I never knew how much I loved hand rolls until I went to Japan and was served one as a part of an omakase meal. There was so much fish inside and I loved eating it with my hands. I recently went to a place in Portland, ME called “Mr. Tuna” that has a whole menu of hand rolls served “taco style” and I fell in love. So that’s how we’re serving these up! 

We’re simplifying things by using canned tuna and cooking it with scallions to warm and crisp it up. Then it gets mixed with an easy spicy sauce to create that spicy tuna roll flavor. It gets piled into the nori “taco” with warm rice, a slice of creamy avocado and a few crunchy veggies. Then it gets drizzled with more of that spicy tangy sauce. I just love meals like this that feel fun, interactive, and playful!

Ingredient highlight

Nori! and other sea vegetables are a good source of protein and are high in calcium, iodine, sodium and also contain folic acid, magnesium, and iron. It’s the seaweed that wraps up your sushi rolls into cute little pieces. You can find toasted nori snack packs, but I prefer to buy the larger toasted nori sheets (find them in the ethnic or Asian aisle at your grocery store, they’re about 8×7 inches in size usually).

Servings 4
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes


  • 2 cups sushi rice*
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 (5 oz) cans tuna, drained (about 3 ½ cups crumbled)**
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced, white/light green and dark green parts separated
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 cucumber or 1 bunch radishes, cut into matchsticks (or use both)
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
  • 6-8 nori sheets, cut into quarters
  • Sesame seeds, for topping

For the spicy sauce:

  • ½ cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tbsp sriracha***
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • *After spending time in Japan and eating all the amazing rice, I’ve been converted to sushi rice or Japanese short grain white rice. It’s sticky, chewy, and so delicious. This is what I order! This would work fine with jasmine white rice or short grain brown rice if that's what you have.
  • **I used skipjack tuna packed in water. If your tuna is packed in olive oil then you can reduce the olive oil in the recipe to 2 tablespoons.
  • ***You can leave this out or reduce it if you don’t want it spicy at all. Just add a teaspoon of rice vinegar and an extra dash of soy sauce, to taste.


  • Cook the rice (instructions here).
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the tuna and white/light green parts of the scallions. Spread everything out evenly and let it cook for 2-3 minutes, undisturbed, or until the tuna is beginning to brown a little bit in some spots. Give it a stir and break up any large tuna chunks. Turn off the heat and stir in the soy sauce and the rest of the scallions. Let it cool off for a couple of minutes.
  • To make the sauce, add all ingredients to a small bowl and mix until combined. Stir about ¼ cup of the sauce into the tuna mixture until combined. Save the rest for drizzling.
  • Now it’s time to assemble! Place one of the nori squares in your hand or on a plate. Add a spoonful of rice down the center. Scoop a spoonful of the tuna next to the rice. Add a slice of avocado and cucumber/radish. Drizzle with the sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Eat it like a taco and repeat!

Items you can prep ahead (optional)

  • Cook 2 cups sushi rice (short grain white rice) or use jasmine rice
  • Thinly slice 1 bunch scallions, white/light green and dark green parts separated 
  • Make the tuna filling
  • Cut radishes and/or cucumber into matchsticks
  • Make the spicy sauce


  • To make vegetarian, use crumbled tofu in place of the canned fish (about 3-4 cups worth).
  • To make vegan, see above + use a vegan yogurt alternative.
  • If you’re not into nori, you could eat this as a rice bowl and leave the nori off.
  • If you can get your hands on sushi grade fish, you could totally use that in place of the canned fish (just leave it raw obviously!).


  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer:
    • Tuna: up to 4 days in the fridge
    • Rice: up to 4 days in the fridge or 2 months in the freezer
    • Sauce: up to 6 days in the fridge

Leftovers + Repurposing:

  • Turn it into a sushi bowl. I’d recommend tossing the raw veggies in some rice vinegar and salt before adding to your bowl and perhaps making an extra batch of that spicy sauce if you’re running low.
  • You could heat up the rice and tuna together in a skillet to make a fried rice-style bowl. Rice heats up best in a skillet with a splash of water to rehydrate it. Once the rice is rehydrated, add the tuna and mix it all up. Serve topped with cucumber or radish, avocado, crumbled nori, sesame, scallions, and spicy sauce. That rice/fish base could also just be topped simply with the sauce and some crunchy veggies. Or put an egg on it!

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