June 17, 2020

Spicy Tuna on Crispy Rice: AKA Sushi Pizza

spicy tuna on crispy rice

If you're looking for a different way to use canned tuna, I HIGHLY suggest making this recipe! This is probably one of my favourite recipes I've made in a while. It has all the components you want in a sushi recipe, minus any hassle. Because let's face it, rolling sushi isn't always easy. Crispy rice, spicy tuna, smooth avocado, nori, and a hint of wasabi. It's basically sushi pizza and I'm here for it! Learn how to make this spicy tuna on crispy rice right now.

spicy tuna on crispy rice

Sushi with Canned Tuna, You Bet!

I first came across this spicy tuna on crispy rice recipe as I was browsing through the latest LCBO Food & Drink magazine. As soon as I saw it, I thought I HAVE to make this. I think they used crab meat, which I didn't want to use, so I stuck to something a bit more simple, enter- canned tuna. Canned tuna can be used in so many ways. Most of the time, I stick to the standard and mix it with mayo for a sandwich, but this time I decided to us it for this sushi pizza. BEST. DECISION. EVER!

spicy tuna on crispy rice

All About Sushi Rice

Sushi rice is the rice you use to make sushi... that's simple enough, right?! But, in all seriousness, sushi rice acts a little differently than other types of rice. And that's because once it's cooked, it's very sticky. You also add rice vinegar after it's finished cooking which helps with the stickiness. Sushi rice is typically steamed in a rice cooker, however, I cooked it on the stovetop.

Look for short grain Japanese rice (or sushi rice) to make this dish and other sushi dishes. This is because the consistency and flavour of Japanese rice is very different than other rice, like long grain or jasmine. For this recipe, only sushi rice will work as you need it to stick together to form a pizza shape.

When preparing the rice for this dish, ensure that you've rinsed it a few times, until no more starch comes out from the water, i.e. the water runs clear. Typically, you would soak the rice for 30 minutes before cooking for better texture, but for this recipe, you don't need to. Just be sure you give it a good rinse.

Outside of Japan, you'll see it labeled as sushi rice (due to many reasons), the actual term for it is Japanese short-grain rice.

sushi rice formed into pizza

Ingredients You Need For spicy tuna on crispy rice

Sushi rice

Sushi rice as described above is a must for this recipe. There aren't any substitutions for using sushi rice.

The brand I use and like is this one. This is another more affordable option. You can also find sushi rice at many bulk stores and in Japanese grocery stores as well.

Rice Vinegar

Adding rice vinegar to the sushi rice is essential once it's done cooking. This helps to bind it and provides flavour to the rice. You'll add a little sweetness to the rice after with the quick 3 ingredient dressing!

Wasabi Powder

In order to add some wasabi flavour to the dish, you'll add some powder to the mayonnaise that will flavour the tuna. If you don't have wasabi or you don't like it, you can omit it. Or you can also buy wasabi mayo already made too!

Canned Tuna

For this recipe, you'll use one can of tuna for about four sushi pizzas. A little can goes a long way with this! I always recommend buying a high quality canned tuna from a wild caught source. Look for the MSC blue label on products to help you choose one.


To add some saltiness, tamari is my go-to. You can also use coconut aminos or regular soy sauce. Any of those will work!

Coconut Sugar

This is what will help to balance the flavours. You need a touch of sweetness in the quick 3 ingredient dressing that goes on top of the cooked sushi pizza. Substitute with white sugar or brown sugar if you need or want to.

Sesame Oil

I love using sesame oil because it adds such a unique flavour. A little goes a long way with sesame oil, so you only need a drizzle. For this spicy tuna crispy rice, use toasted sesame oil.

Toppings for spicy tuna crispy rice

Feel free to use what you like best. I recommend cucumber for crunch at the bottom and avocado (a must in my opinion) for creaminess. It just pairs so well with tuna and sushi in general. Some watermelon radish for colour contrast and crunch (or use regular radish). And some nori on top, sliced nice and thin. This adds to the sushi flavour and has a ton of nutritional benefits as well. Furikake is also a great topping to use on this spicy tuna crispy rice recipe if you have it. It adds A LOT of flavour, if not, you can use toasted sesame seeds.

Check out this post to learn more about nori and make my easy go-to nori wraps! Or make these cripsy, super seed nori crackers.

spicy tuna on crispy rice

How to Make Sushi Rice Pizzas

Here's how to make this crispy sushi rice.

First, cook your rice. I cooked it on the stovetop, if you have a rice cooker, feel free to use that if you'd like. Once it's cooked, let it cool in the pot and then add the rice vinegar and fluff with a fork.

