Easy Tekka Maki Recipe (Japanese Tuna Sushi Roll)

5 from 2 votes
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Craving sushi? Try our easy Tekka Maki recipe for a taste of Japan. Learn step-by-step how to make this delicious, classic sushi at home!

Tekka maki sushi served on a plate.

In this recipe, I’ll walk you through how to make a delightful Japanese tuna sushi roll known as Tekka Maki! With its rich flavors and vibrant colors, it holds a special place in Japanese sushi cuisine.

Whether you’re a sushi pro or a newbie, these easy steps and tips ensure your success in making this delicious sushi! Let’s start now!

    This recipe is for you if:
  • You love Japanese sushi.
  • You love sushi rolls or maki sushi.
  • You are looking for easy tekka maki recipe.
  • You want to make Japanese tekka maki rolls at home.

If you want to check the recipe immediately, please visit the link below. Let’s get started!

About This Recipe

  • Japanese sushi roll recipe
  • Tuna is the main ingredient
  • Beginner-friendly sushi roll to try at home

What is Tekka Maki?

Tekka maki illustration.

Tekka Maki, also known as a tekka roll or tuna roll sushi, is a popular Japanese sushi roll known for its simplicity and bold flavors.

It features sushi-grade tuna as its star ingredient. The tuna strips are rolled with seasoned rice and wrapped in nori seaweed, resulting in a compact and flavorful cylindrical sushi roll.

It’s often served with soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger, making it a beloved choice at sushi restaurants.

Origins and Naming

Tekka Maki became popular during the late Edo in gambling dens. The term “Tekka” in Japanese is derived from “the red color of hot iron.”

This name was adopted because of the vivid red hue of the tuna and its spicy character paired with wasabi, similar to the heat and intensity of hot.

In sushi terminology, the term “Maki” refers to a roll. Any sushi roll is named by combining the “main ingredients” with the word “maki”, such as “tekka” maki and “natto” maki.

A Brief Introduction to Sushi Roll (Maki Sushi)

Futomaki and hosomaki illustrations.

The sushi roll, known as Maki sushi or Nori maki in Japanese, is created by wrapping a nori sheet (seaweed) around a layer of vinegared rice seasoned with a mixture of rice vinegar, sugar, and salt, along with the chosen main ingredient in the center.

Sushi roll comes in two different sizes:

Hosomaki, futomaki, and uramaki on a cutting board.

I hope this simple knowledge will make ordering at sushi restaurants a more enjoyable and effortless experience for you!

📋 Ingredients

Here are the ingredients (amounts are in the recipe card below).

Ingredients for tekka maki sushi.
  • Cooked Japanese rice: See below.
  • Tuna: See below.
  • Nori sheet: See below.
  • Rice vinegar, sugar, and salt: We blend them well and pour them into the rice to make vinegared rice. Other types of vinegar may be too strong for the rice, so I highly recommend using rice vinegar. You can also use store-bought seasoned rice vinegar.

Japanese Short-grain Rice

Japanese rice on a plate.

The best rice for sushi rolls is short-grain rice, which is more starchy than long-grain rice and helps maintain the desired shape of the sushi roll and onigiri rice balls.

I won’t go into the details of how to cook rice in this recipe, so please see the “How to Cook Japanese Rice on the Stove” recipe.

How To Cook Perfect Japanese Rice on The Stove
5 from 13 votes
No rice cooker? No problem! Learn how to cook Japanese rice on the stove for fluffy and delicious results, and savor a wholesome Japanese meal at home – read on!
Make This Recipe
Japanese short grain rice in a pot

Nori Seaweed Sheet

Nori sheet.

Nori is a type of seaweed that’s dried, crispy, and sold in sheets like in the picture above.

Get this full-size nori sheet (8.3″ x 7.5″ or 21 x 19 cm) at a grocery store, and we will divide it into half to make this sushi roll recipe.

Raw Tuna

A block of Tuna on a plate.

When consuming it raw, pick a sushi-grade tuna for the best flavor and safety. Look for fish markets or specialty seafood stores that label their tuna as suitable for raw consumption.

If raw fish isn’t your preference, you can opt for cooked or partially seared tuna.

Where to Buy Japanese Ingredients

If you live in the US, you can find Japanese ingredients in the list below.

