Traditional recipes

Snapper Nitsuke

Snapper Nitsuke


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Recipe comes courtesy of Chef Alex Becker, Executive Chef and Hotel Creative Culinary Director at Kuro

Recipe comes courtesy of Chef Alex Becker, Executive Chef and Hotel Creative Culinary Director at Kuro a new-style Japanese restaurant inside the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood in Florida.

Ingredients

  • 6 Ounces snapper (cut in to 6 pieces)
  • 6 Ounces Nitsuke braising liquid
  • 3 Grams ginger oroshi
  • 2 Grams sliced garlic
  • 10 Grams butter
  • 4 (each) braised daikon (quarters)
  • 2 (each) shiitake mushroom, grilled
  • 3 (each) eggplant, large sqaures
  • 4 (each) baby carrots, blanched
  • 8 Grams chives, chopped
  • 8 Grams ginger, diced

Nitsuke Braising Liquid

  • 200 Milliliters sake
  • 30 Milliliters mirin
  • 75 Milliliters soy
  • 75 Milliliters dashi
  • 30 Grams sugar

Braised Daikon

  • 500 Milliliters dashi
  • 50 Milliliters mirin
  • 25 Milliliters white soy
  • 25 Milliliters Usukuchi soy
  • 6 rounds daikon

Sea Bream Japanese Feast: Tai Sashimi, Tai Meshi, Tai Nitsuke


Sea bream, or ‘tai’ in Japanese is one of the best loved fish and an important symbol in Japanese culture. It is in season in the spring and is called the ‘King of Fish’ in Japan. A whole tai is quite expensive and is enough for an entire meal. Here are three ways to eat one tai.

Itadakimono: Yesterday I was over at Kichisen with a friend chatting with Mr Tanigawa, as I was leaving Mr Tanigawa ordered one of his students to get a tai for me to take home. When they showed the beautiful red fish, I couldn’t believe my luck. It was huge! He also gave me some greens that I had not heard of before: hakusaina.

Sea Bream Feast Served

Sea Bream ‘Tai’

Sea Bream ‘Tai’ – Cleaned

Sea Bream Feast Served

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Ready to Cook

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Cooked

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Removing Meat from Head

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Removing Meat from Head

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Removing Meat from Bones

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Removed Bones

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) Served with Ki-no-me

Ki-no-me is the leaf of the sansho plant.

Tai Meshi
Tai-meshi is made a number of different ways and Mr Tanigawa recommended that we use the head for that. (We put the spine in too and that was a mistake as it left a fair number of bones in the rice. Surprisingly, we were able to strip the meat from the head, even the lips — with only getting a few small boney bits in the rice,)

The idea here is that the head of the tai will make a lot of excellent dashi (soup stock) for the rice. And that it did! Also, nothing should go to waste. First, the tai head is grilled shioyaki style, just for a minute or so on each side. Then the head goes in the rice cooker and is cooked on top of the rice with some ryorishu (cooking sake), salt and a bit of shoyu.

Removing the meat from the head is not as difficult as you might expect. Tai-meshi is usually garnished with ki-no-me, which is the leaf of the sansho pepper bush.

Tai Nitsuki – Simmering Sea Bream with Greens

Tai Nitsuki – Simmered Sea Bream with Greens

Tai Nitsuke
We made a light dashi with just a few small slices of ginger and simmered half the tai in it. As the end, we added the hakusaina greens as per Mr Tanigawa’s instructions. For me, it is hard to beat fish simmered in sake and shoyu.

Tai Sashimi

Tai Sashimi
The bottom half of the fillet is eaten raw, the skin is stripped off and it is simply sliced. Meanwhile, on the other half of the upper half of the fillet, and the skin that was stripped off the lower half, Mr Tanigawa poured boiling water and then plunged it into ice water.

The scalded skin is sliced thin and mixed with scallion and ponzu. (Ponzu is a citrus juice and vinegar based shoyu dipping sauce. I got this ponzu at a shoyu shinise in Kyoto and it includes grapefruit juice, a novel ingredient!) This is similar to the fuguteppi‘ dish.

