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!
Tendon (天丼) is a short name for Tempura Donburi (天ぷら丼ぶり) or Tempura 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 sprinkles 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.
Table of Contents
How to Make Tendon (Tempura Bowl)
Step 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.
Step 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.
Step 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!
Tendon (Tempura Rice Bowl)
- 1 serving cooked Japanese short-grain rice (typically 1⅔ cups (250 g) per donburi serving)
- 1 serving shrimp tempura (you can make my Shrimp Tempura recipe)
- 1 serving vegetable tempura (you can make my Vegetable Tempura recipe)
- 1 serving tempura dipping sauce (you can make my Tempura Dipping Sauce (Tentsuyu) recipe
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 the prep/cook time varies depends on serving size and ingredients of your choice.
- For the steamed rice, please note that ¾ cup (150 g, 1 rice cooker cup) of uncooked Japanese short-grain rice yields 2¼ US cups (330 g) of cooked white rice, enough for 1 donburi serving (typically 1⅔ cups or 250 g). See how to cook short-grain rice with a rice cooker, pot over the stove, Instant Pot, or donabe.
To Use Leftover Tempura
- If you use leftover tempura from the previous day, reheat the tempura in the oven or oven toaster. Do not microwave as the tempura batter gets too soft.
To Make the Tempura Sauce
To Make Fresh Tempura
To Assemble the Tendon
- Assemble the Tendon. Put 1 serving cooked Japanese short-grain rice in a donburi bowl, drizzle some tempura sauce on the rice, and place 1 serving shrimp tempura and 1 serving vegetable tempura on top. Drizzle generously the rest of the 1 serving tempura dipping 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.