Since the red of the tuna’s flesh is supposed to look like steel being forged to make a samurai sword, tekka maki has always enjoyed something of a macho image in Japan. Typically, in restaurants, it’s the bits and pieces trimmed from tuna sashimi that are used in making these rolls. At home, you might want to practice your knife skills in making sashimi, keeping this recipe in mind as a fine way to use the less-than-glorious-looking slices that might result from first efforts. Even after your swordsmanship improves, you’ll want to remember this dish for its technique of “inside-out” rolling.
Lay half a sheet of seaweed, rough side facing up, on a clean, dry surface. With hands moistened in water, spread
Wet an uncolored muslin or linen cloth (approximately
Mix the horseradish powder with an equal amount of cold water and stir to make a paste. Paint a line across the seaweed with some of this paste.
If the tuna is a block of meat, cut it into
For ease in rolling, carefully transfer the cloth (with rice, seaweed, and fish on it) onto a sudaré (slatted bamboo mat). Roll the sushi snugly, remove the mat, then peel back the damp cloth.
In a dry skillet, toast the black sesame seeds for a few seconds. Sprinkle one quarter of them on your cutting board and quickly roll the sushi in them. With a sharp knife wiped on a damp cloth, cut the roll in half, then each half into three pieces. Repeat the rolling and cutting procedure to made twenty-four pieces in all. Serve some of them facing up to show off the spiral effect of the filling, others on their sides to show the black seeds against the white rice. Serve with soy sauce for dipping.
© 1985 Elizabeth Andoh. All rights reserved.