Take the gills, scales and guts off the fish. Rinse it well, and pat dry with paper towels. Make several slits on both sides of the fish.
Salt both sides of the fish well (including the slits you made and inside the fish too). Leave for 20 to 30 minutes, then wipe any moisture that has come out of the fish with paper towels.
Salt the surface of the fish only very lightly. The back fin and tail burn easily, so cover with salt, then grill the fish.
While you are pre-treating and grilling the fish, rinse the rice and leave it to soak in water for 30 minutes or so. Drain into a sieve. Brew the jasmine tea, and let cool.
Put the rice, jasmine tea, konbu dashi stock granules, sake and salt in an earthenware pot and mix. Place the grilled sea bream on top.
Start cooking over high heat with the lid off. When the pot comes to a boil, turn the heat down to a very low setting, put the lid on and cook for 15 minutes. Turn the heat off and leave to steam with the lid on for another 15 minutes. Don't open the lid until the steaming period is up!
Once the steaming time is up, take the sea bream out, remove the head and bones etc., and put the meat of the fish back into the pot and mix it in with the rice. Sprinkle with chopped green onion and serve.
Story Behind this Recipe
Whenever I find a sea bream that's the right size, I make this rice dish. When I cooked it using jasmine tea, it was delicious. So ever since then I've been making this with jasmine tea.
By washing the sea bream and leaving it for a while after salting it, a lot of the fishiness will come out, so wipe it off well. This dish is flavored very simply, but it's delicious and won't start smelling fishy even when it has cooled. If there are any leftovers, you can pour hot dashi stock over it and enjoy it as sea bream chazuke (rice with tea). Hoji tea or Oolong tea should be delicious too.