I worked at Kabuki for many years as a young adult, and I love their food! I’m going to be sharing 5 recipes inspired by my favorite Kabuki signature dishes, starting with the Firecracker. This appetizer is a spicy tuna dip with crispy wonton chips. I order it every time I dine at Kabuki!
The Firecracker is almost like tuna poke, but ground up as a dip and served with wonton chips on the side. It’s made with sriracha, japanese mayo, sesame oil, soy sauce, a tiny bit of sugar, and my secret ingredient which I will talk about later!
My best friends and I used to go to Kabuki all the time (even when I worked there), and we’d start off with the Firecracker as an appetizer. One time we were really craving it, but there wasn’t a Kabuki nearby so we tried to see if we could make it at home with some salmon that we had. This recipe is based off that very successful attempt, since I don’t know Kabuki’s actual recipe for the Firecracker.
Tuna– you can also use salmon if you prefer, just make sure it is “sushi grade” or safe for raw consumption.
*The term “sushi grade” in itself is not a real thing- more of a marketing term but, it is important to find fish that has been “previously frozen below a specific temperature and for a specific amount of time.” You can find more info about raw food safety here.
Veggies- finely diced tomato, red onion, and cilantro go into the spicy tuna dip, then topped with sliced green onion.
Sauce- Sriracha, Japanese mayo, sesame oil, soy sauce, a little sugar for balance, and my secret ingredient: pickled ginger brine. Does Kabuki add it to their mix? Probably not. I don’t know for sure. But this specific sauce, which I also use for poke bowls, tastes so much better with some pickled ginger brine. If you’ve ever tried to make a similar sauce at home and felt like it was missing something- it’s probably that.
Wonton chips- these are super easy to make, all you need are eggroll skins cut into small pieces and lightly fried for 10-15 seconds. That’s it! They add a very nice crunch and flavor to the dish. Perfect for dipping.
Storage & tips:
I recommend letting the spicy tuna dip marinate (in the refrigerator) for an hour before eating it. You don’t have to, but I do think that hour gives the marinade enough time to really enhance the flavors.
Do not keep in the refrigerator for more than 1 day. If you have leftovers just make sure to eat them within 24 hours. It may turn to a brownish color but it’s ok to eat during that time.
If you’re making this for a party or large gathering, you can make the chips ahead of time and store in air-tight containers. They will stay crispy.
I highly recommend serving with some sliced or cubed avocados!
Kabuki Firecracker Copycat
- 8 oz tuna or salmon sushi grade
- 2 tbsp red onion
- 2 tbsp tomato
- 1 tbsp cilantro
- 3 8x8 eggroll wrappers makes 27 chips
- canola or vegetable oil for frying
- 2 tbsp sriracha
- 1 tbsp Japanese mayo American mayo is ok too- just add a pinch of msg.
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp pickled ginger brine
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- green onion
- Mix together all the sauce ingredients and set it aside.
- Mince the tuna into a paste-like consistency. If your tuna has a lot of sinew, you may need to use a spoon and scrape the tuna off the sinew to separate it. Note: You can also use salmon which is what I actually prefer. Always use sushi grade fish when preparing for raw consumption.
- Add the tuna to the sauce, along with finely chopped tomato, red onion, and cilantro. Mix well and set in the freezer (so it firms up a little bit and stays cold) while we make the wonton chips.
- Stack the eggroll skins on top of each other and cut them into 9 squares by making 2 vertical and horizontal cuts (like a tic-tac-toe board).
- In batches, fry in oil for 10-15 seconds, flipping over once. They will look like they are slightly under cooked but just trust me- any longer and they will brown too much. Rest on paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
- Plate then top the spicy tuna mix with some chopped green onions, and that's it! You can also add some avocado slices to the side.
- I recommend letting the spicy tuna dip marinate (in the refrigerator) for an hour before eating it. You don't have to, but I do think that hour gives the marinade enough time to really enhance the flavors.
- Do not keep in the refrigerator for more than 1 day.
- If you're making this for a party or large gathering, you can make the chips ahead of time and store in air-tight containers. They will stay crispy.