If you live, or have a chance to visit Charlotte, you must hit up one of my favorite places to enjoy a big bowl of homemade ramen, Futo Buta. My order every single visit, Tonkotsu with extra pork belly! Actually, they inspired me to create a recipe for my very own Tonkotsu Ramen with Chashu Pork Belly, as well as, this recipe for Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice Squares.
Make your very own sushi rice. It’s easier than you may think. Also, use only super fresh, sushi-grade tuna. If you desire, you can substitute the tuna with sushi-grade salmon! This recipe will yield about 10 generous squares. So, if you are serving this as an appetizer, consider two per person. Local to Charlotte, grab your sushi-grade fish at The Carolina Meat & Fish Co. Not local, they can ship to you!
If you are on TikTok, you can check out my video on how to prepare these Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice Squares by clicking here. Give me a follow, please and thank you!
You should plan to prepare the rice, either that morning, or a few hours ahead of preparing this dish to ensure the rice does not fall apart during frying. If you do not have the time to do so, place in the freezer for about 20 minutes after preparing the rice.
One of the most important steps in preparing your sushi rice is to rinse, rinse, rinse, then rinse again. This allows for the removal of excess starch that could make your rice too gloppy. Is that even a word? You get the idea. Place the rice in a strainer and rinse until the water runs clear. If you do not have sushi rice, you can substitute with any small to medium grain rice. Place rice in pot with the water. Allow to come to a boil. Turn down heat to a simmer and simmer with lid on for exactly twenty minutes.
When the rice is just about finished, heat up the rice wine vinegar, sugar and kosher salt in a saucepan. You are just looking to melt the sugar and salt, not cook!
Remove the rice from the pot and place in a large bowl or flat dish. Pour on about half of the heated vinegar mixture. With a sushi paddle or wooden spoon, gently incorporate the mixture into the rice. Be gentle. You may or may not use the remaining vinegar mixture. You are looking just to have a nice gloss on the rice.
Mold rice into a small pan. A 9×9 will work fine. Cover with a damp paper towel and place in the fridge for up to eight hours. I left mine in for about two. As mentioned earlier, you can place in freezer for a quicker set.
In a bowl, combine the Sriracha, sesame oil, olive oil, soy sauce and the toasted sesame seeds. Dice up the tuna and toss into bowl with sauce. Taste. This is one of those recipes for me that is all about taste. If you think you want a bit more salt, add a touch more soy sauce. If you want more heat, add in more Sriracha. Just remember more heat is coming later with the jalapeño garnish. Want a touch more oil? Add it! Cover and reserve in fridge until ready to plate.
SPICY TUNA CRISPY RICE SQUARES
Heat up oil in a non-stick pan. You just need enough to cover the rice squares to about half their thickness. Now that the rice has set, cut into squares. You be the judge on how big you want them. There is no right or wrong way. Fry the rice squares in the hot oil until they are nice and golden brown on both sides. This should take about four to five minutes per side. Try not to touch too much as they are frying. The more you touch, the better the chance that they will break apart.
Once browned, remove the rice squares from pan and drain any excess oil on paper towels. To serve, place rice squares on plate or platter. Top with a generous amount of the spicy tuna mixture. Add a dollop of mashed avocado and garnish with fresh minced jalapeño. Serve with a side of soy, or even Ponzu sauce would work well. ENJOY!
I would be remiss if I did not mention this super cute Japanese wooden utensil set seen here in the photo below. The set comes with a set of chopsticks, a spoon and fork. Perfect for ramen too! You can get it in a few different colors for under $4 on Amazon. Click here! Check out many of my other cooking and baking must haves while you are there!