Next, cut a piece of parchment paper and place that on a cutting board or your counter.

Add the sushi rice in four large circles.

Using another piece of parchment paper (or plastic wrap) layer that on top. Using your hands, mould the sushi patties into pizzas by flattening and creating a circular shape. Because the rice is so sticky, you need to use either plastic wrap or parchment. Personally, I found using plastic wrap easier.

Heat up a non stick skillet, add some oil to the pan and then carefully add the sushi pizza. Cook until browned and crispy in spots (about 4 to 6 minutes) and then flip using a spatula and crisp the other side.

sushi rice formed into patties

how to make this spicy tuna pizza

In a small bowl, add the wasabi powder with equal parts water and mix well to form a paste. Add that to your mayo.

wasabi mayo in a small bowl

Now, go ahead and mix the wasabi mayo with the canned tuna in a bowl.

tuna mixed with wasabi mayo in a bowl

Now, make the dressing for the sushi pizza. In a small saucepan, add the tamari and coconut sugar and whisk over low heat, until the sugar dissolves. This will take a minute or two. Then remove from the heat, add the toasted sesame oil and set aside.

Once your sushi pizzas are done crisping, add them to a plate. Drizzle with the dressing you just made.

Time to assemble!

Layer the cucumber, followed by the avocado, tuna, watermelon radish and nori. If you want to get extra fancy and delicious, add some furikake or toasted sesame seeds on top, along with some green onion.

spicy tuna on crispy rice

Options & Substitutions

The good thing is that when you make your own sushi pizza at home, you can choose to put whatever you want on it!

No Tuna, No Problem: if you don't want to use canned tuna, use another type of fish. Or go for some raw, sushi grade salmon or tuna. Alternatively, you could make this whole thing vegan if you make my vegan tuna recipe!

Use Your Own Toppings: use what you have on hand, and feel free to make this your own. Again, the only thing I recommend is making sure you have sushi rice on hand to make this crispy sushi rice.

No Tamari: use soy sauce instead.

No Wasabi: omit it

Tips to Make this Process easy!

Forming the crispy sushi rice: if you find it hard to form, form them into smaller circles. Pack them tight to help them hold together.

Rinse your rice: it's important to rinse your rice very well. This helps to remove the starch, wash until the water runs clear.

Use a mould to help form the patties: if you find it easier, use a mould (whichever shape you have) to make perfect circles.

If you make this spicy tuna on crispy rice please let me know by tagging me on Instagram. Or you could leave a rating and/or review below! It truly means so much to me when I hear from you.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only share products and services I have personally used and love. Disclosure here.

Spicy Tuna on Crispy Rice: AKA Sushi Pizza

Everything you want in a sushi roll, without all the work! This spicy tuna on crispy rice has crunch, flavour and tastes like a sushi pizza.




For the Sushi Rice

For the Wasabi Mayo

For the dressing

For the Toppings

  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 avocado sliced thin
  • 1/2 watermelon radish sliced into thin matchsticks
  • 1 green onion sliced thin, on the bias
  • 4 sheets small nori small, snack size, sliced thin into matchsticks
  • furikake for garnish, optional

  1. Add the rinsed sushi rice to a medium sized pot and add the water. Bring to a boil, then reduce, stir and cover with a lid. Cook, until tender, but still chewy, about 15 to 18 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes off of the heat, then add 1/4 cup rice vinegar and stir to combine.
  2. Meanwhile, while the rice is cooking, add the wasabi powder and the water to a bowl and mix well to form a paste. Add the mayo to the wasabi and mix well. Then add the tuna and mix.
  3. Make the dressing: in a small saucepan over low heat, add the tamari and coconut sugar and whisk well until the sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the sesame oil and stir.
  4. Line a counter or a cutting board with parchment paper. Once the rice has cooled, divide the rice in four patties on the parchment paper. Cover with another sheet of parchment paper or plastic wrap. Flatten with your hands, and pat down the patties into four mini pizza shapes.
  5. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add a splash of avocado oil. Carefully add the sushi pizza to the skillet and cook until crispy and browned, about 4 to 5 minutes. Then use a spatula to flip and cook the other side for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove and repeat with the remaining sushi pizzas.
  6. Divide the sushi pizzas onto two plates, add the tamari dressing on top all over each sushi pizza, coating the top. Top with sliced cucumber, avocado, watermelon radish and then then tuna. The top with green onion, nori and furikake if using. Serve right away and enjoy!


This recipe makes four pizzas, two pizzas per serving.

For best results, let the rice cool before forming into sushi pizza patties and use plastic wrap to help form them. Don’t use your bare hands as it’s too sticky.

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