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.
Be sure to see below how I changed this recipe up just a bit and created a luxurious appetizer using Osetra caviar.
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 a member on TikTok, you can check out my video on how to prepare these Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice Squares by clicking here. If you are new to this platform, use my code 5SSIS800K0H06 to sign up. Give me a follow, please and thank you! Also, check out my keto version of this recipe, Tuna Tartare Avocado Boats!
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. For a quick video tutorial, click here.
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.
Instead of using a pan, try molding the sushi rice in saran wrap. Mold the rice into a square log and place in fridge to set. I found this method to work so much better than trying to mold in a pan. The sushi rice set up much better and did not fall apart at all during frying.
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!
SPICY MAYO TUNA WITH CRISPY RICE SQUARES AND CAVIAR
As mentioned above, I changed up this recipe just a bit to try and mimic an appetizer that is served at Nobu restaurants. Not even sure how to describe to you how incredible this was. You will just have to make it and see for yourself. Honestly, I would suggest making both of these at the same time. They would be great for any gathering of sushi lovers. For a quick video tutorial, click here.
Prepare the sushi rice squares according to the directions above. Dice up one-half pound of sushi-grade tuna. In a bowl, mix one-half cup of mayo with a few squirts of Sriracha. Do you. Meaning, you control the spice level. Fold in the diced tuna. Plate the crispy rice squares. Spoon on a generous amount of the spicy mayo tuna. Top with a high-quality caviar. For this recipe, I used an Osetra caviar from Highland & Menlo that retailed for about $90/ounce. Feel free to serve with soy sauce or a little ponzu drizzled with a great sesame oil. Honestly, you really do not need it! ENJOY!
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I am more than just recipes. I love fashion and style too! Most importantly, I love my Family (my Hubby and my Fur Babies). My Husband (aka my “Kitchen Bitch”) means the world to me. He’s pretty damn cool too. Not only is he one of the nicest guys you will ever meet, he also has had a lengthy career in professional hockey. Not only winning two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the early ’90’s, but most recently winning the Calder Cup with the Charlotte Checkers, amongst many other accolades. If you live in Charlotte and play hockey, or have a family member who plays, be sure to contact him. He is known as one of the best skate sharpeners in the world!
Our life has changed dramatically in the past few years with the passing of our two goldendoodles, Vegas and Viva. We were lucky enough to have Vegas for five years (totally wish it was longer). Most recently, losing our Viva to a brain tumor in July of 2020. We welcomed our mini goldendoodle 7, almost seven years ago. We just added the amazing Hazel! Of course, I am always posting tons and tons of photos! Be sure to check out my recipe for Pet Bone Broth! This broth is super rich in nutrients and will provide your pet with a multitude of health benefits!
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