Hurricane Vegan Tuna Salad Boats

loaded vegan tuna salad boats

Have you ever tried vegan tuna salad? It’s one fantastic filling in a line up of healthy vegetarian sandwich options. We are talking creative possibilities with no end. Why you don’t even have to have bread for this recipe. Instead, you pile the scrumptious filling into crunchy purple cabbage leaves.

I think you will find the flavor of this vegan tuna salad has some remarkable similarities to traditional tuna. No, it doesn’t taste like fish. However, it has all the tasty condiments typically used in tuna salad. Plus, it has two dynamite ingredients borrowed from Japanese cuisine. 

I have included chewy cooked brown rice and sprouted sunflower seeds for wholesome texture. Mayo, celery, pickle, fresh dill, and lemon zest give the filling it’s creamy, recognizable taste. But hello umeboshi plum vinegar and furikake! These two seasoning stars add zing and mouth-watering impact in spades.

You won’t believe the incredible freshness and crunch when you scoop your mock tuna salad into red cabbage leaves. Of course, you don’t want to stop there. Top it with juicy tomatoes, silky avocado, more sesame seaweed sprinkle, and this meal is complete.

It’s surprising how sustaining these fun to eat, open-faced beauties are. You know the way a sandwich made on thick bread can sometimes leave you feeling sluggish? In contrast, I love the way I don’t feel weighed down after chowing this meatless masterpiece. At the same time, I’m not hungry for hours.

You can find both umeboshi plum vinegar and furikake in the Asian food section of your grocery or natural foods store. Umeboshi vinegar is sour, fruity, salty, and complex. It adds a unique flavor to salad dressings and marinades and elevates recipes.

As to furikake, in Hawaii it gets sprinkled on everything from rice and edamame to popcorn. If you haven’t already tried hurricane popcorn, you will want to add it to your bucket list. That is, of course, after you have enjoyed my Hurricane Vegan Tuna Salad Boats.

FAQ- Hurricane Vegan Tuna Salad Boats

Why is this recipe called Hurricane?

I borrowed the name hurricane because the recipe includes a Japanese seasoning used in a very popular Hawaiian snack called “hurricane popcorn”.

What is hurricane popcorn?

Hurricane popcorn originated in Kaneohe on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. It started as a small local business in the early 1990s and has since grown to world distribution through online orders. It’s an Asian fusion blend of popcorn, furikake seasoning and tiny rice crackers.

Can I make my own natural hurricane popcorn at home?

Absolutely! Just toss freshly popped kernels with melted vegan butter, furikake and arare rice crackers. You can mix it up with your own combination of little rice crackers in different shapes and sizes. Just look for a mix without artificial flavors or colors.

What is furikake made from?

Furikake is a dry Japanese condiment used to sprinkle over rice or season dishes. Typically it includes sesame seeds, seaweed, soy sauce and sugar. Some mixes contain fish flakes that vegans will want to avoid. Other blends include tart tasting shiso, also known as perilla leaf or even spicy wasabi. You can have fun customizing dishes with the different styles of furikake!

What can I use in place of Japanese ume plum vinegar?

You can substitute another fruity vinegar or red wine vinegar and increase the salt in the recipe to compensate for the savory taste of ume plum vinegar.

loaded vegan tuna salad boats

Hurricane Vegan Tuna Salad Boats

Vegan tuna salad piled into crunchy cabbage leaves, topped with veggies and sprinkled with dynamite seasoning. A great way to use left-over cooked brown rice. Whole-grain and gluten-free.
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Course Dinner, Lunch, Under 30 Minutes
Cuisine Hawaiian, Japanese, Plant-Based
Cooking Skill Beginner
Servings 4 servings, 2 boats each
Calories 313
Author poppyswildkitchen


Vegan Tuna Salad

  • 1 cup cooked short-grain brown rice*
  • 1/2 cup sprouted sunflower seeds, or 1/3 cup raw seeds soaked 1 hour
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 3 TB Vegenaise or vegan mayo
  • 1 1/2 tsp. umeboshi plum vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Bragg’s liquid aminos
  • 1 tsp. fine lemon zest
  • 1/8 tsp. cracked pepper

Stir-In Seasonings

  • 1 TB furikake
  • 1 TB fresh dill or 1/2 tsp dried
  • 1 TB minced parsley
  • 1/4 cup minced dill pickle, squeezed dry

Cabbage Cups and Topping

  • 8 small purple cabbage leaves
  • 3-4 small vine ripe tomatoes
  • 1 large avocado
  • Extra furikake for sprinkle


  • Let cooked brown rice cool or warm to room temperature if previously refrigerated. . Place rice and sprouted or soaked sunflower seeds in a food processor. Pulse and grind until mixture is uniform but still has texture.
  • Add celery, Vegenaise, Bragg's, vinegar, lemon zest and pepper. Pulse again just to blend. Stir down sides of food processor if necessary.
  • Transfer tuna salad to a medium sized bowl. Stir in furikake, dill, parsley and minced pickle. (Remember to squeeze excess juice from pickle). Blend well.
  • Slice tomatoes and avocado. Lay out cabbage leaves. Fill each leaf with about 1/2 cup tuna salad. Top tuna salad boats with tomato and avocado slices.
  • Sprinkle with furikake as desired and serve.


*Use short-grain brown rice. Other types of rice will not work as they will be too grainy and not moist and chewy enough.
This recipe is an ideal way to use left-over cooked brown rice. Simply bring it to room temperature before making tuna salad. Refrigerated or hot rice will change the way the tuna salad blends together.
Be sure to stir furikake, fresh herbs and pickle in by hand. Adding them at the end without grinding gives the tuna salad more flavor.


Calories: 313kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 638mg | Potassium: 689mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1259IU | Vitamin C: 41mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 2mg
0 0 votes
Article Rating

You Might Also Like

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments