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Think you can’t make the uber popular and super beautiful sushi stack at home? You thought wrong, my friends.
In this ahi tuna sushi tower recipe, I’ll show you how to create a gorgeous stack o’ sushi that you can be proud of.
We’re loading our ahi tuna tower with fresh fish and all of our favorite sushi accompaniments – buttery avocado, crunchy cucumber, sweet mango and sticky rice.
Forget takeout! The next time your sushi craving hits, make this easy recipe right in your own kitchen.
A homemade sushi tower makes a great appetizer for a main Japanese meal, or a meal in itself with a green salad and miso soup.
Ingredients for this Ahi Tuna Sushi Tower Recipe
Here’s what you’ll need to make this yummy twist on classic sushi rolls:
The Sushi Stack
- Ahi tuna. If your local grocery store doesn’t carry ahi tuna, seek out a sushi restaurant that’s willing to sell you a small piece. It’s important that the tuna is labeled “sushi grade”.
- Sushi rice. Short grain rice, like sushi rice, has the highest starch content, which is necessary for stickiness. Your sushi stack will surely fall apart without sticky sushi rice. If you prefer to use brown rice, be sure that it is short grain brown rice.
- Mango. When mangoes are out of season, you can almost always find them in the frozen food section of the grocery store. The mango will already be peeled and pitted, and all you have to do is defrost it and chop it up.
The Tuna Marinade
Before we stack the tuna, we’ve got to give it some flavor! Here’s what you’ll need for the marinade:
Helpful Tools for Making this Ahi Tuna Sushi Tower Recipe
Let me preface by saying that I did not use either of the helpful tools I’m about to recommend when I was testing and shooting this tuna stack. So, these tools are nice-to-haves and not an essential purchase.
That said, if you plan on making sushi towers a part of your regular routine, these little tools certainly won’t hurt:
Sushi Tower Mold. Also called a cake ring or a food ring mold, it is basically a round cylinder that’s open on both ends.
The benefit of a sushi tower mold over a plain measuring cup is the lack of suction that occurs with a measuring cup. So you’ll get cleaner layers when you remove the mold.
Tamper. A tamper is more effective than the back of a spoon when it comes to pressing the layers of your sushi stack together. The less air between your layers, the better they’ll keep their shape.
How to make this Ahi Tuna Sushi Tower Recipe
Marinate the Tuna
Dice the tuna nice and small. Then, whisk all of the marinade ingredients in a large bowl and toss in the tuna.
Cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it while you prep the other ingredients.
Cook the Rice
Make the rice on the stove or in a rice cooker, if you have one.
It will take about 20 minutes for the rice, and you can be prepping the other ingredients while it cooks.
Prep the Layers
While the rice is cooking and the tuna is marinating, get busy dicing the cucumber, mashing the avocado and chopping the mango.
Assemble the Sushi Tower
Grab your one-cup measuring cup or sushi tower mold. Arrange a layer of diced cucumbers at the bottom of the measuring cup. Shake it a little to make sure the layer is level.
Next, layer the chopped mango over the cucumbers. Use the back of a spoon or a tamper (if you have one) to press down.
Follow the mango layer with the avocado mash. Use a spoon or tamper again to press down.
The sushi rice goes on last. Use a wet spoon or tamper, because the rice will stick to a dry one. Press down on the rice firmly.
How to Serve this Sushi Tower
If you don’t have a mold, you’ll need to invert the measuring cup onto a serving plate. Before you do that, run a wet knife around the edges to loosen the sushi stack from the measuring cup.
Quickly flip the cup upside down onto a serving plate or sheet of parchment paper. Then, slowly lift the cup to reveal that gorgeous sushi stack.
The last thing to do is spoon your ahi tuna on top and sprinkle some chopped green onions.
Variations on this Ahi Tuna Sushi Tower Recipe
1. Spicy Tuna Sushi Tower. Create a spicy ahi tuna tower by incorporating spicy mayo into the marinade. Spicy mayo is a combination of mayonnaise and hot sauce or sriracha.
2. Salmon Sushi Tower. Try sushi grade salmon or yellowtail in place of the tuna. Another good option that’s also inexpensive is imitation crab meat.
3. Spicy California Shrimp Stack. Swap cooked shrimp in for the ahi tuna. Top with the spicy shrimp stack with a dollop of spicy mayo.
4. Vary the layers. If you love mango, try making a mango salsa with scallions and fresh jalapeño peppers for a sweet and spicy layer. Other fun ideas for layers are pickled red onion, seaweed salad and cooked edamame.
When you make this Ahi Tuna Sushi Tower recipe, I’d love to hear about it! Drop a rating or leave a comment below. Enjoy!
For more sushi recipes, try these:
- Crunchy California Roll Recipe
- Sushi Bake with Spicy Tuna
- Salmon Poke Bowl Recipe with Avocado (Hawaiian Style)
How to Make an Ahi Tuna Sushi Tower with Avocado
- 1 1 cup measuring cup
- 1/2 lb. ahi tuna
- 2 cups cooked sushi rice recipe below
- 1 cucumber peeled, seeded and diced
- 1 cup mango diced
- 1 avocado
- 1 lime
- 2 Tbsp. green onions chopped
- Marinate the tuna: combine all marinade ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well. Dice the tuna and toss in the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
- Make the rice: Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in 1 cup of uncooked sushi rice. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until water is absorbed.
- Make the avocado mash: combine the avocado, juice of 1 lime and a dash of sea salt in a small bowl. Mash with a fork.
- Assemble the sushi tower: Arrange a thin layer of diced cucumbers onto the bottom of a 1 cup measuring cup. Pat down. Place a layer of diced mango on top of the cucumbers. Use the back of a spoon to press down. Now, spread a layer of avocado mixture over the mangoes. Finally, press sushi rice down onto the avocado mash, using a wet spoon. Press down firmly.
- Run a butter knife under water. Run the wet knife around the edges of the measuring cup to release the sushi tower. Carefully invert the measuring cup over a serving plate.
- Slowly lift the measuring cup off the plate, revealing the sushi tower. Gently spoon the ahi tuna mixture on top of the sushi tower. Garnish with chopped green onion and additional sesame seeds, if desired.