Shiso Spicy Tuna

Come experience the bold flavors with my Shiso Spicy Tuna recipe! This delightful fusion dish pairs classic spicy tuna with crispy fried shiso leaves, creating a unique sushi-style hors d’oeuvre. It’s a lighter twist on traditional sushi, perfect for those seeking a protein-packed appetizer with a burst of flavor. Join me in exploring this exciting recipe that’s sure to impress your guests and elevate any gathering!

Homemade spicy tuna placed on top of a pan fried Japanese shiso leaves.

Why I Love This Recipe

If you’re craving a taste of sushi without the hassle, my Shiso Spicy Tuna recipe is your answer! Picture this, homemade spicy tuna mix atop a crispy, pan-fried shiso leaf – it’s a mouthwatering symphony of flavors and textures! This exclusive creation takes my beloved Soy Paper Spicy Tuna Rolls to new heights, offering an tuna appetizer experience similar to my Japanese Style Tuna Tartare!

With fresh yellowfin tuna and a straightforward preparation method, this dish is perfect for anyone eager to impress with minimal effort. Plus, its elegant presentation makes it ideal for special occasions or entertaining guests. Get ready to elevate your sushi game and wow your guests with this fail-proof recipe!



  • Shiso Leaves – a common Japanese herb, can be found at Asian grocery stores.
  • Neutral Oil no taste or flavor with high cooking temperature. Some choices are sunflower oil, peanut oil, sallower oil, vegetable oil, and canola oil. 
  • Yellowfin TunaSushi/Sashimi Grade Ahi Yellowfin Tuna, also known as ahi in Hawaii. Can be found in the fresh seafood section as well as frozen fillets  labeled saku blocks.
  • Green Onion – finely chopped green onion scallions.
  • Toasted Sesame Oil – 100% Toasted Sesame Oil that should have a dark brown color.  
  • Soy Sauce – low-sodium Soy Sauce preferred. Can also use tamari for gluten-free.
  • Mayonnaise – use Japanese Kewpie Mayo. Can substitute with regular mayo but will alter flavor.
  • Togarashi (red pepper)Togarashi Japanese chili pepper blend found in most Asian or Japanese supermarkets. A good alternative would be cayenne pepper or red pepper.
  • Sriracha – Asian style chill sauce.
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds – optional garnish.

🍣 Tuna Note

We recommend using frozen sashimi-grade tuna blocks, often called Saku Blocks. These are typically from Yellowfin Tuna, which is leaner and less fatty than Bluefin tuna, making it the ideal choice for creating a spicy tuna mix in this recipe.

Japanese shiso leaves.

Essential Kitchen Equipment

  • Large Skillet
  • Drying Rack


Step 1 Heat neutral cooking oil in a large skillet or frying pan. Gently fry shiso leaves for 20-30 seconds per side until crispy, then place them on a drying rack.

Shiso leaves being fried.

Step 2 Prepare the spicy tuna mix by combining finely chopped yellowfin tuna, mayo, Sriracha, toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, green onions, and red pepper.

Spicy tuna mix in a bowl.

🌀 Mincing Tuna Pro Tip

You can use a Food Processor to Mince the tuna. However, exercise caution and avoid over-blending the tuna as you still want texture in the mix.

🌶️ Spicy Pro Tip

Customize the spice level of the tuna mix according to your preference by adjusting the amount of Sriracha or Togarashi used.

Step 3 When ready to serve, place a spoonful of spicy tuna mix on each fried shiso leaf.

Spicy tuna mix served on a crispy shiso leaf.

🍽️ Serving Pro Tip

For the best taste and texture, Serve Immediately. There’s no need to dip it in soy sauce, as it’s already incorporated into the flavorful tuna mix. Simply take a bite and savor.

Recipe Variations

You can switch up this dish by making a Spicy Tuna Avocado Bowl, using avocado bowl instead of the shiso leaf. Another option is to serve the tuna mix on a rice cracker for a crunchy twist. These variations offer distinct ways to enjoy the spicy tuna mix, providing versatility in presentation and taste.

