Golden crispy shrimp and vegetable tempura served over steamed rice and drizzled with tentsuyu dipping sauce, this Tendon or Tempura Donburi (Rice Bowl) recipe makes a special weekend dinner for your loved ones! Enjoy them piping hot with a bowl of miso soup and refreshing salad.
Tendon (天丼) is a short name for Tempura Donburi (天ぷら丼ぶり) or Tempura Rice Bowl. If you are in Japan and see Tendon on the menu, don’t worry, it’s not “connective tissue” that’s being served. 🙂
Like many of you, my family dips tempura in Tsuyu (dipping sauce) or sprinkle sea salt to enjoy. Today I want to introduce you to another way to enjoy tempura, which is tempura served over steamed rice in a donburi bowl.
How to Make Tendon (Tempura Rice Bowl)
1. Make Tempura
Tendon (Tempura Rice Bowl) consists of assorted tempura served on top of a bed of steamed rice in a large donburi bowl. The type of tempura can be anything, but I recommend serving both Shrimp Tempura and Vegetable Tempura.
2. Make Ten Tsuyu or “Tare”
When tempura is served over the rice bowl, the tempura dipping sauce is usually saltier and thicker since it’s enjoyed with plain rice. You can reduce the regular tempura dipping sauce by letting the moisture evaporate, which thickens the sauce. You can also add a bit of mirin or/and sugar to make it slightly sweeter.
3. Assemble Tempura to Make Donburi (Rice Bowl)
Unlike regular tempura, we don’t dip the tempura in a dipping sauce. Instead, tempura sauce or Tsuyu is drizzled over the rice generously. Then serve hot tempura over the rice in a circular shape so that it looks more organized and appetizing. Drizzle the sauce over the tempura and ready to serve!
Make Donburi (Rice Bowl) for a Quick Dinner
I usually make a donburi dish when my children have lots of activities because donburi does not take much time to prepare. I would make miso soup, salad, and a donburi dish. Here are my go-to Donburi recipes.
- Unadon (Unagi Don)
- Chicken Katsu Don
- Tekka Don (Tuna Bowl)
- Salmon & Salmon Roe Don
- Soboro Don
A typical donburi dish requires 30 minutes or less to prepare.
Crispy crunchy tempura on rice is simply delicious. If you are eating leftover tempura on the following day, make sure to re-heat tempura in a toaster oven or oven. DO NOT use a microwave to heat up because it will make them soggy. Enjoy!
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Tendon (Tempura Rice Bowl)
- 1 serving cooked Japanese short-grain rice
- 1 serving shrimp tempura (click here for the recipe)
- 1 serving vegetable tempura (click here for the recipe)
- 1 tempura sauce (the sauce recipe can be found in both tempura recipes)
Plan your Tendon
- This recipe is to guide you through assembling Tendon. Therefore, the recipe does not include the prep and cook time for your tempura, tempura sauce, or steamed rice. Please look at my tempura recipes for more details because prep/cook time varies depends on serving size and ingredients of your choice.
To Use Leftover Tempura
- If you use leftover tempura from the previous day, re-heat tempura in the oven or oven toaster. Do not microwave as the tempura batter gets too soft.
To Make Tempura Sauce
- Follow tempura dipping sauce recipe in my shrimp tempura or vegetable tempura recipes. Let the sauce simmer and reduce until the sauce starts to thicken. You can also add sugar and/or mirin to sweeten a little (optional) as it's tastier when served with steamed rice.
To Make Tempura
- Whether you make shrimp tempura or/and vegetable tempura, or gluten-free tempura, adjust the ingredients based on the number of tempura bowls you plan to make.
To Assemble Tendon
- Assemble tendon. Put steamed rice in a donburi bowl, drizzle tempura sauce on the rice, and place tempura pieces on top. Drizzle generous tempura sauce on top of the tempura. Alternatively, instead of drizzling the sauce on top, you can quickly dip the tempura in the sauce before placing it on top of a bed of steamed rice.