• Wholegrain snapper rice (Adam Liaw)Source: Adam Liaw

Different varieties of wholegrains serve up an array of textures as well as a natural nuttiness, a perfect fit for the tenderness and mellow flavour of snapper and a salty soy sauce dressing.






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  • 630 g (3 cups) Japanese rice, rinsed under running water
  • 1 whole baby snapper, about 700 g, cleaned and scaled
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) sake
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • salt, to season
  • vegetable oil, for drizzling
  • 2 cm piece ginger, peeled and julienned
  • 3 spring onions, sliced
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Wholegrain rice mix (makes extra)

  • 100 g (½ cup) brown rice
  • 50 g (¼ cup) millet
  • 50 g (¼ cup) amaranth
  • 50 g (¼ cup) pearl glutinous rice
  • 50 g (¼ cup) black rice
  • 25 g (¼ cup) rolled barley
  • 2 tbsp sorghum
  • 2 tbsp roasted black beans
  • 2 tbsp dried azuki beans
  • 1 tbsp red quinoa
  • 1 tbsp buckwheat
  • 1 tbsp Thai red rice

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Standing time: 30 minutes

  1. For the wholegrain rice mix, place all the ingredients in a jar or press-seal bag and shake to combine well.
  2. Place the Japanese rice in a baking dish just big enough to fit the fish (oval, if you have one). Stir through ¼ cup of the wholegrain rice mix. Pour in enough water to come 1 cm above the rice, then add the sake, soy sauce and fish sauce. Season well with salt. Set aside for 30 minutes.
  3. Heat a drizzle of oil in a frying pan over high heat. Cut a few slits in both sides of the fish, then fry on both sides until slightly charred (the fish doesn't need to be cooked through at this stage). Place the fish on top of the rice, scatter with the ginger and bring to a simmer.
  4. Cover with a lid, reduce the heat to very low and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stand, covered for a further 5 minutes. Scatter with the spring onions, sesame seeds and a little more salt, then serve.


Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.

Photography by Adam Liaw.