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Spicy tuna crispy rice bites topped with avocado and tuna sushi drizzled with a sriracha aioli placed on top of a black plate with a small white bowl of aioli on the side and a napkin and glass of white wine in the background.

Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice - Nobu Copycat

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4.3 from 3 reviews

This Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice appetizer is so drool-worthy! This Nobu copycat recipe features pan-fried crispy rice cakes topped with slices of sushi-grade tuna and creamy avocado, finished with a drizzle of spicy Sriracha aioli sauce. OMG!

  • Total Time: 40 min
  • Yield: 10 -12 pieces 1x


Units Scale

For the crispy rice:

 For the tuna:

  • Black and white sesame seeds
  • 1 (7-ounce) fillet sushi-grade tuna (ahi or yellowfin)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • Salt and pepper

For the toppings:

For the aioli sauce:


To make the crispy rice:

  1. Thoroughly rinse the rice in a strainer until the water runs clear. Place the rice and water in a rice cooker and cook according to your rice cooker’s white rice settings.
  2. Once rice is cooked, use the paddle to gently toss the rice. Transfer the rice to a shallow wooden bowl, pour the rice vinegar and sugar over the rice and gently toss to combine.
  3. After you’ve evenly coated the grains with the seasoning, cover the rice with a damp towel to prevent it from drying out.
  4. Wet your fingers and place the rice into a silicone ice cube tray, pressing down on each cube. Fill all the trays evenly and place in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours.
  5. Remove the tray and carefully pop out each rice cube onto a flat surface.
  6. Heat the canola oil in a sauté pan at medium-high heat until the oil is shimmering. Add the rice cubes into the pan and cook on each side for about 4 to 5 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Remove the rice cubes and drain on a paper towel. Set aside. Wipe out the pan.

To make the tuna:

  1. Place the sesame seeds in a shallow bowl for dredging.
  2. Brush the tuna steak with the oil, and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.
  3. Dredge the tuna into the sesame seeds, making sure to fully coat all sides.
  4. Heat the oil in the sauté pan at medium-high to high heat, until the oil is shimmering.
  5. Sear the tuna for about 3 minutes on all sides. The middle should still be pink. Remove and let it rest for 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Slice the tuna into thin slices against the grain. Slice the longer pieces in half to match the size of the rice cubes.

To make the aioli:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and sriracha sauce. Set aside.

To assemble:

  1. Place the avocado slices on top of the rice cube, then a piece of tuna. Sprinkle with Furikake seasoning and top with a small piece of avocado.
  2. Using a squeeze bottle (or a spoon), drizzle the spicy aioli all over the crispy rice. Serve with a side of extra aioli.


  • For the crispy rice, it's best to use short-grain sushi rice. Short grain white rice releases more starch than any other types of rice, and the starch helps the rice grains stick together.
  • I think the easiest method for making sushi rice is in a rice cooker, but if you don't own one please feel free to use the stove-top to cook the rice. Check out the method here: How to Cook Japanese Rice on the Stove.
  • If you don't have a silicone ice cube tray, use your hands to mold the rice into blocks. Make sure to wet your hands so the rice doesn't stick to your fingers!
  • You can make the rice ahead of time! Keep it the fridge overnight and pop out the cubes when ready to use.
  • To air fry the rice cubes instead of pan frying, lightly spray the rice and the fryer basket with canola or avocado oil. Air fry at 380F for 16 minutes (flipping them after 8 minutes).
  • Make sure you buy sushi-grade tuna steak for this recipe. This will ensure that it's safe to eat when seared.
  • Choose your own toppings! Try different types of seafood, and sliced veggies.
  • I used a squeeze bottle to drizzle the spicy aioli sauce all over the tops of the tuna crispy rice. Much easier and less messy than using a spoon!
  • Author: Asian Caucasian
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Rice Cooker / Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Japanese


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 400
  • Sugar: 2.5 g
  • Sodium: 147.5 mg
  • Fat: 19.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 44.4 g
  • Protein: 12.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 14.9 mg