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Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice in The Air Fryer

Imagine biting into a delectable combination of perfectly seasoned, crispy rice topped with a generous layer of zesty, spicy tuna mix. The contrast of textures and the explosion of flavors in every bite is simply remarkable. Whether you're hosting a dinner party or simply treating yourself to a special meal, this Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice in The Air Fryer will have everyone craving for more.

Creating the Perfect Tuna Mix

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of cooking, let's talk about the star ingredient: the tuna. To achieve the best results, it's crucial to use sushi-grade tuna. Look for bright, firm flesh with a clean aroma – these are signs of freshness. If you're unsure about the quality, don't hesitate to consult your local fishmonger for guidance. Additionally, opting for tuna that's been previously frozen at a sufficiently low temperature can reduce the risk of harmful parasites.

When choosing tuna for this recipe, go for a premium grade like bluefin or yellowfin tuna. Their robust flavors and tender textures make them an excellent choice for the dish. Remember, investing in high-quality ingredients is the secret to creating exceptional meals.

Crafting the Ideal Rice Base

While the type of rice you choose is flexible, I recommend going for a short-grain variety like sushi rice or Arborio rice. These rice types possess the perfect stickiness and texture to hold their shape when air-fried. Be sure to wash and rinse the rice thoroughly to remove excess starch before cooking.

To infuse your rice with flavor, season it well before cooking. I personally love using a blend of rice vinegar, a touch of sugar, and a sprinkle of salt. This not only enhances the taste but also adds a delightful aroma that complements the spicy tuna topping beautifully.

Cooking Perfection in the Air Fryer

Now, let's dive into the cooking process. Start by molding small portions of seasoned rice into bite-sized rectangles – this will be your crispy rice base. Preheat your air fryer to 375°F (190°C). Once heated, lightly brush or spray the rice rectangles with oil to ensure a satisfying crunch. Air fry them for about 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through, until they're golden brown and irresistibly crispy.

Crafting the Spicy Tuna Mix

While your rice is air-frying to perfection, it's time to prepare the spicy tuna mix. In a bowl, combine diced sushi-grade tuna, a splash of soy sauce, a hint of toasted sesame oil, a squeeze of fresh lime juice, and a touch of your favorite spicy mayo. Mix everything together gently to coat the tuna in that irresistible spicy goodness.

Assembling Your Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice

Once your rice rectangles are crispy and golden, remove them from the air fryer and let them cool slightly. Now comes the fun part! Carefully spoon a generous amount of the spicy tuna mix onto each crispy rice base. Top with finely chopped scallions, sesame seeds, and even a drizzle of extra spicy mayo if you're feeling adventurous.

Tips and Tricks for Perfection

  • Play with Textures: For an extra layer of texture, consider adding some crunchy tempura flakes to your spicy tuna mix. It'll give each bite an exciting crunch.

  • Serving Suggestions: Serve your Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice as an appetizer, snack, or even as a show-stopping party dish. Pair it with pickled ginger, wasabi, and soy sauce for the ultimate sushi-inspired experience.

  • Getting Creative: Don't hesitate to experiment with different toppings and sauces to cater to your taste preferences. Avocado slices, tobiko (fish roe), or even a drizzle of eel sauce can take this dish to new heights.

There you have it – an exquisite Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice recipe that's sure to tantalize your taste buds and impress your guests. The combination of crispy rice, succulent tuna, and a kick of heat is a match made in culinary heaven. Whether you're a seasoned home cook or a beginner in the kitchen, this recipe is an opportunity to explore new flavors and techniques.



  • 1 lb Sushi-grade tuna, diced

  • 4 Cups cooked sushi rice (short-grain), seasoned to taste (suggestions: rice vinegar, sugar, and salt)

  • 1 Tbsp Soy sauce

  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil

  • 3 Tbsp avocado oil mayo

  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar

  • 1 Tbsp chili oil (can substitute for chili onion crunch or hot sauce of choice)

  • 1 Jalapeño

  • 1 tsp sesame seeds

  • Avocado oil spray


  1. Preheat your air fryer to 375°F (190°C).

  2. Mold seasoned rice into bite-sized rectangular shapes: Line a 12x9 rectangular baking tray or tupperwear with parchment or aluminum foil (whatever you use, just make sure it has a high lip to use as a mold). Press the cooled cooked rice into the base go create an even, dense layer and place in the freezer for 2+ hours or overnight. Once the rice is firm, remove from the freezer and cut into 2" by 1/2" rectangles.

  3. Lightly brush or spray oil on the rice rectangles. Cook in the air fry for 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway, until golden and crispy (note: if you are cooking frozen rice cubes, double the cook time).

  4. In a bowl, combine diced tuna, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar, mayo, and chili oil. Gently mix.

  5. Once the rice rectangles are crispy, let them cool slightly.

  6. Spoon a generous amount of the spicy tuna mix onto each rice base.

  7. Top with jalapenos, sesame seeds, and additional spicy mayo if desired.

  8. Serve as an appetizer or snack, and enjoy the flavors

Storage: if cooking ahead, prepare the rice and store in the freezer until you're ready to air-fry. The tuna must be eaten within 24 hours of preparing (keep in mind the vinegar will slowly cook the outer layer of the tuna, leading to a different texture but delicious nonetheless).

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