Braised Tai Sea Bream Head with Turnips

Serves two to three


Braised Tai Sea Bream Head with Turnips

  • 1 tai head, cut into 10 pieces
  • Salt (for sprinkling tai head)
  • 1 qt. (1 L) water (for blanching tai head)
  • Salted boiling water (for blanching turnips)
  • 2 to 3 kabu Japanese white turnips
  • 2-1/2 cups (600 ml) water
  • 3 tbsp. light soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp. mirin
  • 1 piece dried kombu kelp, 2 in. (5 cm) square
  • Yuzu peel, cut into slivers

Lightly sprinkle the tai pieces with the salt and let stand for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, bring the 1 qt. (1 L) of water to a boil in a saucepan. Place the tai pieces in the boiling water for 30 seconds, then shock in ice water. Remove any scales. Blot dry and set aside. Peel and cut the turnips into halves and blanch in salted boiling water.

Place the tai pieces, blanched turnips, water, soy sauce, mirin, and kombu in a suitable saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer with a drop-lid (otoshi-buta) until the turnips are tender, about 15 minutes. Arrange in a serving bowl with the simmering liquid. Top with slivered yuzu peel.

To eat, pick out the tender flesh with chopsticks or put a piece of fish in your mouth and suck away the meat, spitting out the bones. It's fine to use your hands—this is why the Japanese have damp o-shibori towels at meals.

  • from:
    Japanese Kitchen Knives
  • by Hiromitsu Nozaki
  • Photographs by Yasuo Konishi
  • Kodansha International 2009
  • $29.95; Hardcover; 160 pages
  • ISBN-10: 4770030762
  • ISBN-13: 978-4-7700-3076-4
  • Reprinted by permission.

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