Inside-Out “Fire Brand” Tuna Rolls

Tekka Ura Maki


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes



Appears in

An American Taste of Japan

An American Taste of Japan

By Elizabeth Andoh

Published 1985

  • About

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.


  • 2 sheets yaki-zushi nori (toasted paper-thin seaweed)
  • 2 cups shari (rice seasoned for sushi)
  • tablespoons wasabi powder (fiery Japanese horseradish)
  • 2–3 ounces lean, raw tuna (scraps are fine)
  • 2–3 tablespoons kuro goma (black sesame seeds)
  • soy sauce, for dipping


Lay half a sheet of seaweed, rough side facing up, on a clean, dry surface. With hands moistened in water, spread ¼ cup of seasoned rice evenly over the seaweed.

Wet an uncolored muslin or linen cloth (approximately 6 by 8 inches) in cold water and wring it out well. Flip the rice-covered seaweed onto this cloth, with the rice facing down.

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 ¼-inch-thick strips and lay one quarter of them across the center of the seaweed. If you’re using odd bits and pieces, cut them into narrow strips and lay them across the seaweed to create a similar effect.

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.