Crispy Rice Spicy Tuna Stacks. Crispy fried rice, layered with our favorite spicy gingery tuna, chunks of cucumber, avocado, and then all the best toppings. Finish with our favorite spicy, sweet, and creamy mayo sauce, fried wontons, and lots of candied jalapeños. Each stack is colorful and full of so much flavor. A fun dinner, any night of the week. Everyone devours these stacks!
I feel like I’ve been saying this a lot, but, I know you all will love this recipe so much. I’m so excited about it!
I think we all know that when my brothers are home, I make Red’s favorite spicy poke bowls all the time. Like at least once a week. Both Red and Kai love these bowls. When I can find good-looking Sushi grade Ahi tuna, those poke bowls are usually what I make.
We love love them. Plus they’re pretty simple to throw together, so that’s of course an added bonus!
And if you have the HBH Every Day cookbook, you’ve probably seen my tuna stack, which is essentially a tuna roll, stacked. It’s one of my favorite recipes I share in the book. I had so much fun creating it.
When the boys were home over Christmas, I really wanted to make the tuna stack from the cookbook for them. They haven’t ever had the recipe and I knew it would be something fun, delicious, and a little different from the poke bowl.
But then, I saw something about fried crispy rice. Almost immediately I was in the kitchen making a tuna roll stacked high on a crispy fried rice round. I’ve literally never come up with, decided on, finalized, and completed a recipe so fast. I was overly excited to create these. Thankfully, they lived up to the picture I’d envisioned in my head.
Start with the rice, aside from the tuna, it’s the heart of the recipe. You need to use sushi rice, which you can buy at pretty much any grocery store. I cook mine just like I cook any other rice, it’s super easy.
To make it sticky, you will add a mix of vinegar and the smallest amount of sugar to the rice, then toss it all together until the rice becomes very sticky. It’s honestly so simple and easy.
Then pat the sticky rice into a baking dish. I line the dish with parchment first, then pack in the rice. I then chill the rice until I can easily cut it by popping the whole pan into the freezer for 20-30 minutes.
When the rice is chilled you can cut it into squares or use a circle biscuit cutter to make circles. However, cutting into squares is the simpler route!
Now the tuna, cube it. For the marinade, I like to keep mine simple: tamari (soy sauce), sesame chili oil, ginger, green onions, and toasted sesame seeds. I’ve found this to be the combo everyone loves most. If you don’t like spicy food, just use sesame oil.
We always eat out tuna rolls with a spicy mayo on top, so that comes next. It’s usually just mayo and sriracha mixed together. This is great and super simple, but I like to swap the sriracha with gochujang chili paste and then add tamari, plus a small amount of honey to balance the spiciness.
The added salt and sweetness make the sauce just a little more special. It’s creamy and honestly so delicious. And we’re not really a mayo-loving family either, but this is so good.
Ok, now fry the rice. This is super easy. I use avocado oil in a skillet and do a shallow pan fry until both sides of the rice are golden and very crispy.
To layer the tuna, you will need a 1-cup measuring cup. Layer in the tuna, then cucumbers, then avocado. And finally, invert the tuna stack directly onto the crispy, fried rice.
I know it sounds tricky, but it’s actually very easy. The tuna should slide right out of the measuring cup. If you’re having trouble, you can take a knife and run it around the edge of the cup to loosen it.
I made these bowls extra special with some wontons and then my homemade candied ginger jalapeños. Both are definitely extra, but so delicious. I think you can buy fried wontons too!
Everyone in my family has agreed that they could easily eat this once a week. It’s definitely on rotation when Red and Hailey are home – and Red comes back home tonight!
The crispy fried rice is a GAME CHANGER, so delicious you all!
Looking for other seafood?
Lastly, if you make Crispy Rice Spicy Tuna Stacks, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Crispy Rice Spicy Tuna Stack
Servings: 4 stacks
Calories Per Serving: 604 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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- 2 (4 ounce) sushi grade tuna steaks, cubed
- 1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tablespoon sesame chili oil or regular sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons grated ginger
- 1 to 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- 1 cup cubed Persian cucumbers
- 1 cup cubed avocado
- nori and pickled candied jalapeños, for serving
- 1. To make the Rice. Bring 3 cups water to a boil. Add the rice and a pinch salt. Stir to combine, cover, then turn the heat down to the lowest setting possible. Allow the rice to cook 10 minutes on low, then turn the heat off completely and let the rice sit, covered, for another 15 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork.2. Mix the rice vinegar and granulated sugar. Microwave for 30 seconds to dissolve the sugar. Pour over the fluffed rice and mix until the rice becomes super sticky. Line a square pan with parchment paper, then pat the rice into the pan, packing it in tightly. Cover abd freeze 30 minutes, until cold, and can easily be sliced. After the rice is chilled, cut into squares or use a biscuit cookie cutter to make 4 circles. 3. To make the Tuna: In a bowl, combine the tuna, soy sauce (or tamari), sesame chili oil, ginger, red pepper flakes, green onion, and sesame seeds. Toss to mix.4. To make the Spicy Mayo. In a bowl, stir together the mayo, sriracha, honey, and soy sauce (or tamari). 5. To assemble: Heat the avocado oil in a large skillet. Add the rice cakes and fry until golden, about 5 minutes, then flip, and cook until golden all over, about 3-5 minutes. Drain. Season with salt. 6. In a dry 1-cup measure, layer 1/4 cup of the tuna, the cucumber, then the avocado. Run a knife around the edge of the cup to loosen, then invert the cup onto the fried rice, carefully remove the cup. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to create 4 stacks total. 7. Place each stack on a nori sheet. Top each with microgreens, wonton crisps (if desired), candied jalapeños, and sesame seeds. Serve with the spicy mayo.
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Candied Jalapeños 1. Bring 1/3 cup honey to a gentle boil. Simmer over low heat for 3-5 minutes. 2. Meanwhile, arrange 2-3 sliced jalapeños in a glass jar. Pour the honey over the jalapeños. Add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and a pinch of salt. Let cool. Keep stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.