Ahi Tuna Hand Roll (Temaki)

If you are craving sushi and don’t want to go through the hassle of making rolls, you should absolutely consider making temaki (hand rolls). These hand-held rolls are a fun and convenient way to eat sushi, and it is even ideal for an on-the-go meal!  I grew up eating temaki sushi but typically preferred maki rolls since I didn’t like eating with my hands. However, nowadays I am often coming up with quick recipes so that I can have delicious meals in a short amount of time, hence, why I make more handrolls now.

Temaki sushi consists of nori (seaweed) seasoned with short-grain rice. The choice of filling is pretty much limitless, but it often includes seafood like raw tuna, salmon, yellowtail, fish roe, or vegetables for a vegetarian option. The filling is often accompanied by garnishes to make the rolls more visually appealing. I have seen people use edible flowers, sprouts, and perilla leaves as garnishes.

You can find most or all ingredients at a Japanese grocery store or East Asian grocery store such as 99 Ranch or H-Mart. You can also find the ingredients at high-end grocery stores like Whole Foods or Erewhon, although only select Whole Foods locations sell sashimi fish.

How to purchase safe tuna?

Consuming raw fish will always come with risks. High-risk individuals should not consume it. Be cautious of your tuna’s source and make sure you are purchasing sashimi-grade fish. Sashimi-grade is an unofficial term which means the seller states that the fish is safe for raw consumption, based on FDA guidelines. The fish should be frozen for a certain amount of time right after it is caught to kill any parasites. Wild fish is more likely to have parasites than farmed fish. The best tip for purchasing a fish that is to be eaten raw is to buy from a reliable source and read reviews. I did plenty of research on my supplier before purchasing the tuna from them.

How to prepare ahi tuna at home: If the tuna steak arrives frozen, thaw it in the fridge and eat it within 24 hours of thawing. Sanitize cutting boards and knives with boiled water.

Ahi Tuna Hand Roll

yield: 4 hand rolls

total cook time: 30 min.


  • 6 oz. sashimi-grade ahi tuna steak OR other raw or cooked seafood of choice (shrimp, scallops, salmon, crab stick)
  • 6 g. or 1/2 to 1 tsp. wasabi (adjust to taste)
  • 30 g. or 2 tbsp. Japanese mayo (Kewpie)
  • 5 g. or 1 tsp. soy sauce or tamari for gluten-free
  • 185 g. or 1 c. cooked short-grain rice, cooled
  • 30 g. or 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 4 g. or 1 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 2 full nori (seaweed) sheets
  • thinly sliced cucumbers, optional
  • sprouts, optional
  • large fish roe (ikura), optional


  1. Roughly chop the ahi tuna steak into bite-sized pieces.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together wasabi, mayo, and soy sauce. Add the chopped tuna in and mix until combined. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the rice, rice vinegar, and sugar.
  4. Split the 2 nori sheets in half to yield 4 rectangular sheets.
  5. To assemble one roll, lay out one half nori sheet horizontally. Add sushi rice to the left half side of the sheet and a few bits of rice on the right edge of the sheet. The few bits of rice will act as glue when the sushi is rolled into a cone shape. (WATCH VIDEO ON HOW TO ASSEMBLE)
  6. Add some of the wasabi tuna mixture, cucumber, and sprouts on the tuna. Wrap the left side of the nori over and wrap the right side of the nori over the left to form a cone shape. Top with fish roe, if using. Repeat the assembly steps for the remaining 3 rolls.

Recipe notes:

  • These rolls are gluten-free.
  • The rolls are best when served immediately. Do not let the rolls sit out for more than two hours.
  • You cannot use long grain rice as it does not have enough starch to hold it together

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