Pairing Recommendations

Enhance your dining experience by serving alongside standout finger foods like Lobster Sushi Rolls or Ground Beef & Mushroom Endive. These dishes perfectly complement the spicy tuna, offering a variety of flavors and textures to enjoy. For an added touch, include Garlic Truffle Edamame on the side.

Spicy tuna mix inside a bowl.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use different types of tuna for this recipe?

Yes, you can use different types of tuna for this recipe, but it's recommended to use leaner varieties like yellowfin tuna. While premium tuna like bigeye and bluefin are options, they tend to be fattier and oilier, which can affect the texture and flavor of the spicy tuna mix. Opting for leaner tuna ensures a better balance of flavors in the dish.

Can I prepare the spicy tuna mix ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the spicy tuna mix ahead of time. It will keep well in the fridge for up to 1-2 days when stored in an airtight container.

Do I need any special kitchen equipment to make this dish?

No, you don't need any special kitchen equipment to make this dish. Only basic kitchen tools are required, making it accessible and easy for anyone to prepare.


Homemade spicy tuna placed on top of a pan fried Japanese shiso leaves, close up shot.

Storage Tips

Once assembled, it’s best to consume this dish right away for optimal freshness and flavor. However, if you have leftover unused spicy tuna mix, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The spicy tuna mix will remain fresh for 1-2 days when properly stored.

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Watch How To Make It

Homemade spicy tuna placed on top of a pan fried Japanese shiso leaves, close up shot.

Shiso Spicy Tuna

Discover the exquisite flavors of Shiso Spicy Tuna, a delightful sushi-style appetizer featuring crispy shiso leaves. Perfect for sushi lovers seeking a flavorful twist, this recipe offers a unique fusion of fresh yellowfin tuna and bold spices. Try it today and elevate your sushi game with this irresistible dish!
5 from 4 votes
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: Asian Fusion, Japanese
Keyword: shiso sushi
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 15 bites
Print Recipe
Calories: 27kcal


  • 15-20 Shiso Leaves
  • 1 tbsp Cooking Oil neutral, no flavor or taste
  • 1/2 lb Yellowfin Tuna sushi/sashimi grade
  • 2 Stalk Green Onion
  • 1 tsp Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 2 1/2 tsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp Kewpie Mayo can replace with American mayo, but will alter taste
  • 1/2 tsp Togarashi can substitute with cayenne pepper, but use 1/4 tsp
  • 1 tsp Sriracha
  • 1/8 tsp Toasted Sesame Seed optional


  • Gather all the ingredients.
    Ingredients for shiso spicy tuna dish.
  • In a frying pan, add neutral cooking on medium low heat. Let the oil warm up for about 1 minute, reduce the heat to low and add shiso leaves. Cook shiso leaves for 20-30 seconds per side until crispy (should have a solid firm texture). Set aside on cooling rack.
    Ingredients for shiso spicy tuna dish.
  • Combine minced yellowfin tuna, chopped green onions, toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, Kewpie mayo, togarashi, Sriracha and mix well.  
    Spicy tuna mix in a bowl.
  • Take 1 tbsp of the spicy tuna mix and place on top of crispy shiso leaves. Sprinkle optional toasted sesame seed and enjoy as is. No dipping needed.
    Spicy tuna mix served on a crispy shiso leaf.


Calories: 27kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 103mg | Potassium: 35mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 45IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg
*Values Based Per Serving
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  1. so good, i’ve made this a couple of times now. I have a room mate who is allergic to onions so i substitute cilantro and in my latest batch i omitted the mayo. plus as i didn’t have the shito leaves this time around i used romaine leaves and turned it into a lettuce wrap… delicious!!!

    thank you so much for this easy to follow recipe, without it I may not have had the courage to try to do a poke at home!!!

    • LowCarbingAsian

      Hey Roxanne! Glad you liked the spicy tuna and I like the idea of a spicy tuna wrap! Also, if you are looking for Hawaiian style poke recipes, we have a couple of great ones on our site!

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