Celebrating with Red "Tai" Sea Bream Soup

Celebrating with Red "Tai" Sea Bream Soup

Clear and umami rich broth with grilled sea bream head and Japanese root vegetables. Cut the daikon and carrot into plum blossom shapes for celebrating the New Year. This soup is good not only for the New Year, but for any celebration dinner.

Ingredients: 4 serving

Red tai sea bream head (split into 2 sides)
1 per 2 servings
Sea kelp (kombu)
3 inch pieces
Tai carcasse or bones
1 tai's worth for every 2 servings
Sake (Japanese rice wine)
3 table spoon
2 inch
2 inch
Gobo (burdock root)
5 inch
to taste
Light soy sauce
to taste (optional)
Cooked green beans (garnish)
Yuzu lemon zest


1. Put 3 cups of cold water and sea kelp in a pot and heat over low heat. Remove sea kelp before boiling. (When the temperature reaches 200F)
2. Broil or grill bones and add to the hot broth and simmer for 10 minutes. Salt the sea bream heads and grill them for 15 to 20 minutes until fully cooked. Save heads aside until serving.
3. Strain with fine mesh cloth, such as cheese cloth.
4. Slice the burdock roots along the fibers. Slice daikon and carrots into 1/8 inch thickness and cut them with a flower shaped cookie cutter. Blanch them in salted simmering water until bite tender.
5. Season the broth with salt and light soy sauce, warm vegetables in the broth.
6. Put the tai head in a soup bowl and arrange vegetables. Pour in the broth and garnish with sliced green beans and Yuzu zest.

Story Behind this Recipe

Red tai is one of the Japanese favorite fish, because the sound of "tai" is contained in "medetai," the Japanese word for "happy occasion". Eating fish heads is thought to bring success in Japan, so they're often served at special dinners and events.