Crispy Rice Tuna Tartar Poppers Recipe

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Crispy Rice Tuna Tartar Poppers Recipe

Destined to become a dinner party favorite, Chef Devaux’s subtly spicy, Crispy Rice Tuna Tartar Poppers are certain to be a sure-fire hit with guests. And they’re relatively inexpensive to whip up too! Melding the subtle sweetness of leftover sushi rice with succulent tuna tartar, these bite-size poppers deliver a subtle, spicy kick thanks to Chef Devaux’s delicious, homemade spicy mayonnaise.


Step 1: Rice Preparation

Since the recipe calls for rice leftovers, you can either use previously cooked and cooled rice, or make it fresh for this specific purpose. If doing so, allow the rice to cool prior to handling.

Moisten hands with a little water, and transfer a large handful of sushi rice over to the chopping board. Use your fingers to gently manipulate the rice into a rough ‘log’ shape. Cover with a sheet of cling film, then lay the bamboo rolling mat over the log’s form.


Using your fingers, begin manipulating the ‘log’ into an oblong shape. Apply pressure on both sides, and along the top of the rolling mat, to create defined edges and corners. While covered, press the rice in at both ends with your forefinger. Roll the log over and repeat the compression process until you are satisfied it is both firm, and well formed. Transfer to a plate, and refrigerate for 24 hours prior to intended use.


Step 2: Preparing the Tuna Tartar Topping


Cut the toro into 6 or 7 thin strips (approximately 0.5 cm wide), then into cubes. Repeat for the chutoro. Combine both on your chopping board, and with two chef’s knives, begin chopping down into a tartar.



Using the blade of your knife, transfer the tartar into a glass bowl. Add two tablespoons of homemade spicy mayonnaise, followed by 4-5 grams of freshly chopped chives. Lightly combine the ingredients with a spoon and set aside.



Step 3: Frying the Rice

Preheat the fryer to 195°C (374°F).


Remove the rice log from the refrigerator, and transfer onto the chopping board with the cling film intact. Moisten a clean knife with a little water, then slice the log into 6, equal sized cubes.

Unwrap the cling film from each cube. Then, holding the first between your thumb and forefinger, skewer the center with a cocktail stick. Immediately transfer the cube to the fryer. Fry each for 2-3 minutes, or until a light golden brown.


Lift out the entire basket from the fryer, and allow to cool. Transfer the cubes onto a serviette covered plate to capture any excess oil.fried-rice-cube

Step 4: Adding the Topping

Lay 1 or 2 serviettes across your ceramic presentation plate to absorb excess grease. Next, position each of the cubes on the plate, allowing a few centimeters between each for esthetic value. Ensure the cubes are laid with the cocktail sticks horizontal.


Using two spoons, transfer a teaspoon of the tartar mixture onto each cube. Scrape of any excess using the second spoon. Serve with a small ramekin of Soy Sauce. 



  • Large handful cooked, seasoned white sushi rice
  • Sashimi grade Bluefin tuna belly filet – ideally toro and chutoro (100 grams in total needed for this recipe)
  • 4-5 grams freshly chopped chives
  • 2 tbsp spicy mayonnaise


  • Chopping board
  • Cling film
  • Bamboo rolling mat
  • Two Miyabi or similarly sharp chef’s knives
  • Glass bowls (for the ingredients)
  • 1-2 tablespoons and teaspoons
  • Cocktail sticks
  • Tabletop/ deep fat fryer
  • Serviette covered plate
  • Ceramic sushi platter


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