Sea Bream Rice
Sea bream rice is a traditional Japanese dish often served in ceremonial occasions. Japanese dining etiquette dictates placing the fish with the head facing left.
Photographed by Akio Takeuchi
Rice & Noodles
Calorie count is per serving.
Does not include time needed to soak the konbu.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
- 1 sea bream (300-400 g)Note
About 25 cm long. Scaled and gutted. May substitute 2 fillets.
- 400 ml rice (2 rice cups)
- 1 piece konbu kelp (10 x 5 cm)
- 1 tbsp usukuchi soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sake
- 1 tbsp mirin
- Japanese pickles, to taste
- 1/2 tsp salt
Wipe the konbu with a damp, tightly wrung-out cheesecloth. Soak in 400 ml of water for roughly 30 minutes.
Rinse the rice, drain and set aside for 15 minutes.
Sprinkle salt on both sides of the fish (total of about 1 tsp).
Heat a gridiron and grill both sides of the fish until golden brown.
The idea is to just grill the skin to bring out the aroma. There's no need to cook the fish thoroughly.
Combine [A] and add enough konbu dashi to make 400 ml of liquid. Add 1/2 tsp of salt.
Put the rice in a donabe clay pot. Place the konbu in the center, and the fish on top. Pour the dashi into the pot, cover and place over high heat.
Check to see that the pot has come to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes. Raise the heat back to high for about 30-60 seconds, then turn off the heat and steam for 10 minutes.
Raising the heat to high at the very end burns the rice, enhancing the aroma.
Uncover the pot and remove the konbu. Carefully remove all the fish bones. Break up the fish into pieces and lightly fold into the rice. Plate up and serve with pickles.