The ‘scalded’ sashimi with skin is dipped in ponzu and the ‘raw’ sashimi is dipped in the usual shoyu and wasabi. This contrast was particularly wonderful and the kind of surprise you get at a restaurant like Kichisen.

UPDATE: My bad, I called ‘tai’ red snapper, rather than sea bream in this article and was kindly corrected by [email protected] (22 April 2009)


Sea Bream Japanese Feast: Tai Sashimi, Tai Meshi, Tai Nitsuke


Sea bream, or ‘tai’ in Japanese is one of the best loved fish and an important symbol in Japanese culture. It is in season in the spring and is called the ‘King of Fish’ in Japan. A whole tai is quite expensive and is enough for an entire meal. Here are three ways to eat one tai.

Itadakimono: Yesterday I was over at Kichisen with a friend chatting with Mr Tanigawa, as I was leaving Mr Tanigawa ordered one of his students to get a tai for me to take home. When they showed the beautiful red fish, I couldn’t believe my luck. It was huge! He also gave me some greens that I had not heard of before: hakusaina.

Sea Bream Feast Served

Sea Bream ‘Tai’

Sea Bream ‘Tai’ – Cleaned

Sea Bream Feast Served

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Ready to Cook

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Cooked

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Removing Meat from Head

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Removing Meat from Head

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Removing Meat from Bones

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Removed Bones

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) Served with Ki-no-me

Ki-no-me is the leaf of the sansho plant.

Tai Meshi
Tai-meshi is made a number of different ways and Mr Tanigawa recommended that we use the head for that. (We put the spine in too and that was a mistake as it left a fair number of bones in the rice. Surprisingly, we were able to strip the meat from the head, even the lips — with only getting a few small boney bits in the rice,)

The idea here is that the head of the tai will make a lot of excellent dashi (soup stock) for the rice. And that it did! Also, nothing should go to waste. First, the tai head is grilled shioyaki style, just for a minute or so on each side. Then the head goes in the rice cooker and is cooked on top of the rice with some ryorishu (cooking sake), salt and a bit of shoyu.

Removing the meat from the head is not as difficult as you might expect. Tai-meshi is usually garnished with ki-no-me, which is the leaf of the sansho pepper bush.

Tai Nitsuki – Simmering Sea Bream with Greens

Tai Nitsuki – Simmered Sea Bream with Greens

Tai Nitsuke
We made a light dashi with just a few small slices of ginger and simmered half the tai in it. As the end, we added the hakusaina greens as per Mr Tanigawa’s instructions. For me, it is hard to beat fish simmered in sake and shoyu.

Tai Sashimi

Tai Sashimi
The bottom half of the fillet is eaten raw, the skin is stripped off and it is simply sliced. Meanwhile, on the other half of the upper half of the fillet, and the skin that was stripped off the lower half, Mr Tanigawa poured boiling water and then plunged it into ice water.

The scalded skin is sliced thin and mixed with scallion and ponzu. (Ponzu is a citrus juice and vinegar based shoyu dipping sauce. I got this ponzu at a shoyu shinise in Kyoto and it includes grapefruit juice, a novel ingredient!) This is similar to the fuguteppi‘ dish.

The ‘scalded’ sashimi with skin is dipped in ponzu and the ‘raw’ sashimi is dipped in the usual shoyu and wasabi. This contrast was particularly wonderful and the kind of surprise you get at a restaurant like Kichisen.

UPDATE: My bad, I called ‘tai’ red snapper, rather than sea bream in this article and was kindly corrected by [email protected] (22 April 2009)


Sea Bream Japanese Feast: Tai Sashimi, Tai Meshi, Tai Nitsuke


Sea bream, or ‘tai’ in Japanese is one of the best loved fish and an important symbol in Japanese culture. It is in season in the spring and is called the ‘King of Fish’ in Japan. A whole tai is quite expensive and is enough for an entire meal. Here are three ways to eat one tai.

Itadakimono: Yesterday I was over at Kichisen with a friend chatting with Mr Tanigawa, as I was leaving Mr Tanigawa ordered one of his students to get a tai for me to take home. When they showed the beautiful red fish, I couldn’t believe my luck. It was huge! He also gave me some greens that I had not heard of before: hakusaina.

