Whole Sea Bream

Whole Sea Bream
Whole fish. Simplicity itself, and something which can be done as easily at the side of a river over a wood fire as in the kitchen.

I'm in the kitchen and so fired up my oven to 200C (400F?).


Take your fish - sea bream, for me; scale, gut and clean up.

Lay the fish on a piece of kitchen foil, place it over something flavoursome, stuff the cavity with flavour place a good piece of butter on top and fold up the parcel nice and tight.

No fucking about ...


Lemon, fennel and shallots, for me. Salt and pepper is good. Herbs are good. Garlic, also. Butter gives an instant sauce to pour over.

I place the fish on lemon slices, stuffed the cavity with fennel, slab of butter on top, shredded shallots over, sea salt and black pepper. Done.

Place the parcel into the oven for 30 minutes, or thereabouts, which gives us plenty of time to prepare some veggies. Since the oven was on, I roasted some parsnip and carrots in goose fat.

If you're preparing this out in the wild, lay the parcel on the coals and give it a good half hour which gives you time to forage about for something to serve alongside.

Check that the fish is cooked by inserting the tip of a knife into the flesh for a few seconds and test against your tongue. Cold or just lukewarm? More cooking. Hot? Argh! It burnth! Eat!


Whole fish like this is the focus. Serve minimally. I had some roasted roots alongside and some rocket. Spinach would have been really good, but ... hey ... that's a whole other retrospective.


Gently draw the skin away from the flesh. Eat one side, flip over and repeat. Do we really need a 'Haynes Manual' on how to eat fish?

Pick through the bones with the cat who will find an abundance of flesh on those bones to lick off. Whatever is left, keep for stock ... after washing off cat drool, naturally.