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Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice Paper Cups

May 9, 2024 | 0 comments

You’re just 15 minutes away from the most gorgeous, crowd-pleasing party snack around. Make a spicy, fresh tuna mixture with a few cupboard staples, fry rice paper in a little oil (and watch the magic happen), then pile everything into your crunchy cups and enjoy. Serve with sweet chili jam on the side for drizzling.

Five tuna rice paper cups on a pink plate.

I can’t remember the first time I discovered that rice paper puffs up like actual MAGIC in a little oil, but I DO remember being absolutely transfixed by it. It is seriously one of the most fun things to do in the kitchen and it makes the perfect crunchy vessel for this gorgeous spicy tuna mixture.

These disappear SO quickly at parties – not only do they look impressive but they’re incredibly moreish and packed with umami flavor. Plus, they take about 15 minutes to pull together, and the only actual cooking you’re doing is frying the rice paper in a little oil for a few seconds.

A little like mini tacos, these lovely cups not only make perfect party food, but they’re a wonderful light meal fab for warmer weather. Pair them with a crunchy Asian slaw or gochujang potato salad or pile the tuna mixture on top of sushi rice to make poke bowls.

Ingredients

Ingredients for spicy tuna rice paper cups laid out and labelled.
  • Tuna. You want to use sashimi grade/sushi grade tuna here (tuna that’s been prepared in a way that makes it safe to eat raw – it’s usually flash frozen). If you can’t find it, you can use canned tuna, or use sashimi grade salmon (or hot smoked salmon, or baked salmon).
  • Spicy mayo. This provides the essential creamy element to the tuna. I LOVE using gochujang aioli (just gochujnag paste mixed with aioli) but you can use any spicy mayo you like (sriracha mayo is great too).
  • Soy sauce. Light soy sauce – not dark! Dark is too strong.
  • Scallions (spring onions). I LOVE the freshness these bring to the tuna mixture – you could use chives, Chinese chives or very finely diced shallots or red onion instead if you like.
  • Rice paper. You normally find these sold as rounds. In this recipe, I’m cutting each piece of rice paper into four triangles because these cups are intended to be bite-sized, but you could cut them in half for a larger cup.

OPTIONAL: Drizzling a little sweet chili jam on top of each cup is HIGHLY recommended. It perfectly finishes the cups with just the right amount of spiciness and sweetness.

How to make them

Add your diced tuna, spicy mayo, scallions, soy sauce, sesame oil and sesame seeds to a bowl and mix to combine.

Use scissors to cut your rice paper rounds into quarters (or in half for larger cups). Heat your oil in a high-sided frying pan or skillet, then carefully lower your rice paper into the oil and watch it puff up magnificently. This truly takes a couple of seconds.

Place your cucumber rounds inside each cup, then dollop on a heaped spoonful of the spicy tuna mixture. Scatter over more scallions and sesame seeds to finish.

Got a question?

Can I use canned tuna?

You can! If you can’t find good-quality fresh tuna, or don’t like raw fish, canned tuna works just fine. Canned tuna in oil is best here – tuna in spring water is a little drier so you’ll need to add a little more spicy mayo.

Can I make the cups in advance?

You can make the tuna mixture up to 48 hours in advance, then fry the rice paper and assemble them when you’re ready. You can fry the rice paper earlier in the day you’d like to serve them (you could make them the day before but they will soften a little).

What could I use other than tuna?

Use sashimi-grade salmon, hot-smoked salmon or baked salmon (this maple miso glazed salmon would be great) or chicken (try them with shredded chicken teriyaki, satay chicken, miso grilled chicken, sticky gochujang chicken or Korean fried chicken).

Watch how to make them

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Five tuna rice paper cups on a pink plate.

Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice Paper Cups


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  • Author: Kate Phillips
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 20 cups 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

You’re just 15 minutes away from the most gorgeous, crowd-pleasing party snack around. Make a spicy, fresh tuna mixture with a few cupboard staples, fry rice paper in a little oil (and watch the magic happen), then pile everything into your crunchy cups and enjoy. Serve with sweet chili jam on the side for drizzling. 


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 8oz/240g sashimi grade tuna (or salmon)
  • 2 tablespoons spicy mayonnaise or aioli (I’m using gochujang aioli)
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3 scallions (spring onions), finely sliced
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (plus more to serve)
  • 6 rice paper wrappers
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (sunflower, avocado, canola, rapeseed or similar)
  • 1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 2 tablespoons sweet chilli jam, to serve

Instructions

  1. Mix your spicy tuna. Dice your tuna into small chunks, then add to a bowl along with the spicy mayo, soy sauce, sesame oil, three-quarters of the sliced scallions (keep some aside to scatter on top of the cups) and the sesame seeds. Mix well to combine, then set aside for now.
  2. Prep your rice paper. Use scissors to cut your rice paper rounds into quarters – you can cut them in half if you’d like larger cups. 
  3. Heat your oil. You want the oil to come roughly half an inch up the side of your pan. To check the oil is hot enough, hold a chopstick or a wooden spoon upright in the oil – if lots of bubbles rapidly rise against it, it’s good to go. You can also CAREFULLY dip a piece of rice paper into the oil. If it starts to puff up and change color (it’ll turn white), you know it’s hot enough. If the oil isn’t hot enough, the rice paper will sink to the bottom and won’t puff up.
  4. Fry the rice paper. Set yourself up with either a wire rack or a plate lined with paper towels to drain the fried rice paper on. Carefully lower the rice paper pieces into the hot oil and watch as they puff up magnificently. This takes a couple of seconds. Use tongs or chopsticks to remove the puffed up rice paper from the oil and place them on the wire rack, or on a plate lined with paper towels.
  5. Assemble the cups. Set the rice paper cups on a serving platter, then place a couple of thinly sliced cucumber rounds at the bottom of each. Divide the spicy tuna mixture between the cups, then finish with a little drizzle of chili jam (if you’re using it), along with the reserved scallions and more sesame seeds. Enjoy right away.

Notes

STORAGE INSTRUCTIONS: Any leftover tuna can be kept for up to 2 days in the fridge – it’s a wonderful excuse to make poke bowls! The rice paper is best eaten the day it’s fried as it softens over time.

INGREDIENT NOTES: You could use canned tuna if you don’t like raw fish, or can’t find sashimi-grade tuna. Use sashimi-grade salmon, hot-smoked salmon or baked salmon (flaking this maple miso glazed salmon would be FAB) or chicken (try them with shredded chicken teriyaki, satay chicken, miso grilled chicken, sticky gochujang chicken or Korean fried chicken).

OPTIONAL ADDITIONS: Try adding a few slices of avocado to each cup, or dollop a little avocado edamame dip on top.

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 5
  • Category: appetizers
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: asian

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 4 cups
  • Calories: 255
  • Sugar: 2g
  • Sodium: 282mg
  • Fat: 12.7g
  • Saturated Fat: 8g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 2.6g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 23.6g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 12g
  • Cholesterol: 17.3mg

Welcome!

I’m Kate, the creator behind Dished. I love creating flavour packed, simple (ish) recipes for you, designed for every day and special occasions.

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