Sea Bream Feast Served

Sea Bream ‘Tai’

Sea Bream ‘Tai’ – Cleaned

Sea Bream Feast Served

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Ready to Cook

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Cooked

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Removing Meat from Head

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Removing Meat from Head

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Removing Meat from Bones

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Removed Bones

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) Served with Ki-no-me

Ki-no-me is the leaf of the sansho plant.

Tai Meshi
Tai-meshi is made a number of different ways and Mr Tanigawa recommended that we use the head for that. (We put the spine in too and that was a mistake as it left a fair number of bones in the rice. Surprisingly, we were able to strip the meat from the head, even the lips — with only getting a few small boney bits in the rice,)

The idea here is that the head of the tai will make a lot of excellent dashi (soup stock) for the rice. And that it did! Also, nothing should go to waste. First, the tai head is grilled shioyaki style, just for a minute or so on each side. Then the head goes in the rice cooker and is cooked on top of the rice with some ryorishu (cooking sake), salt and a bit of shoyu.

Removing the meat from the head is not as difficult as you might expect. Tai-meshi is usually garnished with ki-no-me, which is the leaf of the sansho pepper bush.

Tai Nitsuki – Simmering Sea Bream with Greens

Tai Nitsuki – Simmered Sea Bream with Greens

Tai Nitsuke
We made a light dashi with just a few small slices of ginger and simmered half the tai in it. As the end, we added the hakusaina greens as per Mr Tanigawa’s instructions. For me, it is hard to beat fish simmered in sake and shoyu.

Tai Sashimi

Tai Sashimi
The bottom half of the fillet is eaten raw, the skin is stripped off and it is simply sliced. Meanwhile, on the other half of the upper half of the fillet, and the skin that was stripped off the lower half, Mr Tanigawa poured boiling water and then plunged it into ice water.

The scalded skin is sliced thin and mixed with scallion and ponzu. (Ponzu is a citrus juice and vinegar based shoyu dipping sauce. I got this ponzu at a shoyu shinise in Kyoto and it includes grapefruit juice, a novel ingredient!) This is similar to the fuguteppi‘ dish.

The ‘scalded’ sashimi with skin is dipped in ponzu and the ‘raw’ sashimi is dipped in the usual shoyu and wasabi. This contrast was particularly wonderful and the kind of surprise you get at a restaurant like Kichisen.

UPDATE: My bad, I called ‘tai’ red snapper, rather than sea bream in this article and was kindly corrected by [email protected] (22 April 2009)


Sea Bream Japanese Feast: Tai Sashimi, Tai Meshi, Tai Nitsuke


Sea bream, or ‘tai’ in Japanese is one of the best loved fish and an important symbol in Japanese culture. It is in season in the spring and is called the ‘King of Fish’ in Japan. A whole tai is quite expensive and is enough for an entire meal. Here are three ways to eat one tai.

Itadakimono: Yesterday I was over at Kichisen with a friend chatting with Mr Tanigawa, as I was leaving Mr Tanigawa ordered one of his students to get a tai for me to take home. When they showed the beautiful red fish, I couldn’t believe my luck. It was huge! He also gave me some greens that I had not heard of before: hakusaina.

Sea Bream Feast Served

Sea Bream ‘Tai’

Sea Bream ‘Tai’ – Cleaned

Sea Bream Feast Served

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Ready to Cook

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Cooked

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Removing Meat from Head

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Removing Meat from Head

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Removing Meat from Bones

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Removed Bones

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) Served with Ki-no-me

Ki-no-me is the leaf of the sansho plant.

Tai Meshi
Tai-meshi is made a number of different ways and Mr Tanigawa recommended that we use the head for that. (We put the spine in too and that was a mistake as it left a fair number of bones in the rice. Surprisingly, we were able to strip the meat from the head, even the lips — with only getting a few small boney bits in the rice,)

The idea here is that the head of the tai will make a lot of excellent dashi (soup stock) for the rice. And that it did! Also, nothing should go to waste. First, the tai head is grilled shioyaki style, just for a minute or so on each side. Then the head goes in the rice cooker and is cooked on top of the rice with some ryorishu (cooking sake), salt and a bit of shoyu.

