Tekkamaki Tuna Rolls are made with sashimi grade tuna rolled in vinegared sushi rice and nori seaweed sheet. Homemade Tekka Maki is so much cheaper than the restaurant, and it’s really easy to make from scratch.
Our family loves Japanese sushi recipes, and I often make Spicy Salmon Roll, Boston Roll, California Roll, and this delicious Tekkamaki for a quick and healthy meal. They’re great for lunch, dinner, or evening snack!
What is tekka maki?
Also called tuna roll, Tekkamaki is a type of rolled sushi made by rolling raw sashimi-grade tuna in seasoned rice and nori seaweed sheet. It’s a popular hosomaki in Japan. Hoso means “thin”, and maki or makizushi means sushi roll. Fresh tuna sashimi is sometimes referred to tekka. Hosomaki is narrower than futomaki, and usually has fish or vegetables wrapped with nori on the outside.
What’s tekkamaki tuna sushi roll made of?
- Tuna: Traditional tekka maki recipe contains raw sashimi-grade tuna. If you’re not a brave raw fish eater, you can substitute canned tuna.
- Nori (Seaweed Sheets): Good nori should be black with a slightly green hue. Fresh nori sheet is crispy and can be easily split into half by folding it.
- Sushi Rice: It’s best to use Japanese short-grain rice for the best fluffy rice.
- Sushi Vinegar: If you don’t have sushi vinegar, you can mix rice vinegar, sugar, and salt as a replacement. It adds more flavor to cooked sushi rice.
- Sesame Seeds: I use toasted white sesame seeds. Just toast them slightly in a frying pan for 5 minutes, and it will add a wonderful nutty flavor and aroma to your rolls.
You’ll also need a sushi rolling mat to make the roll for the best result.
How to prepare tuna
Traditional tekkamaki recipe calls for raw tuna. If this is what you have in mind, you’ll need to buy sashimi-grade tuna. Usually, you can find it at your local Japanese grocery stores. Place the fish on ice before cooking, and it’s best to eat it the same day. You’ll need to cut the tuna into 1/2-inch strips for easy rolling.
If you don’t like the idea of eating raw fish, you can substitute canned tuna or cooked tuna.
How to make tekkamaki
For this recipe, the nori seaweed is on the outside, covering the rice. I like to cut the nori sheet in half, so that my rolls are nice and thin. It’s easier to roll with a bamboo mat, but if you don’t have one, you can use a piece of parchment paper.
First place the nori on top of the bamboo mat. Evenly spread rice over nori and sprinkle sesame seeds. Then place sliced tuna on top.
Start rolling using your bamboo mat to firmly keep the roll in place. Apply some pressure to tighten it up. Once the roll is complete, you can move it to the cutting board and cut them into pieces.
Tips for making the best tekkamaki tuna roll:
- Cooking the perfect sushi rice: Use high-quality short grain Japanese rice for this recipe. Wash the rice with cold water until the water runs clear. Then add the rice and water to the rice maker. I use 1:1 ratio when I make sushi rolls so that the rice is not too mushy. Once cooked, transfer it to a large bowl and let it cool down slightly. When it’s still very warm, stir in the sushi vinegar and mix well. You can replace sushi vinegar with the mixture of white vinegar, sugar and salt.
- To prevent rice sticking to your hands: When handling rice, you can use Tezu, which is a hand dipping liquid made with ¼ cup water and 2 teaspoons rice vinegar. Wet your hands with Tezu to prevent rice from sticking to your hands.
- To prevent sushi rolls from falling apart: You’ll need to squeeze the roll gently while rolling. Once you finish, you can place the bamboo mat over the sushi roll and gently squeeze the roll again.
How to serve and eat tekka maki
Grab your chopsticks and get to eating your tekka maki right away! The best way to enjoy this sushi dish is fresh! You can dip them in soy sauce if your palette prefers an extra bit of seasoning
How to store tekkamaki
Store the leftover in an airtight container and they can last for up to 2 days in the fridge. The key is to lock in the moisture so that they don’t dry out.
Spicy tekkamaki tuna roll
If you like to add some heat to this recipe, you can mix the sliced tuna with spicy mayo before adding it to the roll.
Where to buy ingredients for tekka maki?
You can find all of your ingredients at your local Japanese grocery store. Make sure to buy sushi-grade tuna for this recipe.
Are tuna rolls healthy?
Overall, tuna rolls are healthy! They are low in calories, high in protein and a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids.
What is the difference between maki and sushi rolls?
Sushi is made with cold rice that has been boiled and moistened with rice vinegar, then shaped into bite-sized pieces. Maki is made by rolling the rice with vegetables or raw fish and then slicing the rolled up tube into bite sized pieces/
More Japanese Sushi Roll Recipes
Quick and Easy Tekkamaki Tuna Roll Recipe
For Sushi Rice:
- 1 1/2 cup sushi rice (I recommend using high-quality Japanese short grain rice)
- 1 ½ cup water
- 1 ½ tablespoons sushi vinegar or mixing 1 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1/2 tablespoon sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt
For Tekka Maki:
- 4 oz sashimi-grade tuna (113g), you can substitute canned tuna
- 2 sheets nori seaweed sheet
- 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds toasted
Optional for Serving:
- soy sauce
Make the Sushi Rice
- Wash the rice with cold water until the water runs clear. Then add the rice and water to the rice maker. Cook according to the instruction.
- Once cooked, transfer the hot rice to a large bowl and let it cool down slightly. When it’s still very warm, stir in the sushi vinegar (or the mixture of rice vinegar, sugar, and salt).
- Cut the tuna into 1/2-inch thick strips.
- Lay out the bamboo mat with an optional piece of plastic wrap on top (this will make clean up easier).
- Fold the nori sheets in half and split them by hands or using a pair of scissors.
- Place half of the nori sheet on top of the bamboo.
- Take ¾ cup of cooked rice and evenly spread over nori while leaving 1/2 inch at the top of the sheet. Wet your fingers in the tezu* vinegar water to spread the rice in a thin layer. Don’t use too much pressure, otherwise you’ll make the rice mushy.
- Sprinkle with white sesame evenly on top.
- Place tuna strips on top of the nori.
- Place the thumbs underneath the bamboo mat and lift the edge up and over the filling.
- Roll the bamboo mat away from you and apply some pressure to tighten it up. Keep rolling until the ends meet.
- Once the roll is complete, move the roll to the cutting board and cut them into pieces.
- * Tezu water for dipping hands: Mix together 1/4 cup water and 2 teaspoons rice vinegar.
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