Happy. Happy.  Joy. Joy.  I love when I have moments in life where I utter those words. I try to find a happy, happy, joy, joy moment every day.  It could be when a friend shares good news or when something happens wonderful at work for my husband.  It can be when a restaurant serves you an amazing steak or treating yourself to a cappuccino after a long shopping trip.  It can be a happy ending in a movie or any other kind of happy ending. (Wink. Wink.)

I was in the kitchen the other day and had the best happy, happy, joy, joy moment.  (And no, it was not a happy ending in my kitchen…eew…my kitchen is a sacred place people!  And if you do that in your kitchen, please don’t invite me for dinner!!!)

My happy, happy, joy, joy occurred the other day when I was making sushi at home.  I was lucky enough to go to my favorite Japanese grocery store and wanted to take advantage of having access to sashimi grade fish.  I enjoy making maki (sushi rolls) and feel fairly confident that I can make successful presentation BUT I have never been able to accomplish the perfect spicy tuna hand roll (temaki or sushi cone).

Every time I try, my temaki looks like an ice cream cone that a kid drops on the sidewalk.  It is all lopsided, the filling is coming out and it doesn’t look too appetizing.  (But like ice cream….I would still eat it.)

I’ve read article after article and I have even unrolled hand rolls that I’ve bought at restaurants to understand the magic.  I determined this week that my temaki was going to give me a happy, happy, joy, joy moment!!  (Behind the blogger scenes….I initially wrote “I wanted a hand roll to give me a happy, happy, joy, joy moment” but is it just me or did that read dirty?)

I found this illustration on a random website (Gohan Sushi).  I loved how clearly it laid out each step.  When I saw it, it was like a lightbulb finally went on over my head.  My angles have been all wrong in the past…I can do this…I can make the first happy, happy, joy, joy roll.

My afternoon was spent cutting vegetables, slicing fish, making rice and preparing the best spicy mayo EVER (The recipe is posted below).  I laid everything out on my counter and with great conviction followed the directions in the illustration.  (I did pull out my Sushi for Dummies book because it really is a good book.)

I broke my nori into a half sheet and gently laid down the rice.  I topped the rice with a large piece of lettuce and heaping spoonful of spicy tuna.  A couple of slices of cucumber and it was the moment of truth….I started to roll.

The first one wasn’t 100% perfect but by the second and third I was on a roll!!! (Pun intended.)

I did it.  I DID it!! I DID IT!!!!! I finally made a spicy tuna hand roll.  It was beautiful and I felt victorious.   HAPPY. HAPPY. JOY. JOY. 

My kitchen confidence hasn’t felt this large since the first time I executed my first poached egg.  I am happy that I never gave up on this goal and I am joyful for the success.

Now I realistically know a lot of you don’t make sushi at home or have a fear of making any dishes with raw fish…..but the spicy mayo I use on my tuna is pretty excellent and can be used on cocktail shrimp or in an awesome crab salad.

Any which way you use it will give yourself a happy, happy, joy, joy moment.



½ cup mayonnaise, don’t use sandwich spread (If you have access to Kewpie or Duke’s those are my top two choices)

½ tsp of toasted sesame oil

1-2 TBSP sriracha sauce

Optional:  1 TBSP Roe, I love the pop of roe in my mayo.  It can be found in Asian market and in some fancy grocery stores


In a small bowl, mix mayo, sesame oil, roe and only 1 tablespoon of the sriracha sauce.

Taste it.  It is going to get a little spicier after you let it sit for a while but you can add more now.

Cover the bowl and let chill in the fridge for about an hour.

Taste it again.  Add more sriracha if it needs a boost.

Mix with your favorite seafood ingredient.

Additional note…if making a seafood salad with this mayo…add the mayo slowly…stir…add more if you need it. You don’t want to drown it or make it soggy and completely hide the flavor of the fish.  (I find this amount is good for ½ pound chopped tuna or 1 pound of cocktail shrimp.)

You can also just add a squiggle of mayo to any dish to jazz it up.