Removing the meat from the head is not as difficult as you might expect. Tai-meshi is usually garnished with ki-no-me, which is the leaf of the sansho pepper bush.

Tai Nitsuki – Simmering Sea Bream with Greens

Tai Nitsuki – Simmered Sea Bream with Greens

Tai Nitsuke
We made a light dashi with just a few small slices of ginger and simmered half the tai in it. As the end, we added the hakusaina greens as per Mr Tanigawa’s instructions. For me, it is hard to beat fish simmered in sake and shoyu.

Tai Sashimi

Tai Sashimi
The bottom half of the fillet is eaten raw, the skin is stripped off and it is simply sliced. Meanwhile, on the other half of the upper half of the fillet, and the skin that was stripped off the lower half, Mr Tanigawa poured boiling water and then plunged it into ice water.

The scalded skin is sliced thin and mixed with scallion and ponzu. (Ponzu is a citrus juice and vinegar based shoyu dipping sauce. I got this ponzu at a shoyu shinise in Kyoto and it includes grapefruit juice, a novel ingredient!) This is similar to the fuguteppi‘ dish.

The ‘scalded’ sashimi with skin is dipped in ponzu and the ‘raw’ sashimi is dipped in the usual shoyu and wasabi. This contrast was particularly wonderful and the kind of surprise you get at a restaurant like Kichisen.

UPDATE: My bad, I called ‘tai’ red snapper, rather than sea bream in this article and was kindly corrected by [email protected] (22 April 2009)


Sea Bream Japanese Feast: Tai Sashimi, Tai Meshi, Tai Nitsuke


Sea bream, or ‘tai’ in Japanese is one of the best loved fish and an important symbol in Japanese culture. It is in season in the spring and is called the ‘King of Fish’ in Japan. A whole tai is quite expensive and is enough for an entire meal. Here are three ways to eat one tai.

Itadakimono: Yesterday I was over at Kichisen with a friend chatting with Mr Tanigawa, as I was leaving Mr Tanigawa ordered one of his students to get a tai for me to take home. When they showed the beautiful red fish, I couldn’t believe my luck. It was huge! He also gave me some greens that I had not heard of before: hakusaina.

Sea Bream Feast Served

Sea Bream ‘Tai’

Sea Bream ‘Tai’ – Cleaned

Sea Bream Feast Served

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Ready to Cook

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Cooked

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Removing Meat from Head

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Removing Meat from Head

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Removing Meat from Bones

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Removed Bones

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) Served with Ki-no-me

Ki-no-me is the leaf of the sansho plant.

Tai Meshi
Tai-meshi is made a number of different ways and Mr Tanigawa recommended that we use the head for that. (We put the spine in too and that was a mistake as it left a fair number of bones in the rice. Surprisingly, we were able to strip the meat from the head, even the lips — with only getting a few small boney bits in the rice,)

The idea here is that the head of the tai will make a lot of excellent dashi (soup stock) for the rice. And that it did! Also, nothing should go to waste. First, the tai head is grilled shioyaki style, just for a minute or so on each side. Then the head goes in the rice cooker and is cooked on top of the rice with some ryorishu (cooking sake), salt and a bit of shoyu.

Removing the meat from the head is not as difficult as you might expect. Tai-meshi is usually garnished with ki-no-me, which is the leaf of the sansho pepper bush.

Tai Nitsuki – Simmering Sea Bream with Greens

Tai Nitsuki – Simmered Sea Bream with Greens

Tai Nitsuke
We made a light dashi with just a few small slices of ginger and simmered half the tai in it. As the end, we added the hakusaina greens as per Mr Tanigawa’s instructions. For me, it is hard to beat fish simmered in sake and shoyu.

Tai Sashimi

Tai Sashimi
The bottom half of the fillet is eaten raw, the skin is stripped off and it is simply sliced. Meanwhile, on the other half of the upper half of the fillet, and the skin that was stripped off the lower half, Mr Tanigawa poured boiling water and then plunged it into ice water.

