Sushi Bar Tuna Salad (Paleo, Whole30)

You know those luscious salmon and crab rolls you can get at the sushi bar? The ones that are creamy and luxurious, studded with sesame seeds and then layered with avocado and cucumbers, and just after you think mmmmm, it turns into oh! because it’s a little bit spicy?  This recipe is just like that.

It also allows me to make a really terrible joke that I love.

What did the sushi bar tuna salad say?

Come up and sashimi sometime…

Sorry. I hope this delicious tuna salad makes up for that.

Sushi Bar Tuna Salad

Serves 2 | Total time: 15 minutes | Whole30 compliant

  • 2-3 scallions

  • 2 (5-ounce) cans tuna, packed in olive oil or water

  • 2 teaspoons black sesame seeds

  • 1 teaspoon white sesame seeds

  • 2 teaspoons sriracha*

  • 2 teaspoons unseasoned rice vinegar

  • 2-3 tablespoons Olive Oil Mayo

  • 1 small avocado

  • 1/2 seedless cucumber

  • 3 sheets nori


    *replace with Louisiana hot sauce for Whole30


 Mix the tuna. Thinly slice the scallion cross-wise and place in a mixing bowl. Drain the tuna and add to the bowl, along with the sesame seeds, sriracha, and vinegar. Mix with a fork until combined. Then add the mayo and mix well.


Prep the veggies. Cut the avocado and cucumber into 3- to 4-inch long matchsticks. Set aside.


Roll it up. Cut the nori sheets in half crosswise to make two rectangles; you can follow the direction of the lines stamped on the nori. Lay a sheet of nori on your work surface. Place a scant 1/4 cup tuna on the edge closest to you, leaving a 1/2-inch border at the end near you. Flatten it out a bit, then a few strips of cucumber and avocado on top. Starting from the bottom left, roll toward the right to make a cone, tucking the ingredients inside as you go, then moisten the free edge with a little water or sriracha to seal it. Repeat with the remaining tuna and nori.


To serve, place on individual plates with raw veggies on the side.

You Know How You Could Do That?

You can replace the tuna with canned salmon—or crab meat—or add some wasabi to the nori roll for a kick. Try adding other veggies, too: shredded cabbage, slivered red bell pepper, or additional scallion greens or fresh chives.

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  • Leanne Murdoch says:

    Hi Mel,

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes. I have Well Fed and Well Fed 2. There is almost always a jar of Sunshine Sauce in my fri – love it!

    I have a book question. A few years ago you mentioned a women’s detective series set in the 1920’s/flapper era. I blew through them and really enjoyed it. I wanted to recommend to a friend, but I can’t remember the title or author. Could you shoot me an email with either? If so, thanks so much!

  • Kathie Gray says:

    This sounds yummy, I really need more seaweed in my life so I’ll have to give this a go.

  • Brigid says:

    I am definitely going to try this! (I’m literally eating your chocolate chili as I type this!) Is nori the same as the roasted seaweed snacks that have become popular?

    • Yes… you can replace the homemade nori chips with commercial roasted seaweed snacks—but the whole nori sheets are much cheaper so I opted for those in the recipe.

  • Anne says:

    Sounds yummy ! The pic (beautiful!) looks like a dip and the directions sound like individual servings. Can you help me see where I’m going?

    • HA! I see why you think that… but it’s not a dip 🙂 This recipe is for individual servings, we just photographed it in a fancy mold shape. You just pack the tuna into a measuring cup, then upend it on the plate. It makes tuna salad look a little more posh.