Sashimi, Savory Broth Give Deluxe Twist to Classic Rice Bowl

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Uwajima-style tai-meshi

Cooking instructor Shimpei Kurihara has brought to us a special spring recipe for Uwajima-style tai-meshi. The dish consists of a bowl of cooked rice with slices of sea bream sashimi on top, over which a broth and egg mixture is poured. Think of it as a deluxe version of “tamago kake gohan,” or raw eggs over rice.

Kurihara is the son of cooking instructor Harumi Kurihara. He appears regularly on TV programs and in magazines, using the knack for cooking he has possessed since childhood and the flavors favored by his mother. He prizes home-style dishes that make the most of seasonal ingredients.

“Sea bream is tasty in spring as the fish puts on more fat in this season,” Kurihara said. He proposed a couple of tweaks to Uwajima-style tai-meshi, which he first had at a restaurant in Ehime Prefecture, where this style of the dish originates.

In the local version, the sashimi is marinated in a soy sauce-based sauce and served over rice along with the marinade. But Kurihara recommends pouring dashi broth mixed with beaten eggs over the rice and topping it off with sashimi seasoned separately.

Uwajima-style tai-meshi is usually prepared with plain rice, but in Kurihara’s recipe, the rice is cooked with bonito dashi and other seasonings. “The key to preparing richly flavored tai-meshi is to put in a little extra effort,” Kurihara said.

The sashimi should thoroughly absorb the soy sauce-based marinade. Before marinating, cut the fish into pieces at a sharp angle with a kitchen knife so each slice has a large surface area. This will help the marinade soak into the slices.

To make the broth, first combine bonito dashi, soy sauce and others ingredients over heat. When the mixture reaches a boil, turn off the heat and let it cool. The broth should have a sweet and salty taste, as well as a pleasant aroma.

“Sashimi goes well with cold broth. For this recipe, the rice will taste better when it is a little cold, too,” Kurihara said.

Mix the broth with beaten eggs and pour over the rice. Top with the sashimi and sprinkle with seasonings to complete the dish. The rice will have the wonderful, natural flavor of bonito broth.

The heavily marinated sashimi combines with the mild flavor of the eggs and the sweetness of the rice for a truly luxurious take on the classic eggs over rice. Aonegi green onions and other seasonings further enhance the flavor, making this one dish that’s hard to put down.

Turnips dressed with sesame sauce

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Turnips dressed with sesame sauce.

The rich flavor of tai-meshi pairs well with a refreshing side of turnips dressed in sesame sauce.

Cut the leaves off two turnips, leaving about 1 centimeter of the stem. Peel the roots and cut into thin slices lengthwise. Sprinkle with half a teaspoon of salt and let sit for about 15 minutes. Squeeze the turnips to expel most of their moisture.

Next, put the turnips in a bowl and mix with 2 tablespoons of ground white sesame seeds, half a tablespoon of mentsuyu soup base (a triple or quadruple concentrate) and half a teaspoon of sugar. Kurihara says the dish can also be prepared using other vegetables.

Uwajima-style tai-meshi

Ingredients (Serves 2 to 3)

  • 360 cc rice
  • 200 grams sea bream (block of sashimi)
  • 30 grams dried bonito flakes
  • 2 to 3 eggs
  • Chopped dried seaweed and aonegi green onions to taste

  • Directions:

    1. Boil 1 liter of water in pan. When it begins to boil, lower the heat and add dried bonito flakes. Simmer over very low heat for 1 minute. Turn off the heat and strain the broth with a strainer after it comes to room temperature.

    2. Wash the rice and drain in a strainer.

    3. Mix 1 tablespoon each of soy sauce and sake, 2 tablespoons of mirin and ½ teaspoon of salt. Add a little of the bonito broth from step 1 until a total volume of 360 milliliters is reached.

    4. Put the rice and the mixture from step 3 in a rice cooker, and cook on the normal cooking mode.

    5. Cut the sea bream into 5- to 7-millimeter-thick slices. Mix 3 tablespoons of soy sauce and 2 tablespoons of mirin in a shallow tray and then add the sea bream, letting it marinate for about 5 minutes.

    The Yomiuri Shimbun
    Cut sea bream into 5- to 7-millimeter-thick slices.

    6. Mix 200 milliliters of the bonito broth from step 1, 1 tablespoon each of soy sauce and mirin, and 2 tablespoons of sake in a small pot. Place the pot over medium-high heat. When it begins to boil, turn off the heat. Pour the broth into a separate container and let it cool thoroughly by chilling the container in a bowl of ice. Pour the broth into a katakuchi lipped bowl.

    7. When the rice is ready, give it a quick stir with a rice paddle and put it into bowls. Plate the sea bream.

    8. Crack the eggs into a small bowl and beat them. Mix with your desired amount of the broth from step 6 and pour over the rice. Top the rice with the sea bream. Sprinkle with chopped dried seaweed and thinly sliced aonegi green onions to garnish.