The scalded skin is sliced thin and mixed with scallion and ponzu. (Ponzu is a citrus juice and vinegar based shoyu dipping sauce. I got this ponzu at a shoyu shinise in Kyoto and it includes grapefruit juice, a novel ingredient!) This is similar to the fuguteppi‘ dish.

The ‘scalded’ sashimi with skin is dipped in ponzu and the ‘raw’ sashimi is dipped in the usual shoyu and wasabi. This contrast was particularly wonderful and the kind of surprise you get at a restaurant like Kichisen.

UPDATE: My bad, I called ‘tai’ red snapper, rather than sea bream in this article and was kindly corrected by [email protected] (22 April 2009)


Sea Bream Japanese Feast: Tai Sashimi, Tai Meshi, Tai Nitsuke


Sea bream, or ‘tai’ in Japanese is one of the best loved fish and an important symbol in Japanese culture. It is in season in the spring and is called the ‘King of Fish’ in Japan. A whole tai is quite expensive and is enough for an entire meal. Here are three ways to eat one tai.

Itadakimono: Yesterday I was over at Kichisen with a friend chatting with Mr Tanigawa, as I was leaving Mr Tanigawa ordered one of his students to get a tai for me to take home. When they showed the beautiful red fish, I couldn’t believe my luck. It was huge! He also gave me some greens that I had not heard of before: hakusaina.

Sea Bream Feast Served

Sea Bream ‘Tai’

Sea Bream ‘Tai’ – Cleaned

Sea Bream Feast Served

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Ready to Cook

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Cooked

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Removing Meat from Head

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Removing Meat from Head

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Removing Meat from Bones

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Removed Bones

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) Served with Ki-no-me

Ki-no-me is the leaf of the sansho plant.

Tai Meshi
Tai-meshi is made a number of different ways and Mr Tanigawa recommended that we use the head for that. (We put the spine in too and that was a mistake as it left a fair number of bones in the rice. Surprisingly, we were able to strip the meat from the head, even the lips — with only getting a few small boney bits in the rice,)

The idea here is that the head of the tai will make a lot of excellent dashi (soup stock) for the rice. And that it did! Also, nothing should go to waste. First, the tai head is grilled shioyaki style, just for a minute or so on each side. Then the head goes in the rice cooker and is cooked on top of the rice with some ryorishu (cooking sake), salt and a bit of shoyu.

Removing the meat from the head is not as difficult as you might expect. Tai-meshi is usually garnished with ki-no-me, which is the leaf of the sansho pepper bush.

Tai Nitsuki – Simmering Sea Bream with Greens

Tai Nitsuki – Simmered Sea Bream with Greens

Tai Nitsuke
We made a light dashi with just a few small slices of ginger and simmered half the tai in it. As the end, we added the hakusaina greens as per Mr Tanigawa’s instructions. For me, it is hard to beat fish simmered in sake and shoyu.

Tai Sashimi

Tai Sashimi
The bottom half of the fillet is eaten raw, the skin is stripped off and it is simply sliced. Meanwhile, on the other half of the upper half of the fillet, and the skin that was stripped off the lower half, Mr Tanigawa poured boiling water and then plunged it into ice water.

The scalded skin is sliced thin and mixed with scallion and ponzu. (Ponzu is a citrus juice and vinegar based shoyu dipping sauce. I got this ponzu at a shoyu shinise in Kyoto and it includes grapefruit juice, a novel ingredient!) This is similar to the fuguteppi‘ dish.

The ‘scalded’ sashimi with skin is dipped in ponzu and the ‘raw’ sashimi is dipped in the usual shoyu and wasabi. This contrast was particularly wonderful and the kind of surprise you get at a restaurant like Kichisen.

UPDATE: My bad, I called ‘tai’ red snapper, rather than sea bream in this article and was kindly corrected by [email protected] (22 April 2009)


Sea Bream Japanese Feast: Tai Sashimi, Tai Meshi, Tai Nitsuke


Sea bream, or ‘tai’ in Japanese is one of the best loved fish and an important symbol in Japanese culture. It is in season in the spring and is called the ‘King of Fish’ in Japan. A whole tai is quite expensive and is enough for an entire meal. Here are three ways to eat one tai.

