With thin strips of cucumber as the wrapper, these nibbles prove that you don’t need to go to a sushi restaurant when the craving strikes. Fresh tuna is such a splurge and yet always leaves me proclaiming, “I could eat this way every week!”
You can’t go wrong with cucumber, tuna, and avocado. This combination is so fresh and the textures work in harmony. A spritz of lime and a thin slice of jalapeno round out all the flavors for one glorious bite.
This simple spring dish is a blast.
There’s a creaminess from the avocado and some crunch from microgreens, jalapeno, and cucumber. And the tuna! Let’s not forget about the luxurious tuna–so smooth and melt in your mouth.
Plus, you can make this recipe in about 15-minutes in one pan! So, there’s really no downside.
While these seem like an appetizer, I habitually make this dish a full meal by adding rice and miso soup to the table. If you have day-old rice, even better, I have this ahi tuna recipe that will walk you through how to make crispy golden rice in the same pan as the seared tuna.
Watch How to Make Cucumber Tuna Avocado Rolls (Video)
You can watch how to prepare the cucumber and layer the ingredients to make rolling easy.
- Tuna steaks (6 to 7 ounces/180-200g each) (boneless, skinless): Fresh tuna with vibrant color and marbling will have the best flavor and texture. Use purchased fish within 2 days.
- Olive oil: A high heat oil for searing the tuna. Avocado oil is a great alternative.
- Salt: sea salt or Kosher salt ensure maximum flavor
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Seedless English cucumbers: This forms the wrap and can be prepared easily with an open faced vegetable peeler or a mandolin set to the thinnest setting
- Avocados: you can ripen avocados quickly by placing in a brown paper bag someplace high (with a banana if possible)
- Microgreens: any delicate microgreen works; I like anything with a spicy bite, like radish or mustard greens (you can even grow microgreens yourself). Chopped cilantro is a good substitute.
- Jalapeno: Just a thin slice per bite gives the right amount of heat to accentuate the other flavors.
- Lime: Balances the savory flavors by adding a fresh, acid component.
Equipment Tip: a mandolin or vegetable peeler is key for peeling extra thin slices of cucumber for rolling. If you don’t own one, you can deconstruct the whole dish and serve it salad style in a bowl.
Step-by-Step Instructions and Cooking Tips
Step 1 – Cook Tuna.
Be sure to season the tuna well with salt and pepper. Rub with a thin coat of olive oil.
In a really hot pan, sear the tuna until you see a nice, even gold crust form. Repeat on the other side. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.
Step 2 – Prepare the Vegetables.
There are several ways to get thin strips of cucumber. You can use a vegetable peeler easily enough or a mandolin. If you don’t have either, you could thinly slice the cucumber and serve everything salad-style in a bowl.
Ingredient Tip: Look for “English cucumber” because the seeds are very delicate and English cucumbers tend to be long, making them perfect for strips (see above picture).
Step 3 – Assemble. Roll. Serve.
You can cut the tuna into thin ¼-inch thick squares (about 1-inch x 1-inch). Make sure the tuna has cooled completely or it will tear when you cut into it.
To assemble: Place the cucumber strip in front of you (note: you may need to stack 2 pieces of cucumber on top of each other).
Add a single layer of tuna starting from one end and leaving at least half the length bare (over-stuffed cucumber will be difficult to roll). Repeat with the avocado slices, a thin layer of microgreens, adding a single slice of jalapeno per roll.
Starting at the end with the tuna, begin to roll to form a single bite-sized roll. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
Serve with lime juice.
What temperature for cooking tuna steak?
Rare: A final temperature of about 90 degrees for that beautiful red color and luxurious texture that tuna is known for. You can cook it to medium-rare (130 degrees when measured at the thickest point) but any further and it will become dry.
How do you ripen avocado?
Place the unripe avocado in a paper bag with a banana and place on a shelf up high. This method will ripen an avocado within about 8 hours, so it’s great to do this the night before.
How many calories in a spicy tuna roll?
Approximately 460 calories in the total recipe, so divide the number of rolls you get by 460 and that’s the number of calories per roll.
How to store:
While you could make this dish ahead, I’d recommend omitting the salt because it will draw too much moisture out of the cucumber. You could assemble the rolls and store in a container in the refrigerator for a couple of days. The lime will prevent the avocado from oxidizing somewhat, but the ingredients will be at their best texture when fresh.
Now that you have the basic technique, it’s time to test the waters. You’ll soon get the hang of how to stack and roll everything. It’s also fun to lay everything out and let people stack and roll at the table together. It’s interactive and fun!
More Fresh Seafood Recipes For You:
- Halibut Foil Pack with White Wine Sauce
- Beer Braised Mussels with Spicy Salami and Sun-Dried Tomato
- Lemon Orzo Shrimp Salad
- Baked Scallops with Citrus Ginger Sauce
CUCUMBER TUNA AVOCADO SALAD ROLLS
- 2 tuna steaks (6 to 7 ounces/180-200g each) (boneless, skinless)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 seedless English cucumbers outer peel removed and thinly peeled lengthwise into wide strips
- 2 ripe avocados cut in half, seed and skins removed
- 1 jalapeno sliced very thinly
- 1 lime cut in half
- Cook tuna. Drizzle half the oil over the tuna. Smear over one side then sprinkle with half the salt and pepper, flip and repeat. Heat skillet over high heat until smoking hot. Place tuna steak in the skillet and cook on all sides for 45 seconds. You just want to sear the outside but keep the center rare (118F in the middle). Move to a plate and allow to cool completely before slicing.
- Prepare the vegetables. Use either a vegetable peeler or mandolin to slice the cucumber lengthwise into long thin strips. Set on a paper towel and sprinkle lightly with salt to remove excess water. With the avocado (rounded side face-up) cut into very thin ¼-inch thick slices lengthwise.
- Assemble the tuna salad rolls, slice, and serve. Once the tune is completely cool, cut it into thin ¼-inch thick squares (about 1-inch x 1-inch). To assemble: Place the cucumber strip in front of you (note: you may need to stack 2 pieces of cucumber on top of eachother). Add a single layer of tuna starting from one end and leaving at least half the length bare (over-stuffed cucumber will be difficult to roll). Repeat with the avocado slices, a thin layer of microgreens, adding a single slice of jalapeno per roll. Starting at the end with the tuna, begin to roll to form a single bite-sized roll. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Serve with lime juice.
Photography by Adam Rahman