Tai Meshi (Japanese pilaf with sea bream??) Cooked in Donabe
I'm not sure if "pilaf" is a proper translation for Japanese "takikomi gohan." When making pilaf, do you always need to saute raw rice (with butter) before cooking it in broth? Japanese takikomi gohan does not require sauteing rice, so maybe it shouldn't be called "pilaf." But I guess, from this translation, you can get some idea of what takikomi gohan is like, right? ;)
Here in Japan, tai (sea bream) is an expensive fish which is used for formal celebrations including wedding, baby's "first-feeding ceremony" etc. and also when someone achieved a great success. Thus, tai meshi also sounds like an expensive dish, and it actually was, I think, in the past. But these days young Japanese wives make the dish more casually and economically, making a good use of store-bought sea bream sashimi. Yes, those raw fish slices that come in plastic containers. Usually you see only 7 or 8 thin slices in one pack, but the good thing about tai meshi is that you don't need a whole lot of fish -- the fish is supposed to be mixed into rice anyway... like this.
I usually grill the sea bream beforehand, as recommended in many tai meshi recipes. I guess that makes the dish less fishy and more fragrant. The thinly sliced dark-green stuff in the top photo is kombu kelp from making dashi stock. Of course, it was my own crazy idea, but I always don't know what to do with the kelp after making dashi stock, so I thought adding it to this tai meshi could be a good idea -- It might even add extra umami. ;)