Spicy tomato ‘tuna’ hand-rolls


Preparation info

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Appears in

Jackfruit and Blue Ginger

Jackfruit and Blue Ginger

By Sasha Gill

Published 2019

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While the tomato here isn’t going to hoodwink a sushi enthusiast, the blanching completely transforms its texture and the marinade gives it a more mellow flavour. The result is a fresh take on spicy tuna hand-rolls.

Use tamari instead of soy sauce.

Prep time: 25 minutes (plus marinating time)
Cooking time: 20 minutes


  • 4 tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup (140 g) sushi rice
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 sheets nori, cut into half
  • ½ small cucumber, cut into thin strips
  • black and white sesame seeds, to serve


  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 1–2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce, depending on how spicy you like it
  • 2 teaspoons vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 spring onions (scallions), chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Score a shallow ‘X’ in the base of each tomato, then pop them into the boiling water, immersing them completely. Leave for 40–60 seconds, then carefully remove with a pair of tongs and immediately plunge them into a large bowl of cold water. Leave them for a minute or so, until the skin starts to peel away, then drain and peel off the skins – they should come away quite easily. Cut each tomato into quarters, scoop out and discard the seeds, then chop the tomato flesh into small chunks.

For the marinade, mix together all the ingredients in a bowl. Add the tomato chunks and toss to coat well, then cover and marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour – the longer you leave them, the better the flavour.

Rinse and drain the rice. Continue to do this until the water runs clear – this usually takes 5–7 thorough rinses. Tip the rice and a generous ¾ cup (200 ml) water into a saucepan that has a tight-fitting lid and add the salt. Bring to the boil over high heat, stirring constantly, then turn down the heat as low as possible, clamp on the lid and let the rice cook undisturbed for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave the rice to sit for 10 minutes, without lifting the lid.

Meanwhile, mix together the vinegar and sugar until the sugar has dissolved.

Now take the lid off the rice and stir it around with a rice paddle or wooden spatula. Use a paper fan, or a book, to fan the rice and cool it down more quickly, gradually pouring in the vinegar mixture and stirring to mix well. Go gently so as not to break up the rice too much.

When the rice is cool enough to handle, lay a piece of nori on the countertop, with the matte side facing up. Follow the diagrams opposite to fill your hand-rolls with cucumber strips and the marinated tomatoes, shaking off any excess marinade. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.