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Recipe & Video: Maguro Zuke Don (Soy-marinated Tuna Bowl)


Recipe & Video: Maguro Zuke Don (Soy-marinated Tuna Bowl)

3 minutes

Make a delicious sashimi tuna rice bowl from scratch using an umami-rich marinade to really bring out the flavor with our recipe. This special donburi recipe makes a great lunch or hot weather dinner and will impress friends and family.

Maguro zuke don is a simple yet umami-packed easy meal. “Zuke” means to marinate and “don” is short for donburi, which means rice bowl .

So Maguro zuke don is a maguro (tuna) sashimi-based bowl of marinated goodness! It’s similar in quality to what you get at a good Japanese restaurant, but you can make it right at home. Here are some tips and suggestions for getting the best out of this yummy traditional Japanese food recipe.

Tips on Buying Sashimi Grade Fish

Shopping for sashimi grade fish can seem daunting, but many supermarkets now label their fish “sushi grade” or “sashimi grade” to let customers know it is safe to eat raw.

While some of that labeling is just marketing, the fish with these labels are usually the freshest available and the best types to use for sashimi and sashimi-based recipes like this one.

In all cases, it is important to keep sashimi refrigerated until serving time. You should also sanitize the knives and cutting board you are going to use.

Tips on the Perfect Marinade

The soy sauce, mirin, sake and dashi broth combination used in the marinade provides a rich umami flavor to the maguro sashimi for a distinctive Japanese taste. The secret to the perfect marinade here is based on the golden ratio concept of Japanese cooking.

Different dishes use these ingredients in different ratios to achieve optimum flavor, so try our suggested amounts for the perfect marinade in this authentic Japanese food recipe. Once you master the golden ratio, you will be able to experiment and add yummy Japanese flavors to all kinds of different dishes.

Cooking Tips

  • When making the seasoning, make sure not to boil. Boiling will add unwanted bitterness to the marinade.
  • Make sure to marinate tuna for at least 2 hours. Sodium in soy sauce will remove water from tuna fish itself, so only umami remains on the fish.

Maguro Zuke Don (Soy-marinated Tuna Bowl)

Cuisine Japanese


  • 20 pieces Tuna (Sashimi Grade)
  • 2 portion Sushi Rice *1
  • Nori Seaweed
  • Wasabi
  • Scallions
  • Sesame Seeds



  1. Wipe off any liquid from the surface of tuna using paper towels.
  2. Mix all of the ingredients of the seasoning in a small pot. Heat over high heat and stop the heat right before it boils.
  3. On a large tray or plate, spread the soy sauce mixture using a cooking brush. Use about 1/3 of the mixture.
  4. Carefully place tuna slices over soy sauce mixture.
  5. Brush the rest of the soy sauce mixture on top of the tuna slices. Try to keep about 1/3 of the soy sauce mixture for later use. If not enough, make the seasoning again while you rest the tuna.
  6. Cover and marinate in the fridge for about 4 hours. Make sure to at least marinate for 2 hours.
  7. In a serving bowl, place sushi rice. Thinly cut nori seaweed with scissors and place on top of the rice. Using a cooking brush, pour a bit of soy sauce mixture on top of the rice.
  8. Place tuna slices on top and brush the remaining soy sauce mixture on top of the tuna slices.
  9. Garnish with scallions, sesame seeds, and wasabi. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

*1 Get the recipe here.