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What Is Tekkadon?

By Angie Bates
Updated May 16, 2024
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Tekkadon is a type of Japanese rice bowl topped with raw tuna. A variation on traditional sushi, tekkadon includes normal sushi ingredients: sushi rice, tuna sashimi, and nori seaweed. Like rolled sushi, tekkadon is usually served with soy sauce and wasabi.

Sushi rice is a type of Japanese rice made with rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. It is this rice that determines whether a dish can be called sushi. Although special seasoning can be bought, sushi rice is more often made fresh.

To make the rice, uncooked rice grains are placed in a pan with water and heated. Once the rice is tender and has absorbed all the liquid, it can be transferred to a large bowl. The vinegar, salt, and sugar are heated in a pan until the sugar dissolves, then the mixture is cooled. Once cooled, the vinegar mixture is poured onto the rice and gently folded into mix. The goal is to retain the flavor of the mixture while avoiding too much water, so fanning the rice, or mixing near a breeze, is suggested.

Raw fish, however, is the ingredient that usually comes to mind when most people think of sushi. Tuna sashimi is always used in tekkadon. The term sashimi refers to the way the tuna is cut, sliced into several pieces. When serving any dish that uses raw meat, it is extremely important to obtain high quality fish to avoid any unwanted or dangerous elements that might otherwise be cooked out of the meat. High-end grocery stores or specialty stores often have sushi-grade fish available.

The tuna is usually coated in a mixture of soy sauce and sake or mirin, a sweet rice wine. Sesame seeds and sugar may also be added to the sauce. This mixture is not cooked, so it does have an small alcohol content. The tuna may also be coated in ground sesame seeds after being dipped in the sauce.

The rice is placed in a bowl and then the sauce-coated fish is placed on the rice. Sliced spring onions may also be added. Crumbled or shredded seaweed is sprinkled on top and should always be the edible nori or yaki-nori variety used for sushi. The amount of seaweed used can be adjusted to taste. Wasabi, Japanese horseradish, is the usual condiment paired with tekkadon. This spicy green addition is commonly served with any type of sushi and may be added to the dish at the diner's discretion.

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