Updated: Aug 15
Total: 35 - 40 minutes
Sushi Rice: 30 - 40 minutes
Rolling: 5 minutes
If you're a fan of spicy tuna, you're in for a treat with Spicy Tuna Hosomaki. This roll holds a special place in my heart as one of my favorites. The simplicity of the Tekka (Tuna) Seaweed Out Thin Roll is what makes it so perfect.
When you think of "rolls" in Japan or sit at a high-end sushi bar, you're likely referring to hosomaki—thin seaweed out rolls that come in six or four pieces. Tekka (Tuna) and Kappa (Cucumber) are among the most iconic and popular hosomaki rolls. Kanpyō, a cooked dried gourd, is another variety, and Kanpyo Maki is one of the few horomaki rolls cut into four pieces.
Curiously, I discovered that while six pieces are the standard for hosomaki, Kanpyo Maki is the only roll that comes in four. I asked other sushi chefs about this, but no one seemed to know the reason behind it. So I delved into my own research, only to find that there is no definitive answer.
One theory suggests that since Kanpyo is cooked in soy sauce, it can be quite juicy. Cutting it into four pieces helps prevent the juice from running out of the roll. Regardless of the filling—whether it's Tuna, Cucumber, Kanpyo, or Pickles (Oshinko)—hosomaki strikes the perfect balance between the sushi rice and ingredients.
Making hosomaki is more challenging than crafting an inside-out roll. It's easy to overfill, requiring careful precision when spreading the sushi rice on the nori. Unevenly distributed rice in hosomaki means the filling won't be centered when cut. Precise cutting is necessary to ensure all six pieces come out evenly.
These are the reasons why I adore hosomaki. I encourage you to give it a try. With a bit of practice, you'll understand the magic I'm talking about.
It's tempting to use more sushi rice than necessary. Use less than you think a hosomaki would require. The same principle applies to the filling—less is better.
Ensure a Tight Seal
Compared to an inside-out roll, you can apply more pressure when making hosomaki. The shape can be either a tunnel or a square.
Spreading Rice for Hosomaki
For hosomaki, leave the top 1cm (0.5") blank. Leave the left, right, and bottom edges 5mm (1/8") blank.
INGREDIENTS (for one hand roll):
100g (½ cup) Sushi rice (follow this recipe)
1 Nori Seaweed, half sheet
20g Spicy Tuna
Spicy Tuna (for 4 Hosomaki rolls):
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
Makisu, Sushi Rolling Mat
Making Spicy Tuna with Steak Shaped Sushi Grade Tuna
The ingredient in this recipe calls for Tuna pieces or Tuna Saku block. However, these are available at Japanese or Asian Supermarkets carrying Sushi Grade Fish. Most retail supermarkets are likely to have sushi grade Tuna in steak shape. If you get steak shaped Sushi Grade Tuna, here are the instructions to make Spicy Tuna.
The recipe calls for tuna pieces or tuna saku block, found at Japanese or Asian supermarkets specializing in sushi-grade fish. However, most retail supermarkets typically carry sushi-grade Tuna in steak shape. If you have steak-shaped sushi-grade Tuna, follow these instructions to make spicy tuna.
Check the Tuna for any dark spots, which indicate a bloodline. Use a knife to remove them and discard them.
With the round "eye" facing up, slice the Tuna into pieces. The middle piece should be a long rectangular shape.
The middle piece is usually reserved for nigiri or sashimi, but you can use it for spicy tuna by scraping it with a spoon. Place your thumb behind the spoon and use the edge to scrape the tuna.
Scrape along the grain, removing as much white tendon as possible.
In a mixing bowl, combine the scraped tuna, sriracha (or any hot sauce), mayonnaise, and sesame oil.
Aim for a consistency similar to tuna salad, avoiding excessive moisture that could cause the roll to break apart.
Add masago, chopped cilantro, or green onions as desired.
(The picture is for Tuna Roll with Wasabi)
Place the nori with the rough side up.
Moisten your hands with water.
Take half the amount of sushi rice used for an inside-out roll, approximately 100g.
Leave the top ½ inch/1cm blank.
Using the bottom part of your left palm, apply pressure to spread the sushi rice horizontally.
With your right hand, create a "U" shape to guide the sushi rice, covering the top half to
Rhythmically turn your left hand three times to cover the top portion of the nori with rice.
Clean your hands with a wet towel and dip your fingers in the water.
Using your fingertips, apply pressure to spread the rice, leaving a 1/8 inch/3mm space on the left, suitable, and bottom edges.
Lift the nori and place the sushi rolling mat (makisu) underneath.
Place the spicy tuna in the center.
Roll the hosomaki by picking up the bottom part of the mat and placing the bottom edge against the top end of the sushi rice.
Press firmly to seal.
Lift the makisu halfway and roll the entire hosomaki forward 90 degrees, so the seam is at the bottom.
Seal the roll again using the makisu from the front, top, and backside.
Cut the roll into six pieces.
Plate and serve.
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