  • Japanese market: Mitsuwa MarketplaceMarukai
  • Asian market
  • Whole Foods Market
  • Health food stores
  • Online stores: Instacart, Walmart, Amazon

Makisu (Bamboo Sushi Mat)

Makisu, bamboo sushi mat.

A Makisu, also known as a bamboo mat or sushi mat, is a traditional tool used in Japanese cuisine for rolling sushi. It is made from thin bamboo strips woven together with string. The makisu provides support and helps shape the sushi roll while keeping the ingredients tightly wrapped.

When you closely observe the side profile of Makisu, you’ll notice that one side is flat while the other is round. Make sure to place the nori sheet on the flat side to achieve a smooth surface for your sushi roll.

If you don’t have a Makisu, you can still make sushi using plastic wrap as a substitute.

🔪Instructions

Here are the step-by-step instructions for making Tekka Maki. The process consists of the following four straightforward steps!

  • Step 1: Preparing the Rice
  • Step 2: Preparing the Ingredients
  • Step 3: Assembling the Roll
  • Step 4: Cutting the Roll

Step 1: Preparing the Rice

Step for preparing sushi rice.

1. Blend rice vinegar, salt, and sugar well to make sushi vinegar.

Step for preparing sushi rice.

2. Transfer the cooked rice to a large bowl, and gradually pour the sushi vinegar mixture over the rice while gently mixing it with a rice paddle.

Step for preparing sushi rice.

3. Mix until the rice is evenly coated with sushi vinegar. Be careful not to mash the rice.

Step for preparing sushi rice.

4. Cover with a wet cloth over the bowl while preparing the ingredients. Allow the rice to cool to room temperature before making sushi rolls.

Helpful Tips For Preparing The Rice

  • When preparing the sushi rice, avoid mashing the grains while stirring. Use a gentle folding motion to mix the rice and seasonings.
  • If the sushi rice is still hot, you can use a paper fan to cool it to room temperature.

Step 2: Preparing the Ingredients

Preparing nori sheet.

1. Nori sheet: Divide a nori sheet in half. Follow the lines on the seaweed and cut along their direction with your hand or scissors.

Tuna strips on a cutting board.

2. Tuna: Remove the excess moisture with a paper towel and cut into 1 cm (½-inch) strips.

Step 3: Assembling the Roll

A step for assembling the tekka maki.

1. Place a bamboo sushi mat on a flat surface and place the nori sheet, shiny side down and rough side up, on the mat.

A step for assembling the tekka maki.

2. Wet your hands with water to prevent the rice from sticking, grab the sushi rice, and shape it into a cylindrical form.

A step for assembling the tekka maki.

3. Evenly spread the rice on the nori sheet using your hand. Leave half an inch (1.2 cm) of the nori uncovered at the top.

A step for assembling the tekka maki.

4. Place the tuna in the center of the rice.

A step for assembling the tekka maki.

5. Align the seaweed with the bottom edge of the sushi mat. Use your middle finger to hold down the tuna, lift the mat with your thumb, and start rolling from the front until the end of the rice. Apply gentle pressure to shape the roll.

A step for assembling the tekka maki.

6. Lift the sushi mat and roll the sushi to seal the roll. Apply gentle pressure to shape the roll.

Tekka maki roll on a cutting board.

The first one is complete! Repeat the rolling process to make four more rolls. Allow them to sit for a few minutes before cutting.

Helpful Tips for Assembling the Roll

  • Use around 70-80g (1/3 to 1/4 US cups) of rice for each roll as a guide to avoid overflow when rolling.
  • When spreading the rice, ensure it is evenly distributed on the nori sheet. Wet your hands with water to prevent sticking, as rice tends to be quite sticky. You can also use a rice paddle as it can make the spreading process easier.
  • Nori sheets have a shiny side and a rough side. When placing the nori sheet, ensure the shiny side faces down. Once the sushi roll is completed, the shiny side of the nori should be on the outside.
  • Ensure that the smooth side of the sushi mat faces up and the knot is positioned on the upper side.

Step 4: Cutting the Roll

How to cut tekka maki roll.

1. Prepare a damp cloth, as the rice tends to be sticky. Use a sharp knife to slice it into bite-sized pieces.

How to cut tekka maki roll.

