Yellowtail Jalapeño Sashimi, Inside-Out Spicy Tuna Rolls, and Panko-Breaded Shrimp Roll

The boyfriend and I have been talking about making homemade sushi for a while.  The first handful of dates he took me to were at sushi restaurants (it’s because I’m Asian…), so we thought it would be fun to try to make it ourselves.  I’ve made maki rolls before, but I’ve never made it with actual sashimi-grade fish.  I am up for the challenge!

So after scouring the internet, I came up with 4 dishes that we were going to make.  Yellowtail jalapeno sashimi is the boyfriend’s absolute favorite, so that one was a no-brainer.  Spicy tuna rolls are pretty good and pretty simple, too, so one of those will do.  We’ll even make it inside out to test our skills!  Rounding up the meal will be some panko-breaded shrimp rolls so we have a little crunch.  I chose to use panko instead of tempura just because I already have it at home and this poor grad student can’t afford tempura flour (but I CAN afford tons of sashimi grade fish!).  I scaled down the recipes from the websites to only show how much we made and changed them up a bit because I can.  Let the adventure begin!

Yellowtail Jalapeno Sashimi
adapted from

5 oz yellowtail, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, cut in half
1 jalapeno, very thinly sliced
cilantro (1 leaf for every slice of yellowtail)
1/4 cup yuzu juice (you can find it at Japanese markets)
1/8 cup soy sauce

  1. Combine yuzu juice and soy sauce in a small bowl.
  2. Rub both sides of each slice of yellowtail with the open side of the garlic half.
  3. Arrange the yellowtail onto a plate, leaving a little circle in the middle for the cilantro, and top each slice with a slice of jalapeno.
  4. Pour the yuzu soy mixture on top and put the cilantro into its little home in the middle.

Inside-Out Spicy Tuna Roll
adapted from
(makes 1 roll)

1 sheet of nori (seaweed)
1/2 cup cooked sushi rice (see below)
1 long, thin strip of cucumber
1/4 of an avocado, thinly sliced
2 oz sashimi grade tuna
2.5 tbsp Sriracha mayonnaise (see below) (add more or less, depending on your taste)

  1. Chop up tuna into small chunks.
  2. Mix the Sriracha mayonnaise into the tuna chunks until they’re all well coated.
  3. Place a sheet of plastic wrap on a bamboo sushi mat and a sheet of nori on top of that.  Spread rice across HALF the nori sheet.
  4. Arrange tuna and cucumber at the end of the nori that isn’t covered with rice.  Make sure not to overfill it because the rice side of the sushi won’t connect when it’s all rolled up.
  5. Time to roll!  Use the bamboo mat to help you roll the sushi tightly.  Use some water to moisten the last inch of the nori so the roll sticks closed.
  6. Remove the plastic wrap and wet a sharp knife under the faucet before cutting your sushi.

Panko-Breaded Shrimp Roll
(makes 2 rolls)

2 sheets of nori (seaweed)
1 & 1/2 cup cooked sushi rice (see below)
2 long, thin strips of cucumber
1/2 an avocado, thinly sliced

for the panko-breaded shrimp:
6 jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined, and dried off
1/4 cup and 2.5 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
salt and pepper

  1. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on the shrimp and mix it all together.  I like to take off the entire shell, including the tails, but you keep the tails on if you want.  Take a toothpick and stick it through each little guy from the head to the tail.  This will keep it from curling when you cook it later.  Cover our little friends and let them marinate while you set up everything else.
  2. Heat up oil in a saucepan on medium heat.
  3. Put 1/4 cup of flour in a bowl, 2.5 tbsp of flour mixed with the water (hereby dubbed “sludge”) in a second bowl, and the panko bread crumbs in a third bowl.
  4. Take one shrimp and dredge it in the flour, make sure it’s completely coated in sludge, then completely coated in the panko.  Place it on a plate and repeat.  Dredging it in the flour first helps the sludge stick on better.  I like to use chopsticks or a fork to get through the flour and sludge, but I love using my hands for the panko and make sure I get every nook and cranny coated with the bread crumbs.  Let our crunchy coated friends sit for 5-10 minutes before plunging them into the jacuzzi of oil (waiting allows the coat the dry a little and the panko will stay on better).
  5. Now I’m not expert and I don’t have one of them fancy cooking thermometers, so I gauge the readiness of the oil by sprinkling a little bit of extra panko into the saucepan.  If it sizzles, we’re good to go.  Put our crunchy friends in the pool and let them do their thang.  They should cook for about 5 minutes on each side, then place them on a paper towel.  Once they’re cooled, take the toothpicks out.
  6. Place nori on a bamboo sushi mat and spread rice across the entire nori sheet, leaving 2-3 inches at the end furthest from you.
  7. Arrange the shrimp, avocado, and cucumber across the nori one inch from the rice-covered edge closest to you.
  8. Use the bamboo mat to help you roll the sushi tightly.  Use some water to moisten the last inch of the nori so the roll sticks closed.
  9. Wet a sharp knife under the faucet before cutting your sushi.

Sushi Rice
adapted from
(makes enough for 5-6 rolls)

2 cups sushi (short grain) rice
2 cups water
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp granulated sugar

  1. Place rice into the rice maker bowl and cover with cold water.  Swirl the rice in the water with your finger for a few seconds then drain the water.  Repeat 2-3 times or until the water runs clear.
  2. Pour water into rice maker bowl and cook the rice.
  3. While it’s cooking, combine the rice vinegar and sugar into a small bowl and microwave for 30-45 seconds.  (Warning: it reeks).
  4. When the rice is done, transfer it to a large bowl.  Using a spoon to control it, pour the sugary vinegar to every part of the rice.  Mix the rice thoroughly to make sure every grain gets some loving.  (Warning: it still reeks).
  5. Let the rice cool to room temperature then it’s ready to play!  (It doesn’t reek anymore).

Sriracha Mayonnaise
adapted from
(makes enough for 2 oz of fish)

2 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tsp Sriracha Chili sauce (more or less, depending on your taste)

  1. Mix them together.  That was easy!

And, of course, a sake bomb for good measure.

One thought on “Yellowtail Jalapeño Sashimi, Inside-Out Spicy Tuna Rolls, and Panko-Breaded Shrimp Roll

  1. Pingback: A Sushi Adventure 2.0 | it's more than just pho

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