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Konbu Cured Bream (Tai no Kobujime)

Kobujime is an ancient Japanese method of preserving fish by curing it between layers of konbu, which infuses it with umami.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Best, Japanese
Level Beginner
Main Ingredient Fish
Diet Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Low-Carb, Low-Fat, Pescatarian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 fillet


  • Tai (Red Sea Bream)
  • konbu
  • sea salt


  • Because kobu varies in thickness, you want to go by size rather than weight. Chose a few pieces of kombu that are slightly smaller than the surface area of each side of fish (they'll grow considerably as they rehydrate.
  • Rehydrate the pieces of konbu in room temperature water. How long they take to rehydrate will depend on how thick they are, but you just want them just soft enough so they are no longer brittle. If you soak them too long, the goodness in the kombu will leach out into the water.
  • Once the konbu is ready to go, drain it, and then place the pieces on a large piece of plastic wrap.
  • Dust both pieces of konbu with a generous sprinkle of salt. How much salt you add will affect the length of preservation as well as the saltiness of the fish. This is something you'll need to experiment with to get the right balance for you, but you're going to want to use more salt than you would if you were just going to pan fry it.
  • Place the fish on one of the pieces of konbu and then flip the other piece of konbu onto the fish so that the salted side is in contact with the fish.
  • Wrap tightly with plastic wrap.
  • At this point you need to make sure the konbu is making good contact with the fish. One way is to place the wrapped fish on a tray and then place another flat tray on top with some weight on it. The better way is if you have a vacuum sealer, you can put the wrapped fish in a bag and vacuum seal it.
  • Let the fish cure overnight in the refrigerator.
  • The next day unwrap the fish and remove and discard the konbu. You can slice the fish using a sharp knife and then serve it as sashimi, make a carpaccio drizzled with olive oil, or use it in an ochazuke (tea rice).