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Sea Bream Rice

Tai Meshi

Whole fish is cooked with the rice


Double-lid donabe rice cooker, "Kamado-san" (3 rice-cup size)




  • 1 (about 1 pound/ 450 g) whole sea bream (also called “tai snapper”), cleaned
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 rice-cups (360 ml) short grain rice, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/4 cups (300 ml) dashi stock
  • 2 tablespoons sake
  • 1 tablespoon light-color soy sauce ("usukuchi shoyu")
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • some mitsuba herb, chopped
  • a knob ginger, sliced into needle-thin
  • some sansho pepper powder


  1. Season all sides including the cavity of the fish with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Set aside  for 20-30 minutes.
  2. Pat-dry the fish with paper towel. Make 3 slight incisions on each side of the fish crosswise with a knife.
  3. Drizzle the olive oil and rub on both sides of the fish. Wrap the tail with a piece of aluminum foil. Broil both sides until the skin is lightly browned (about 2 minutes each side). Remove foil from the tail.
  4. Meanwhile, in "Kamado-san", combine the rice, dashi stock, sake, soy sauce, and salt. Let the rice soak in liquid for 20 minutes.
  5. Pat-dry the fish to remove excess oil and carefully lay it over the rice. If the fish doesn’t fit, bend the tail upward.
  6. Cover "Kamado-san" with both lids and cook over medium-high heat for 13-15 minutes or until 2-3 minutes after the steam starts puffing from the top lid.
  7. Turn off the heat and let it stand for 20 minutes.
  8. Carefully remove the fish and transfer to a plate. Remove the head and bones from the fish and discard. (But you can eat the collagen-rich eye balls, like me!)
  9. Transfer the fish back to "Kamado-san" and gently fluff with the rice with a rice paddle. Garnish with some ginger and mitsuba. Serve into individual bowls and sprinkle some sansho pepper (if you like) to enjoy.

    About the measurements used in our recipes

    For rice measurement, traditional Japanese rice measurement is used.
    • 1 rice-cup = 3/4 US cup = 180 ml
    Other conversions (US to metric measures)
    • 1 cup = 240 ml1
    • inch (1") = 2.5 cm
    • 1 ounce (1 oz) = 30 ml