A spicy tuna avocado tower is a gorgeous, fun, and super easy appetizer using crispy fried wonton wrappers, sushi-grade tuna, ripe avocados, and delicious spicy mayo. Perfect for any dinner occasion!
As seen in Essence Magazine November 2018 Issue!
I am bringing you ‘end of summer’ send-off with this recipe. Because brace yourselves…the fall recipes are coming.
But this is for you lucky ducks who are getting those slightly cooler summer evenings. The ones that are just nice to sit outside and enjoy some al fresco dinner for an at-home date night. This is such a great appetizer that’s so simple to throw together, it’s sophisticated enough to wow your date but it’s also casual enough for game night.
At least, it is to me. I can’t be the only one.
This recipe is a restaurant copycat, though the restaurant is only local to Fort Lauderdale. There’s a beach-front Asian-fusion place called Tsukuro on Fort Lauderdale beach and they serve ‘spicy tuna towers’ as an appetizer.
A $20 appetizer.
It’s really delicious, hence me recreating it, but I literally bought all the ingredients for $8 for two huge spicy tuna avocado towers that my hubby and I just devoured for dinner.
The amount I put in the recipe can make four very nice sized towers or two generous -and I do mean generous– towers if you are just a glutton for spicy tuna like we are.
How to Make Spicy Tuna
It looks impressive, but it’s super easy to pull together.
First thing’s first: you must have sushi-grade fresh tuna. The word must is the keyword here.
Sushi-grade tuna means that it has put through a process that ensures the tuna is safe to eat raw.
Fish that isn’t sushi-grade doesn’t mean that it’s inherently dangerous, but it has the ability to have a harmful parasite or bacteria that would be killed off when cooked. Sushi-grade fish is much less likely because it has been processed (usually through a specific freezing process) and has been declared safe.
The raw tuna is then diced and chopped, then mixed with a spicy mayo sauce. Boom, spicy tuna.
To make spicy mayo all you need is mayonnaise, preferably Kewpie brand (which is a popular Japanese mayo that tastes different than Western mayo), and a hot sauce. I love sriracha because it’s low on the Scoville scale and doesn’t give off too much heat, but you can use what you like.
To make the spicy tuna towers, you fry up the wonton wrappers in a pan, then dice and chop up the tuna and avocados, whip up the spicy mayo, and put the towers together.
See? So easy. You can even cut up one wonton wrapper into strips, fry them, and put them on top for a pretty presentation, like I did.
Boom. A great dish that embodies summer: fresh, easy, and fun.
Can I make these ahead of time?
You can prepare every part of these tuna towers a day ahead, then stack the towers when ready to serve. Remember, raw fish is only good for about a day or two, so you can’t make this a week in advance or anything.
Looking for more seafood? Check out:
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- 1 cup (240 mL) vegetable oil
- 8-16 wonton wrappers
- 1/2 tsp (3g) kosher salt
- 1 lb sushi-grade ahi tuna, diced into small 1/2 inch pieces
- 2 ripe avocadoes, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/8 cup (30g) mayonnaise, preferably Kewpie brand
- 1-2 tbsp (15-30g) sriracha, depending on your love of spiciness
- Juice of half a lemon
- 2 tsp (10 mL) sesame oil
- Sesame seeds, tobiko, finely sliced green onions, for garnish
- Heat vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once up to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C), fry wontons, one or two at a time, for 10 seconds, then use tongs to flip the wontons over and fry for another 10 seconds, until the wontons are browned and bubbly.
- Place the fried wontons on a paper towel-lined plate, then sprinkle wontons with a pinch of salt. Repeat these steps until all wontons are fried.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the ingredients for the spicy mayo and set aside.
- In a large bowl, gently mix together the diced tuna and avocado. Then dollop two spoonfuls of the spicy mayo and gently mix in, adding more if desired to coat the fish and avocado to taste.
- On a plate, lay a foundation layer of the wonton wrapper, then top it with the spicy tuna mixture, making that layer as even as possible so the next wonton will sit as flat as possible. Top the spicy tuna later with another wonton, then top that with more spicy tuna, and repeat until you have about 3-4 wontons used.
- Top the last wonton with the spicy tuna mix. Garnish with tobiko, sesame seeds, and green onions, if desired.
- Serve immediately, as the wontons will get soggy.
To make a fun, curly wonton topping as seen in the photos, cut a couple of wonton wrapper into strips and fry them until brown and bubbly, then let rest on a paper-towel-lined plate until ready to top the tuna towers
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 617Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 29gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 607mgCarbohydrates: 58gFiber: 10gSugar: 12gProtein: 19g
Eden Westbrook is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Sweet Tea and Thyme. A classically trained chef, Eden has inspired home cooks into the kitchen with cultural comfort foods, easy family-friendly eats and sweets, and glorious spreads for date night and entertaining since 2015.