Max Levy trained in Japan before opening a restaurant and bar in Beijing. He’s now chef-owner of the much-lauded casual izakaya, Okra Hong Kong. Here’s his recipe for kombu-cured red seabream.


Kombu-cured Red Seabream


Cure a fish fillet in kombu seaweed for three days to create deep, complex flavours.

Serves 1



  • 200g kombujime
  • 50g boneless, skinless fillet of red seabream
  • 200g unpasteurised junmai sake
  • 200g distilled water
  • 20g sea salt


Prep & cook time: 3 days


  1.  Dehydrate the kombu

Air-dry the rishiri kombu


  1.  Brine the fish

Dissolve the sea salt into the distilled water and add the fish. Refrigerate for 35 minutes.


  1.  Rehydrate the kombu

Add the sake to the kombu to rehydrate the seaweed.


  1.  Cure the fish

Remove the fish from the saltwater and pat dry. Wrap it tightly with the rehydrated kombu to form a flat parcel. Place between two plates and top with a 500g weight. Refrigerate for three days, turning the plates over every 12 hours. Remove the kombu to check the fish – the flesh should be slightly sticky with a light green tinge. Cut into thin sashimi slices and serve.