August 04

Narly Tuna Nori

When I was pregnant with Char back in 2005 I met my friend Vivien. I was in hospital as I started to go into labour too early (luckily managed to stop it) and Vivien was there as she had been in the same position a few weeks before and was back.

The moment our husbands (and toddlers) left, we struck up a conversation, and can I say the rest is history.

It was Vivien that first sparked my interest in making my own nori rolls.

I remember the first time I tried her homemade nori rolls, or as my kids say sue-she aka sushi. They were so good. I couldn’t believe she made them. I’ve made my own nori rolls ever since I first ate Vivien’s nori rolls. They are so much better than store brought as you can control what goes in them which is very important when you have an intolerance.

This particular recipe is not a dairy free version, however, you could use a dairy free mayo. I decided to post it as it’s my kids favourite thing to eat, and everytime I make it everyone loves it. The secret to this recipe is a garlic mayo. So, if you are dairy intolerant you might like to put a sprinkle of garlic powder in your dairy free mayo.  I make my own mayo, it’s so easy, and I will share with you my recipe one day.

I hope you enjoy making and eating my version of Tuna Nori Rolls as much as my family and friends. Depending on how thick you like your rice will depend on how many rolls this recipe will make. We have a divided household, as my kids like more rice, but my husband Glenn likes less rice with more tuna. Even with with more rice you can see in my pictures that the nori sheets are not fully covered. Making the rolls the way my kids like them with more rice I find I get 4 rolls plus 1 smaller roll for Glenn. If I make all smaller rolls the way Glenn likes them, then obviously I get a lot more.

Before you embark on making your nori rolls you will need a bamboo sushi mat which you can pick up for a few dollars at a supermarket; a chopping board; and a bowl with water in it for your hands when assembling the nori rolls.

Narly Tuna Nori

Prep time Cook time Total time
3 hours 10 mins 10 mins 3 hours 20 mins

Author: Tracey Francis of Essential Olie
Recipe type: Main


  • 1 cup Sushi Rice
  • 1½ cups Water
  • 3 Tablespoons Gluten Free Sushi Seasoning
  • 425g tin of Tuna (in springwater)
  • 3 Tablespoons of garlic mayonnaise (aioli)*
  • Nori Sheets


  1. Cook the rice according to the sushi rice instructions on the packet – bring the water and rice in a saucepan to the boil then put the lid on the saucepan and turn the heat to a low setting and cook for 10 minutes. Make sure you keep an eye on it to ensure it does not burn!
  2. Take off the heat and leave for another 10 minutes.
  3. Tip the rice into a bowl or container and mix in with a fork the sushi seasoning. Allow the rice to cool enough for you to handle, OR, place in the fridge for it to completely cool for 2 hours.
  4. Strain the tuna using a colander so that you get most of the springwater out of it.
  5. Transfer tuna to a bowl and using a fork mix through the garlic mayonnaise.
  6. Time to assemble! Remember, you need your chopping board with a bamboo mat and a bowl of water for this stage.
  7. Put your bamboo sushi mat down on your chopping board.
  8. Put one nori sheet down (put the shiny side down on the mat).
  9. Using your fingers wet them in the bowl of water and sprinkle the rice over the nori sheet. You need to leave about a 1 cm gap at one of the long ends and a 2-3 cm gap at the other long end.
  10. Using a small spoon make a stripe of tuna approximately ⅓ of the way on the rice.
  11. Using the bamboo mat – roll, roll, roll until you get to just the nori sheet then dip your fingers in the water again and run them along the edge of the nori so it will make it stick.
  12. Allow the nori on the outside of the roll to soften before cutting into your desired lengths/pieces. I often will leave them long in a container and cut them just before we eat them.
  13. Serve with or without your favourite condiments – we like using wasabi, gluten free tamari or my 4S sauce.


* We buy the Birch & Waite Aioli Garlic Mayonnaise which is in the produce section at Woolworths.
** Tip – I make the rice the night before and leave it in the fridge so it’s cold when assembling the rolls.
Click here to go to my recipe for my 4S sauce.

Nori sheet with rice – note the gaps at end of the long ends plus it’s not jammed packed with rice:

Add your tuna roughly 1/3 of the way from the long edge closet to you…you will be rolling away from you…bottom to top:

PS. This recipe also works wonders if you are time limited ‘deconstructed-style’ aka using either Seaweed Chips or Nori Sheets cut into squares then layer similar to a lasagne aka nori square, rice, tuna mix, nori square, rice, tuna….eat messily with fingers or use chopsticks or a knife and fork.

More rice….

Less rice….

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