Spring is the season for celebration and entertaining people. Sticky rice with sea bream will light up such occasions. The process of cooking sticky rice is simplified by using the microwave.
“The microwave, which heats the food by using its water content, is suited to cooking sticky rice that has absorbed lots of water,” says Yoko Munakata of the Better Home Association.
Unlike the usual “uruchi”-type rice, sticky rice absorbs large amounts of water. When using a rice cooker, follow the instructions for cooking sticky rice. Leave the sea bream inside until the rice is cooked. Serves four.
2 “go” (360 ml or 300 grams) sticky rice ?mochi-gome)
2 slices (200 grams) sea bream
Seasoning A (1/4 tsp salt, 1 Tbsp sake)
1 cup (200 ml) water
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sake
5 cm (10 grams) dried konbu kelp
1 (20 grams) large pickled plum (umeboshi)
10 “kinome” (young leaves of Japanese pepper)
Rinse rice and immerse in generous amount of water (not listed above) for 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the desired texture. (The longer the time, the softer it will turn out.)
Coat sea bream with Seasoning A and leave for 20 minutes.
Drain rice and place in large heatproof bowl with water and salt. Mix. Place kelp on top. Pat sea bream dry and place on kelp. Sprinkle sake and place torn pieces of plum with plum pit.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap and microwave for 8 minutes at 500W. (About 6 minutes and 30 seconds at 600W.) Remove sea bream and kelp.
Mix from bottom, cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 4 more minutes. Mix again and heat for another 4 minutes. (Irregular heating is remedied by turning upside down twice.) Leave with plastic wrap on for 1 minute.
While rice is cooking, remove skin and bones from sea bream and break into large chunks. When rice is ready, mix in sea bream. Remove plum pit. Serve and sprinkle with “kinome.”
Estimated time to prepare: 50 minutes (30 minutes to immerse rice in water and season fish, 20 minutes to cook)
Nutritional information per serving: kilocalories, 400; sodium content, 1.5 grams; fat content, 5.9 grams