Itadakimono: Yesterday I was over at Kichisen with a friend chatting with Mr Tanigawa, as I was leaving Mr Tanigawa ordered one of his students to get a tai for me to take home. When they showed the beautiful red fish, I couldn’t believe my luck. It was huge! He also gave me some greens that I had not heard of before: hakusaina.

Sea Bream Feast Served

Sea Bream ‘Tai’

Sea Bream ‘Tai’ – Cleaned

Sea Bream Feast Served

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Ready to Cook

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Cooked

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Removing Meat from Head

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Removing Meat from Head

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Removing Meat from Bones

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Removed Bones

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) Served with Ki-no-me

Ki-no-me is the leaf of the sansho plant.

Tai Meshi
Tai-meshi is made a number of different ways and Mr Tanigawa recommended that we use the head for that. (We put the spine in too and that was a mistake as it left a fair number of bones in the rice. Surprisingly, we were able to strip the meat from the head, even the lips — with only getting a few small boney bits in the rice,)

The idea here is that the head of the tai will make a lot of excellent dashi (soup stock) for the rice. And that it did! Also, nothing should go to waste. First, the tai head is grilled shioyaki style, just for a minute or so on each side. Then the head goes in the rice cooker and is cooked on top of the rice with some ryorishu (cooking sake), salt and a bit of shoyu.

Removing the meat from the head is not as difficult as you might expect. Tai-meshi is usually garnished with ki-no-me, which is the leaf of the sansho pepper bush.

Tai Nitsuki – Simmering Sea Bream with Greens

Tai Nitsuki – Simmered Sea Bream with Greens

Tai Nitsuke
We made a light dashi with just a few small slices of ginger and simmered half the tai in it. As the end, we added the hakusaina greens as per Mr Tanigawa’s instructions. For me, it is hard to beat fish simmered in sake and shoyu.

Tai Sashimi

Tai Sashimi
The bottom half of the fillet is eaten raw, the skin is stripped off and it is simply sliced. Meanwhile, on the other half of the upper half of the fillet, and the skin that was stripped off the lower half, Mr Tanigawa poured boiling water and then plunged it into ice water.

The scalded skin is sliced thin and mixed with scallion and ponzu. (Ponzu is a citrus juice and vinegar based shoyu dipping sauce. I got this ponzu at a shoyu shinise in Kyoto and it includes grapefruit juice, a novel ingredient!) This is similar to the fuguteppi‘ dish.

The ‘scalded’ sashimi with skin is dipped in ponzu and the ‘raw’ sashimi is dipped in the usual shoyu and wasabi. This contrast was particularly wonderful and the kind of surprise you get at a restaurant like Kichisen.

UPDATE: My bad, I called ‘tai’ red snapper, rather than sea bream in this article and was kindly corrected by [email protected] (22 April 2009)


Sea Bream Japanese Feast: Tai Sashimi, Tai Meshi, Tai Nitsuke


Sea bream, or ‘tai’ in Japanese is one of the best loved fish and an important symbol in Japanese culture. It is in season in the spring and is called the ‘King of Fish’ in Japan. A whole tai is quite expensive and is enough for an entire meal. Here are three ways to eat one tai.

Itadakimono: Yesterday I was over at Kichisen with a friend chatting with Mr Tanigawa, as I was leaving Mr Tanigawa ordered one of his students to get a tai for me to take home. When they showed the beautiful red fish, I couldn’t believe my luck. It was huge! He also gave me some greens that I had not heard of before: hakusaina.

Sea Bream Feast Served

Sea Bream ‘Tai’

Sea Bream ‘Tai’ – Cleaned

Sea Bream Feast Served

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Ready to Cook

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Cooked

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Removing Meat from Head

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Removing Meat from Head

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Removing Meat from Bones

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Removed Bones

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) Served with Ki-no-me

Ki-no-me is the leaf of the sansho plant.

