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Spicy "Tuna" Maki

Spicy "Tuna" Maki

Course Appetizer
Keyword plant based fish, plant based sushi
Servings 4
Author Robin Asbell


  • 4 cups 1/2 inch wide watermelon strips about 1/4 small seedless red melon
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 1 tablespoon hot oil or more
  • Roll
  • 2 cups sushi rice
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 6 nori sheets
  • 12 slices cucumber peeled and seeded
  • chives or long sprouts
  • squash blossoms or shiso leaves
  • wasabi, pickled ginger, soy sauce


  • Place the watermelon strips in a zip top bag or a square tub. In a cup, stir the avocado oil, vinegar, tamari and hot oil. Pour over the melon slices and gently turn to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight.
    Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a sheet pan with parchment. Lift the melon slices out of the marinade and place on the parchment.
    Bake for an hour, until shrunken and soft. Cool completely and chill.
    Rice: Wash rice repeatedly until water runs clear. Use a rice steamer if you have one, following instructions for your cooker. To cook on the stove, bring 2 1/4 cups water and the washed rice to a boil, cover tightly and lower heat to lowest setting. Simmer, covered, for 10-15 minutes, until all the water is absorbed. Let stand, covered, for at least 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat vinegar, sugar and salt together in a small saucepan to dissolve. Pour over rice and fold in with a rice paddle. Fan rice to cool.
  • Fillings: Prepare the cucumber, slicing in very thin strips, and assemble your fillings.
    Prep your area. Prepare a bowl of cool water with a shot of rice vinegar added, and have a clean towel for your fingers. On each nori sheet, place about 3/4 cup of rice on the bottom. With wet fingers, pat the rice to cover all but the top 3/4 inch of the nori, leaving the remaining portion exposed. Spread a small dab of wasabi, and put a line of watermelon, and a slice of cucumber. Put sprouts in so the leaves hang out at both ends. Roll. Dab some vinegar water on the exposed nori and dry your fingers. Let rest, seam side down, for a minute. Slice. Serve with pickled ginger and soy sauce for dipping.