Tuna Donburi Rice Bowl Recipe

Craving a quick and satisfying meal? Then you'll love this tuna donburi rice bowl, a delightful Japanese-inspired creation that pairs fresh, raw tuna with an array of umami-rich ingredients over a cushion of sushi rice.

Donburi, which translates to "bowl" in Japanese, perfectly captures the essence of this dish's simplicity and comfort. While donburi encompasses endless combinations of pillowy steamed sushi rice and tasty toppings, this version by Ksenia Prints is inspired by sushi and involves a flavorful medley of gently marinated fish with a light sprinkling of nori, scallions, and sesame seeds. The charm of donburi lies in its versatility, so you can always play around by adding more toppings! If you're ready to replace your dreary lunch sandwich or takeaway salad with a dish that's affordable and easy to make yet bursting with deliciousness, head to your local fishmonger and give this tuna donburi rice bowl a try.

Gather the ingredients for this tuna donburi rice bowl

It only takes a few ingredients to put together this satisfying bowl. Begin with cooked sushi rice, the foundation of the dish, and make sure your star ingredient, raw tuna, is sushi-grade so it's suitable for raw consumption.

Complementing the fish is a blend of soy sauce, sesame oil, and sake for savory depth, as well as mirin to add sweetness and bonito flakes for a hint of fishy umami. Elevate the flavor profile with the distinct nuttiness of white and black sesame seeds, then finish things off with shredded nori and chopped scallions for freshness and balance.

Prep the tuna and garnishes

Begin with some mise en place. First, cut the raw tuna into bite-sized pieces or slices around ½ inch thick. Bite-sized pieces are easier to eat, but traditional Japanese tuna for lunchtime consumption is usually served in elegant slices, like in sashimi. For the garnish, shred the nori into thin strips that match the shape of the tuna, then thinly slice the scallions.

Marinate the tuna

Whip up the marinade in a bowl by whisking together the soy sauce, sake, and mirin (or Chinese cooking wine if you don't have mirin on hand). Complement the umami notes of the tuna by stirring in some bonito flakes, which tastes subtly fishy and very savory. If you don't have these, Prints says a sprinkling of dashi powder makes a great substitute.

Gently place the sliced tuna into the marinade, ensuring all the pieces are evenly coated and submerged, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. The marinating process is crucial not only because it intensifies the flavors of the fish, but it also imparts a pleasant silkiness. If you're in a rush, you can slightly shorten the marinating period, but know that the flavor may be less pronounced and the tuna may not have as smooth of a consistency.

Assemble and serve your tuna donburi rice bowl

Once marinated, delicately arrange the tuna atop the prepared sushi rice in serving bowls, and drizzle with the remaining marinade. If you'd like some extra richness, Prints says a final drizzle of sesame oil is the way to go. Top your donburi with a sprinkle of shredded nori, white and black sesame seeds, and freshly chopped scallions for maximum color and crunch, and enjoy! You'll want to serve these promptly for the best experience, though leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Tuna Donburi Rice Bowl Recipe
5 from 26 ratings
In this easy donburi recipe, cooked white rice is elevated with sushi-grade raw tuna and a savory marinade that will have you licking the bowl.
Prep Time
Cook Time
tuna sushi rice bowl
Total time: 35 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sake
  • 4 teaspoons mirin
  • 3 teaspoons sesame oil
  • ¼ teaspoon bonito flakes
  • ½ pound raw sushi-grade tuna, cut into ½-inch slices
  • 1 cup cooked sushi rice
  • 2 sheets nori seaweed, shredded into thin strips
  • ¼ teaspoon white and black sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the soy sauce, sake, mirin, sesame oil, and bonito flakes.
  2. Place the sliced tuna into the sauce, ensuring all the pieces are submerged and coated. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  3. Once marinated, place the tuna on top of the cooked sushi rice in serving bowls, and drizzle any remaining marinade on top.
  4. Garnish with the shredded nori, sesame seeds, and scallions, and enjoy right away.
Calories per Serving 319
Total Fat 7.8 g
Saturated Fat 1.3 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 44.2 mg
Total Carbohydrates 24.5 g
Dietary Fiber 0.7 g
Total Sugars 0.3 g
Sodium 933.7 mg
Protein 31.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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