Tai Meshi
Tai-meshi is made a number of different ways and Mr Tanigawa recommended that we use the head for that. (We put the spine in too and that was a mistake as it left a fair number of bones in the rice. Surprisingly, we were able to strip the meat from the head, even the lips — with only getting a few small boney bits in the rice,)

The idea here is that the head of the tai will make a lot of excellent dashi (soup stock) for the rice. And that it did! Also, nothing should go to waste. First, the tai head is grilled shioyaki style, just for a minute or so on each side. Then the head goes in the rice cooker and is cooked on top of the rice with some ryorishu (cooking sake), salt and a bit of shoyu.

Removing the meat from the head is not as difficult as you might expect. Tai-meshi is usually garnished with ki-no-me, which is the leaf of the sansho pepper bush.

Tai Nitsuki – Simmering Sea Bream with Greens

Tai Nitsuki – Simmered Sea Bream with Greens

Tai Nitsuke
We made a light dashi with just a few small slices of ginger and simmered half the tai in it. As the end, we added the hakusaina greens as per Mr Tanigawa’s instructions. For me, it is hard to beat fish simmered in sake and shoyu.

Tai Sashimi

Tai Sashimi
The bottom half of the fillet is eaten raw, the skin is stripped off and it is simply sliced. Meanwhile, on the other half of the upper half of the fillet, and the skin that was stripped off the lower half, Mr Tanigawa poured boiling water and then plunged it into ice water.

The scalded skin is sliced thin and mixed with scallion and ponzu. (Ponzu is a citrus juice and vinegar based shoyu dipping sauce. I got this ponzu at a shoyu shinise in Kyoto and it includes grapefruit juice, a novel ingredient!) This is similar to the fuguteppi‘ dish.

The ‘scalded’ sashimi with skin is dipped in ponzu and the ‘raw’ sashimi is dipped in the usual shoyu and wasabi. This contrast was particularly wonderful and the kind of surprise you get at a restaurant like Kichisen.

UPDATE: My bad, I called ‘tai’ red snapper, rather than sea bream in this article and was kindly corrected by [email protected] (22 April 2009)


Sea Bream Japanese Feast: Tai Sashimi, Tai Meshi, Tai Nitsuke


Sea bream, or ‘tai’ in Japanese is one of the best loved fish and an important symbol in Japanese culture. It is in season in the spring and is called the ‘King of Fish’ in Japan. A whole tai is quite expensive and is enough for an entire meal. Here are three ways to eat one tai.

Itadakimono: Yesterday I was over at Kichisen with a friend chatting with Mr Tanigawa, as I was leaving Mr Tanigawa ordered one of his students to get a tai for me to take home. When they showed the beautiful red fish, I couldn’t believe my luck. It was huge! He also gave me some greens that I had not heard of before: hakusaina.

Sea Bream Feast Served

Sea Bream ‘Tai’

Sea Bream ‘Tai’ – Cleaned

Sea Bream Feast Served

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Ready to Cook

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Cooked

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Removing Meat from Head

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Removing Meat from Head

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Removing Meat from Bones

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Removed Bones

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) Served with Ki-no-me

Ki-no-me is the leaf of the sansho plant.

Tai Meshi
Tai-meshi is made a number of different ways and Mr Tanigawa recommended that we use the head for that. (We put the spine in too and that was a mistake as it left a fair number of bones in the rice. Surprisingly, we were able to strip the meat from the head, even the lips — with only getting a few small boney bits in the rice,)

The idea here is that the head of the tai will make a lot of excellent dashi (soup stock) for the rice. And that it did! Also, nothing should go to waste. First, the tai head is grilled shioyaki style, just for a minute or so on each side. Then the head goes in the rice cooker and is cooked on top of the rice with some ryorishu (cooking sake), salt and a bit of shoyu.

Removing the meat from the head is not as difficult as you might expect. Tai-meshi is usually garnished with ki-no-me, which is the leaf of the sansho pepper bush.

Tai Nitsuki – Simmering Sea Bream with Greens

Tai Nitsuki – Simmered Sea Bream with Greens

Tai Nitsuke
We made a light dashi with just a few small slices of ginger and simmered half the tai in it. As the end, we added the hakusaina greens as per Mr Tanigawa’s instructions. For me, it is hard to beat fish simmered in sake and shoyu.

