Makizushi (Japanese Sushi Roll) With Canned Tuna Recipe

Tuna Salad Sushi Roll

The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 2 to 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
453 Calories
7g Fat
77g Carbs
16g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 453
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 10%
Saturated Fat 1g 6%
Cholesterol 17mg 6%
Sodium 1363mg 59%
Total Carbohydrate 77g 28%
Dietary Fiber 0g 2%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 16g
Vitamin C 2mg 11%
Calcium 33mg 3%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 248mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Tuna salad sushi rolls are long sushi rolls filled with tuna salad and wrapped in rice and seaweed. This style of sushi roll is known as makizushi or maki sushi, which means rolled sushi in Japanese. The sushi rolls are sliced and then dipped in soy sauce and enjoyed.

While tuna salad seems somewhat unconventional as a filling for Japanese sushi rolls, it is actually a popular filling for onigiri and musubi (Japanese rice balls). The tuna salad is typically on the bland side, with a simple mixture of canned tuna and mayonnaise. Variations of this basic tuna salad might include onions, salt, and pepper, but any type of tuna salad may be incorporated into this recipe. If you have a favorite tuna salad recipe, by all means, test it in a sushi roll!

The preparation time for this recipe assumes that prepared sushi rice is pre-made and ready for use. Simply steam rice ahead of time and season with bottled sushi vinegar or prepared dried sushi vinegar mix, both of which are available at Japanese grocery stores.

These tuna salad sushi rolls are assembled similarly to any other type of rolled sushi. A bamboo sushi mat is needed to roll the sushi.


  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion

  • 2/3 cup canned tuna

  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise

  • 1 dash salt

  • 1 teaspoon Japanese hot mustard (karashi), optional

  • 4 sheets nori (dried seaweed)

  • 6 cups cooked sushi rice

  • Gari shoga (sweet pickled ginger), for garnish

  • 2 teaspoons toasted and/or black sesame seeds, optional

  • Soy sauce, for serving

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Tuna Salad Sushi Roll ingredients

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

  2. To make the tuna salad mixture, mix chopped onion, tuna, mayonnaise, and salt in a bowl. Alternatively, use your favorite tuna salad recipe. If you prefer spicy tuna salad, add some karashi mustard to the tuna salad mix.

    mix chopped onion, tuna, mayonnaise, and salt in a bowl

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

  3. Cover the bamboo mat with a piece of plastic wrap to prevent the seaweed or any stray rice from sticking to the mat. This also makes for easy cleanup. Place one nori sheet on top of the bamboo mat.

    bamboo mat with plastic wrap and seaweed on top

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

  4. Spread 1/4 portion of sushi rice on top of the nori sheet. In the center, spread a line of the tuna salad horizontally across the rice.

    bamboo mat with plastic wrap, with seaweed, rice and tuna salad on top

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

  5. Roll up the bamboo mat, pressing forward to shape the sushi into a cylinder. Press the bamboo mat firmly and remove it from the sushi. Repeat the process and make more tuna salad rolls.

    tuna salad sushi roll, rolled using a bamboo mat

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

  6. Wipe a knife with a wet cloth before slicing sushi. Cut the sushi roll into bite-size pieces. Garnish with gari shoga and sesame seeds, if using, and serve with soy sauce.

    Tuna Salad Sushi Roll cut into pieces

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii