This crunchy and refreshing sushi salad features wasabi crusted ahi tuna, tons of fresh vegetables, brown rice and a simple yet spectacular dressing. The ahi tuna is encrusted with wasabi peas and sesame seeds, then seared in a hot pan for a crisp, flavorful exterior and rare interior.

Why This Recipe Works

Green cabbage acts as the base of this salad, lending a refreshing crunch that pairs well with fresh cucumber, carrots, tender edamame, chewy brown rice and avocado slices.

The dressing for this salad is our Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette featuring Ponzu (a citrusy soy sauce), toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger and wasabi. If you don’t have ponzu you can easily use soy sauce, preferably low-sodium, and a splash of lemon or lime juice.

Finish it all off with our wasabi pea-crusted tuna and dig into this deconstructed sushi salad!

ahi tuna steaks, shredded vegetables, soy sauce, spices, edamame, rice, wasabi peas, and oil measured out and set on a counter

Ingredient Notes

Ahi Tuna

Ideally, ahi tuna steaks should be moist and shiny with a deep red to pink color. Look for the “sushi-grade” or “sashimi-grade” label at your local grocery store.

Wasabi Peas

For an added kick and some crunch, we crust the ahi tuna in a mix of crushed wasabi peas and sesame seeds. You can find them online or at your local Asian market.

Wasabi Paste

For the Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette, we used wasabi paste. You can generally find it in most grocery stores these days, but you can also get it at your local Asian grocery store or online.


A mix of crunchy veg gives us major sushi vibes. We like julienned carrots and cucumber in addition to shredded cabbage, edamame and creamy avocado. Feel free to play around and use whatever fresh veggies you prefer or like in your sushi.

soy vinaigrette being drizzled over sliced crusted ahi tuna steaks in a bowl filled with fresh vegetables, rice and pickled ginger

What to Serve with Sushi Salad

Serve this salad that’s loaded with umami flavors as a side or as the main course with many different side dishes. These are some of my favorite pairings:


sliced crusted ahi tuna steaks in a bowl filled with fresh vegetables, rice and pickled ginger

More Fish Recipes to Try


What’s in a sushi salad?

Green cabbage acts as the base of this salad, lending a refreshing crunch that pairs well with fresh cucumber, carrots, tender edamame, chewy brown rice and avocado slices.

What spices are good for sushi?

Tons! We suggest soy sauce, ponzu, rayu, tonkatsu sauce, wasabi, ginger, sesame + sesame oil, or vinegar.

How is poke different than sushi?

The biggest difference is that a poke bowl is a Hawaiian dish, while sushi is a Japanese dish. Plus, poke is served in a bowl.

What type of rice is used for sushi?

The best type of rice to use is short-grain Japanese rice. Homemade sushi rice only requires three ingredients and is incredibly easy to prepare!

Do you eat sushi bowls hot or cold?

We recommend serving this sushi salad cold.

Sushi Salad with Wasabi Crusted Ahi Tuna

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 4 servings (8 cups salad + ⅓ cup dressing
Category Dinner
Cuisine Asian


Taking inspiration from sushi, this Sushi Salad has all the components of your favorite roll, all tossed together in a sesame ginger vinaigrette. Healthy, flavorful, and satisfying, this ahi tuna salad is a winner!



  • ½ cup wasabi peas
  • 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
  • kosher salt
  • 4 (4-6 ounce) ahi tuna steaks
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil

Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette

  • ¼ cup ponzu or soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar or distilled white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey or sugar
  • 2 scallions, minced
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger, or 1 teaspoon dried ginger
  • ½ teaspoon minced fresh garlic, or ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon wasabi paste, optional


  • 5 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 3 large carrots, shredded
  • 2 cups shelled edamame, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 English cucumber, julienned
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1–2 cups cooked brown rice
  • pickled ginger, optional



  • Place wasabi peas in a mini food processor and process until they resemble coarse breadcrumbs. Transfer to a shallow bowl, add sesame seeds and whisk to combine; season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Pat tuna steaks dry, then coat with nonstick cooking spray. Press tuna steaks into wasabi pea mixture, coating all sides.
  • Heat avocado oil in a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add tuna steaks to pan and cook 2 minutes per side, for rare. Transfer to a plate and let rest 5 minutes; slice thinly.

Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette

  • Whisk together ponzu, sesame oil, vinegar, honey, scallions, ginger, garlic and wasabi; season with additional wasabi to taste.


  • Divide cabbage, carrots, edamame, cucumber, avocado, and brown rice between 4 large shallow bowls.
  • Cut tuna steaks into thick slices and arrange over salads. Drizzle tuna and salads with vinaigrette.
  • Serve with pickled ginger and wasabi paste on the side.


Feel free to play around with different vegetables—the ones we have included are a good starting point but if you have some favorites, use those! 
To cut down on the prep time, use pre-shredded carrots and cabbage, or a bag of shredded coleslaw mix, 


Calories: 568kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 46gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 300mgFiber: 11gSugar: 10g
Like this? Leave a comment below!I love hearing from you and I want to hear how it went with this recipe! Leave a comment and rating below, then share on social media @zestfulkitchen and #zestfulkitchen!
sliced crusted ahi tuna steaks in a bowl filled with fresh vegetables, rice and pickled ginger

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Photography by Megan McKeehan.

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine,,, and more.

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