Tai Sashimi

Tai Sashimi
The bottom half of the fillet is eaten raw, the skin is stripped off and it is simply sliced. Meanwhile, on the other half of the upper half of the fillet, and the skin that was stripped off the lower half, Mr Tanigawa poured boiling water and then plunged it into ice water.

The scalded skin is sliced thin and mixed with scallion and ponzu. (Ponzu is a citrus juice and vinegar based shoyu dipping sauce. I got this ponzu at a shoyu shinise in Kyoto and it includes grapefruit juice, a novel ingredient!) This is similar to the fuguteppi‘ dish.

The ‘scalded’ sashimi with skin is dipped in ponzu and the ‘raw’ sashimi is dipped in the usual shoyu and wasabi. This contrast was particularly wonderful and the kind of surprise you get at a restaurant like Kichisen.

UPDATE: My bad, I called ‘tai’ red snapper, rather than sea bream in this article and was kindly corrected by [email protected] (22 April 2009)


Sea Bream Japanese Feast: Tai Sashimi, Tai Meshi, Tai Nitsuke


Sea bream, or ‘tai’ in Japanese is one of the best loved fish and an important symbol in Japanese culture. It is in season in the spring and is called the ‘King of Fish’ in Japan. A whole tai is quite expensive and is enough for an entire meal. Here are three ways to eat one tai.

Itadakimono: Yesterday I was over at Kichisen with a friend chatting with Mr Tanigawa, as I was leaving Mr Tanigawa ordered one of his students to get a tai for me to take home. When they showed the beautiful red fish, I couldn’t believe my luck. It was huge! He also gave me some greens that I had not heard of before: hakusaina.

Sea Bream Feast Served

Sea Bream ‘Tai’

Sea Bream ‘Tai’ – Cleaned

Sea Bream Feast Served

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Ready to Cook

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Cooked

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Removing Meat from Head

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Removing Meat from Head

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Removing Meat from Bones

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) – Removed Bones

Tai Meshi (Sea Bream Rice) Served with Ki-no-me

Ki-no-me is the leaf of the sansho plant.

Tai Meshi
Tai-meshi is made a number of different ways and Mr Tanigawa recommended that we use the head for that. (We put the spine in too and that was a mistake as it left a fair number of bones in the rice. Surprisingly, we were able to strip the meat from the head, even the lips — with only getting a few small boney bits in the rice,)

The idea here is that the head of the tai will make a lot of excellent dashi (soup stock) for the rice. And that it did! Also, nothing should go to waste. First, the tai head is grilled shioyaki style, just for a minute or so on each side. Then the head goes in the rice cooker and is cooked on top of the rice with some ryorishu (cooking sake), salt and a bit of shoyu.

Removing the meat from the head is not as difficult as you might expect. Tai-meshi is usually garnished with ki-no-me, which is the leaf of the sansho pepper bush.

Tai Nitsuki – Simmering Sea Bream with Greens

Tai Nitsuki – Simmered Sea Bream with Greens

Tai Nitsuke
We made a light dashi with just a few small slices of ginger and simmered half the tai in it. As the end, we added the hakusaina greens as per Mr Tanigawa’s instructions. For me, it is hard to beat fish simmered in sake and shoyu.

Tai Sashimi

Tai Sashimi
The bottom half of the fillet is eaten raw, the skin is stripped off and it is simply sliced. Meanwhile, on the other half of the upper half of the fillet, and the skin that was stripped off the lower half, Mr Tanigawa poured boiling water and then plunged it into ice water.

The scalded skin is sliced thin and mixed with scallion and ponzu. (Ponzu is a citrus juice and vinegar based shoyu dipping sauce. I got this ponzu at a shoyu shinise in Kyoto and it includes grapefruit juice, a novel ingredient!) This is similar to the fuguteppi‘ dish.

The ‘scalded’ sashimi with skin is dipped in ponzu and the ‘raw’ sashimi is dipped in the usual shoyu and wasabi. This contrast was particularly wonderful and the kind of surprise you get at a restaurant like Kichisen.

UPDATE: My bad, I called ‘tai’ red snapper, rather than sea bream in this article and was kindly corrected by [email protected] (22 April 2009)


Watch the video: Cantonese Cuisine - Steamed Fish (May 2022).