2. Wet the knife with the damp cloth and cut the sushi roll in half.

How to cut tekka maki roll.

3. Align the two halves of the sushi rolls and cut them into thirds.

How to cut tekka maki roll.

4. Done! Serve the sushi rolls with the cut side facing up.

Helpful Tips for Cutting the Roll

  • Position the end of the roll facing down and let it sit for a few minutes before cutting. This will make it easier to cut. Have a damp cloth ready to wipe the knife after each cut, ensuring clean cuts.
  • Make sure to cut each sushi roll to the same length. It looks visually appealing when each piece has the same height when serving.

Serve

Tekka maki sushi served on a plate.

Enjoy your Tekka Maki roll by serving it alongside soy sauce and wasabi paste. Simply blend the wasabi paste into the soy sauce, and then dip your sushi roll into the sauce.

Adding wasabi to soy sauce is highly recommended, as it enhances the flavor and contributes to the bactericidal action of raw fish, ensuring a safer and more delicious sushi experience.

Sushi Roll Variations

Kanpyo roll sushi served on a plate.

You can create even more variations if you substitute tuna with other ingredients. Here are some classic sushi roll options:

Thanks For Stopping By!

Hold the Tekka maki and dip into soy sauce.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog♡. If you’ve tried this recipe (or any other recipe on the blog), please give it a star rating below!

Also, feel free to leave comments if you have any questions. I love hearing from you!

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More Sushi and Rice Recipes You Might Like

Tekka maki roll served on a plate.

Easy Tekka Maki Recipe (Japanese Tuna Sushi Roll)

5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Save
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 5 rolls
Author: Juri Austin
Craving sushi? Try our easy Tekka Maki recipe for a taste of Japan. Learn step-by-step how to make this delicious classic sushi at home!

Equipment

  • 1 Makisu (Bamboo sushi mat) (You can also use cling wrap to roll sushi)

Ingredients

Sushi vinegar

  • 1 tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt

Instructions

Preparing Sushi Rice

  • Blend rice vinegar, salt, and sugar well to make sushi vinegar.
  • Transfer the cooked rice to a large bowl, and gradually pour the sushi vinegar mixture over the rice while gently mixing it with a rice paddle.
  • Cover with a wet cloth over the bowl while preparing the ingredients. Allow the rice to cool to room temperature before using it for making sushi rolls.

Preparing the ingredients

  • Nori sheet: Divide a nori sheet in half. Follow the lines on the seaweed and cut along their direction with your hand or scissors.
  • Tuna: Remove the excess moisture with a paper towel and cut into 1 cm (½-inch) strips.

Assembling the Roll

  • Place a bamboo sushi mat on a flat surface and place the nori sheet, shiny side down, on the mat.
  • Wet your hands with water to prevent the rice from sticking, grab the sushi rice, and shape it into a cylindrical form.
  • Evenly spread the rice on the nori sheet using your hand. Leave 1 cm (½ inch) of the nori uncovered at the top.
  • Place the tuna in the center of the rice.
  • Align the seaweed with the bottom edge of the sushi mat. Use your middle finger to hold down the tuna, lift the mat with your thumb, and start rolling from the front until the end of the rice. Apply gentle pressure to shape the roll.
  • Lift the sushi mat and roll the sushi to seal the roll. Apply gentle pressure to shape the roll.

Cutting the Roll

  • Wet the knife with the damp cloth and cut the sushi roll in half.
  • Align the two halves of the sushi rolls and cut them into thirds.

Video

Notes

  • When preparing the sushi rice, be careful not to mash the grains while stirring. Use a gentle folding motion to mix the rice and seasonings.
  • If the sushi rice is still hot, you can use a paper fan to cool it down to room temperature.
  • Use around 70-80g (1/3 to 1/4 US cups) of rice for each roll as a guide to avoid overflow when rolling.
  • When spreading the rice, ensure it is evenly distributed on the nori sheet.
  • Nori sheets have a shiny side and a rough side. When placing the nori sheet, ensure that the shiny side is facing down.
  • Make sure to cut each sushi rolls to the same length. It looks visually appealing when each piece has the same height when serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 128kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 1g | Vitamin C: 1mg
Course: Rice
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: tekka maki, tuna sushi roll
Did You Make this recipe?Please Leave a star rating!

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