A "Warming" Twist to Sushi - Tuna Sashimi with Wasabi Tobiko on Cucumber

by Travis Metzger |

A "Warming" Twist to Sushi - Tuna Sashimi with Wasabi Tobiko on Cucumber

This holiday appetizer is a fun venture into the world of Japanese raw fish cuisine. Our twist from a Chinese dietary therapy perspective comes from the sauce that we'll create to accompany this delicious holiday appetizer.  While the fish will be "cold", we'll add "warming ingredients" that align with your Middle Burner and will serve to aid the digestive process - and surprise and delight your taste buds. 

Begin with the Fish

Sashimi is similar to sushi, but features just the raw fish without rice and seaweed. We begin with raw tuna on a slice of cucumber, topped with flying fish roe, known as tobiko in Japanese. Tobiko makes a beautiful and tasty garnish.


Tuna for Chinese Medicine

It can also come in different flavors and colors. We are suggesting wasabi tobiko, flying fish roe soaked in a wasabi brine, making it both pungent and a beautiful shade of green. Our seasonings for this sashimi appetizer are inspired by some of the condiments found at a typical sushi restaurant.

The Warming Ingredients

Those of you who frequent your local sushi restaurants have undoubtedly noticed the attractive, thin slices of pickled ginger that accompany every order. Ginger is "warming" and particularly beneficial for settling the stomach. Raw fish tends to be "cold" and therefore harder to digest than cooked fish.

Wasabi Tobiko

To counter balance this tendency, we have flavored the sashimi with "warm" and "pungent" seasonings to improve digestion and brighten the subtle flavors of the tuna and tobiko.

We begin with ginger and add garlic, red onion, and chives.

Cucumbers for Chinese Medicine

These three seasonings are all in the allium genus and deliver a similar warmth and pungency. Sambal chili accents the dispersing properties of the wasabi that is already in the tobiko. Soy sauce and vinegar give added warmth and provide the classic Asian flavor profile. You may need to make extras. This appetizer will be hard to resist.

Tuna Sashimi with Wasabi Tobiko on Cucumber

Serving size

About 6-7

Prep Time / Cook Time

20 minutes / 0 minutes


1 English Cucumber Sliced 1/8 – ¼ Inch

6 Ounces #1 (Sashimi Grade) Ahi Tuna Small Dice

1 Ounce Wasabi Tobiko

1-2 Tablespoon Chives Minced or to Taste

1-2 Tablespoons Red Onion Minced or to Taste

2 Tablespoons Soy

1 Tablespoon Rice Wine Vinegar

1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

¼ Teaspoon Sambal Chili or to Taste

½ Teaspoon Fresh Ginger Minced

½ Teaspoon Sesame Oil


Slice cucumber into 1/8 – ¼ inch slices.

Dice tuna to small dice.

Add the minced chives and minced red onion to the diced tuna and combine.

Combine the soy, rice wine vinegar, lemon juice, sambal chili, ginger and sesame oil and stir as much as you like into the tuna mix to nicely season the tuna. The acid will begin to cook the tuna so do this just before serving. Place a small amount of the seasoned tuna on a cucumber slice and top with a bit of the wasabi tobiko. The wasabi tobiko gives a crunchy explosion of wasabi and is the perfect balance to the tuna. Enjoy!

The recipes on The Way are intended as an East meets West look at food and its relationship to health and nutrition. Food is powerful, and every bite can either greatly benefit your system or effectively work against it. In Chinese Medicine, each grain, vegetable, meat, fruit, and spice has unique properties that can be harnessed to help us achieve and maintain balance in our bodies. Our recipes seek to incorporate some of the age-old principles of Chinese medicine into the culinary practices more familiar to the West.


Dining with Culinary Artist Travis Metzger is an unforgettable experience. You can taste the passion, creativity and culinary expertise in each of Travis’s one-of-kind recipes. Most would agree that Traditional Chinese Medicine herbs in their original form taste less than delectable, but Travis has proven that TCM for today can taste great with DAO Labs. Travis develops unique flavors for each DAO formula to complement the proprietary blend of herbs and their health benefits. After extensive training at the New England Culinary Institute, Travis ran some of the finest restaurants across the country before starting his own in Minneapolis. To survive the stresses and physical challenges of the kitchen heat, Travis focused on combining natural ingredients for healthy AND delicious eating and juicing.

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