

6. Aim for the consistency of Tuna Salad, avoiding excessive moisture that may cause the roll to break apart. Add Masago, Cilantro, or Green Onions as desired.

Making Temaki/Hand Roll

1. Make Sushi Rice (this recipe).

2. Hold the half sheet of Nori in your left hand with the rough side facing up, and place your thumb on top.

3. Wet your right hand.

4. Grab a golf ball-sized portion of sushi rice, approximately 30 - 50g.

5. Place the sushi rice on the top left corner of the Nori.

6. Using your right palm, apply pressure to spread the sushi rice diagonally at a 30-degree angle.

7. Using a spoon to keep your hand clean, place the Spicy Tuna on the sushi rice, followed by Avocado.

8. Pick up the bottom left corner with your right thumb and index finger, and roll it up diagonally at a 70-degree angle until it reaches the top of the Nori.

9. Hold the "thick" rolled part (not the right edge of the Nori) and continue moving clockwise until the entire roll is complete.

10. Dip the temaki into soy sauce and enjoy it immediately before the Nori becomes soggy.



Breakthrough Sushi offers sushi classes and sushi catering in the San Francisco Bay Area using sustainable seafood.

If you like to inquire about your next corporate or private event, please send us an email to request a quote.

If you like to sign up for our scheduled public classes in San Francisco and San Jose (Santa Clara), please see the schedule here.


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