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Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice (Nobu)

Nagi Maehashi
ve. A shameless copycat of a signature Nobu restaurant appetiser – crispy rice cakes with tuna or salmon in a creamy spicy dressing. Easy to make at a fraction of the cost – they charge $30 for a minuscule serving! Serve as a canapé, starter for dinner or as a main with an Asian side salad or smashed cucumbers.The original uses raw tuna but I've also created a canned tuna version – think, sushi roll filling.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, starter
Cuisine Asian cuisine
Servings 15 Pieces
Calories 119 kcal


  • 1 batch crispy rice cakes 15 pieces
  • ONE topping of choice below – Nobu sashimi tuna or canned tuna
  • 1 avocado cut into small thin slices (or make avocado sauce)
  • 15 jalapeño slices thin, optional garnish
  • ½ tsp black sesame seeds for garnish


  • 225 g sashimi grade tuna or salmon
  • 1 tbsp sriracha adjust spiciness to taste (Note 2)
  • 4 tsp kewpie mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • ¼ tsp cooking salt
  • 2 tsp green onion finely chopped
  • 1 tsp white sesame seeds
  • ½ tsp black sesame seeds divided


  • 360 canned tuna in oil drained
  • 3 tbsp sriracha Note 2
  • 4 tbsp kewpie mayonnaise Note 3
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice sub rice vinegar
  • ½ tsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp cooking/kosher salt
  • ¼ Cups green onion finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ▢ 2 tsp white sesame seeds optional
  • tsp black sesame seeds divided


  • Start the rice the day before or first thing in the morning – it needs minimum 4 hours to chill.
  • Make the toppings first, then refrigerate while you cook the crispy rice cakes.
  • Cook the crispy rice cakes and sprinkle with salt per the recipe.
  • Assemble – Place rice cakes on a serving platter. Pile on toppings – I use teaspoons to make football shapes then slide on. Sprinkle with black sesame seeds, top with jalapeño. Eat!
  • Freeze to firm – Place tuna in the freezer for 30 minutes to partially freeze – it's much easier to finely chop when slightly firm.
  • Cut into 0.5cm / 1/2" cubes – the smaller the better! Place into a bowl and let it de-chill for 20 minutes (not as nice ice-cold).
  • Mix – Add everything into the tuna and mix until combined.
  • Place tuna in a bowl and use a fork to mash it up really finely. Add everything else and mix well.


Makes 15 pieces 4 x 6.5cm/ 1.5 x 2.5″ (crispy rice dimensions).
1. Tuna or salmon – As the fish is served raw, please ensure you get sashimi grade tuna which is extra fresh, handled and stored in a manner suitable for eating raw. It will be labelled as such at the shops. You can also get frozen sashimi grade fish these days. It’s snap deep-frozen at -60C and suitable for eating raw. I’ve gotten it from Japanese supermarkets in Sydney (Tokyo-mart, Northbridge).
2. Sriracha is a red Asian spicy sauce that has other flavours in it in addition to chilli, such as vinegar and garlic. If you’re worried about spiciness, start with less (top up with more mayo) then add add more later if you’re brave! Non spicy option – Ketchup!
Substitute with other spicy sauce of choice, but adjust quantity based on spiciness.
3. Kewpie mayonnaise is a Japanese mayonnaise that has a smoother flavour than Western ones. Substitute with whole egg mayonnaise. 
4. Canned tuna – in oil is best. Springwater tends to be a little dry.
5. Leftovers – Once assembled, rice cakes will soften within an hour. The raw tuna topping should be eaten within an hour once out of the fridge, though will keep in the fridge for the day. Canned tuna topping mixture will keep for several days. Makes a little more than you need – eat leftover as dip or on sandwiches!
this recipe is sponsored by Mediterranean Supermarket 
Keyword fish dish, raw fish dish, tuna dish