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Steamed Whole Sea Bream

Tai Sugata-mushi

Simple dish with gorgeous flavor


Donabe steamer, "Mushi Nabe" (large)


2 - 3


  • 1 medium-small size (about 1 lb 8 oz or 700 g) whole sea bream (also called "tai snapper"), scaled and cleaned
  • salt
  • 2/3 cup (160 ml) wakame seaweed, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 meyer lemon, thinly-sliced
  • 3 oz (100 g) enoki mushrooms
  • ponzu sauce (homemade or commercial kind)


  1. Season the fish, including the cavity and outside. Set aside for 15 – 30 minutes.
  2. Pat-dry the fish with paper towel. Insert a few slices of the lemon in the cavity.
  3. Get "Mushi Nabe" ready according to the basic donabe steaming instructions.
  4. Spread the wakame seaweed (I used bamboo leaves on the bottom for both presentation and easier cleaning) on the steam grate and lay the fish on top.
  5. Cover with lid and steam over medium-high heat for 7-8 minutes.

  6. Uncover and put the remaining lemon slices on the fish and spread the enoki mushrooms in the open space.

  7. Cover again and steam for 2-3 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.
  8. Serve at the table with ponzu sauce on the side.

    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