Kate Koo teaches us Sushi Fundamentals, as seen on her course, Sushi Making at Home, on Food Network Kitchen.
Recipe courtesy of Kate Koo

Spicy Tuna Futomaki

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 25 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
I've been making sushi for a long time, but a spicy tuna roll is still one of my favorites.  This is not a traditional Japanese sushi roll, but I love it just the same! The addition of toasted  sesame oil calms the spice of the hot chili sauce and adds a delicious nutty flavor. Crunchy cucumber sticks give nice texture to the roll and you can add scallions, radish sprouts or avocado to complement the spicy tuna mix as well. 



Special equipment:
a rice cooker and a makisu (sushi rolling mat), both optional
  1. Seed the cucumber and cut it into thin sticks about 1/8 inch wide and 4 inches long.
  2. Place the tuna in a medium bowl. Add the chili sauce, sesame oil and Japanese pepper if using and stir gently to combine. 
  3. Lay a half nori sheet textured-side up (smooth/shiny-side down) on a cutting board with one of the longer sides closest to you. Dip your fingers in a small bowl of ice water and gently spread 1/2 cup of the prepared sushi rice evenly over most of the nori, leaving a 1-inch strip of nori without rice on one short edge. Rotate the nori so the short edge with rice is closest to you.
  4. Place 1 1/2 ounces of the tuna in a line across the rice. Lay 3 to 4 pieces of the cucumber next to the tuna. Slip your thumbs under the near edge of the nori and roll the sushi roll away from you with gentle pressure until the edge without sushi rice is on the bottom, creating a seam.  (Don't squeeze the roll too firmly or the filling will squish out.)
  5. Let the sushi roll sit on the seam for a few seconds and the seam should seal itself. If it doesn't, dip a fingertip into the ice water and swipe a very small amount of water along the un-riced edge of the nori sheet. Let the roll sit on the seam for a few seconds. If you like, use a makisu (sushi rolling mat) to gently shape the roll. 
  6. Dip the tip of a knife into the ice water and allow the water to run down the blade. Slice the sushi roll into 6 even pieces. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, making 4 rolls.   
  7. Garnish each roll with 1/4 teaspoon sesame seeds. Serve with soy sauce, pickled ginger and wasabi if desired. If using fresh wasabi, peel and finely grate. 

Cook’s Note

Avoid wetting your hands too much; a thin layer of water is enough so that the sushi rice won’t stick to your fingers.  If the sheet of nori is sliding around on the cutting board, you can moisten the board lightly with a damp towel.