Recipes

SEA BREAM FILLET

SEA BREAM FILLET

SERVES 4

2 Sea bream, scaled and gutted (Or Seabass)
1 knob of fresh ginger
100 ml olive oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
salt

FOR THE WAKAME SALSA
10g dried wake seaweed
1 small green courgette
1/2 cucumber
2 fresh jalapeño chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
1 small clove of garlic, finely chopped
2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp kimchi or Sriracha chili sauce

FOR THE SUMMER PICKLES
1tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
300-400ml sushi vinegar
1tsp peppercorns
1 large red chilli
100g caster sugar
4 springs of lemon thyme
1 yellow courgette
1 Sicilian or unwaxed lemon

You will need: large sterilized jar for the pickles.

Sea bream is a relatively inexpensive fish, but hugely overlooked, which is a shame as it lends itself very well to Asian-style dishes, either fried or grilled.

The flesh is not dissimilar to bass, but has a deeper flavour and firmer texture, so is good with complex flavours. Here, it is served with spring pickles of yellow courgette and Sicilian lemon, and a jalapeño wake salsa. The pickles will benefit from at least day three days’ pickling, and will keep for up to a month in a sterilized jar kept in a cool place.

METHOD

  1. First make the pickles. Toast the coriander and mustard seeds in a saucepan for a few minutes until the aromas are released.
  2. Add the vinegar, peppercorns, chilli, sugar and lemon thyme and stir for a few minutes until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
  4. Wash the yellow courgette, cut into quarters lengthways and remove the seeds.
  5. Cut each quarter into 1cm pieces and place in the jar.
  6. Peel the lemon with a peeler and remove as much of the pith as possible without bruising the flesh.
  7. Cut the lemon into very thin slices. Slide these along the sides of the pickling jar.
  8. When the pickling liquid is cooled, pour into the jar, seal the lid and leave for at least 3 days in a dry, cool place.
  9. On the day of cooking, scale the sea bream, then slit open the fish and remove the stomach sac and other innards.
  10. Rinse the fish under the cold tap and check all scales are removed; these tend to be very large on this fish.
  11. Dry the fish in kitchen (paper) towel and score each with three slits about 5mm deep, allowing the marinade to penetrate the flesh.
  12. Rub the ginger clean under a cold tap and dry on kitchen (paper) towel.
  13. Slice into thin slices, place in shallow tray and pour in the oil and soy sauce.
  14. Place the sea bream in to a marinate. place in the fridge for 15 minutes, then turn the fish and marinate for a further 15 minutes.
  15. Start the robata grill. Meanwhile, make the wake salsa.
  16. Place the wake in a large container of ice-cold water.
  17. Wash the courgette and cut into tiny cubes.
  18. Repeat with cucumber, removing the seeds as well.
  19. Place the courgette, cucumber, chillies and garlic in a bowl with the olive oil and chilli sauce, and season with salt. When the wake is fully bloomed, drain, chop finely and add to the salsa.
  20. Grill the sea bream on an oiled wire rack over the robata for 3-4 minutes on each side, turning four times.
  21. Use a fish slice or spatula to carefully lift off the wire rack when turning, so as not to tear the skin.
  22. Place the fish on a plate with the salsa alongside and serve with a helping of seasonal summer pickles on the side.