History, meaning, definition and recipe of Tekka-don

tekka-don tekkamaki yamakake-tekkadon

Tekkadon's "tekka" means iron and fire!

Tekkadon is a Japanese traditional donburi dish which consists a bowl of rice tooped with raw tuna slices, seaweed and horseradish. It is one of Kaisendon which is also donburi dish topped with several seafood.

There are also Tekkamaki which is a tuna sushi roll. Most Japanese eat Tekkadon with soysauce and horseradish. They eat it with only horseradish when they eat Tekkadon which have tuna slices already seasoned with Zuke sauce.


In general, Japanese people cook Tekkadon made from vinegared rice called sumeshi and tuna slices. Vinegared rice is seasoned with vinegar, little sugar and little salt. They put tuna slices and seaweed on top of rice, they add grated fresh ginger, chopped green onion or egg york to it sometimes. They cook Zuke sauce made from soy sauce, sake(rice wine) and mirin. They simmer tuna slices in this sauce for about 30 minutes.

Several seasonings are need to cook them, they often use Sushizu for venegared rice, Hontsuyu or Mentsuyu for Zuke sauce. Vinegared rice is cooked only with Sushizu. It is sold not only in many grocery stores in Japan but also in Amazon USA. It is called sushi rice vinegar sold by Kikkoman in Amazon USA. Zuke sauce is cooked only with soysauce and Hontsuyu or Mentsuyu. The ratio of Mentsuyu and soy sauce is 2 to 1. Hontsuyu and Mentsuyu are also sold in Amazon USA. Hontsuyu and Mentsuyu is called Japanese Noodle soup base in Amazon USA.

Tekkadon's "tekka" means iron and fire, "don" means a donburi which is a rice bowl. A name of Tekka has been fixed since 1860s or 1870s. There are several theories about the origin of Tekka name. One of them is that tuna's red color looks like hot iron. The other is that eating raw tuna may be a sourse of food poisoning like a danger of touching hot iron.

yamakake tekkadon(grated yam and tuna)

By the way, some restaurants serve Tekkadon with grated yam or grated yam and Mekabu(root of the wakame seaweed). The former is called Yamakake which means putting mountain food, the latter means putting seafood.

In addition, Tekkadon which consits raw tuna is not popular in Nagasaki prefecture because the tuna catch of Nagasaki is too small. Tekkadon in Nagasaki consits yellow amberjack, greater amberjack or Japanese amberjack.

There are many Japanese restaurants serving Kaisendon in Japan, especially in Hokkaido prefecture. There is also Kaisendon restaurant chain named Donmaru in Japan. It opens their restaurants all over Japan. When you travel Japan, it might to be a good idea to eat Kaisendon. You can experience Japanese culture through it. If you can not eat it in Japan, you can cook it easily with buying soy sauce and horseradish.