Braised sea bream with Mediterranean sauce

2 servings; 10 min preparation; 20-25 min cooking time.

I was planning to make whole fish for quite some time. When I saw this beautiful sea bream in the store, I couldn’t resist.  So I decided to celebrate the beginning of spring with a fresh fish and amazing Mediterranean flavors.

If you can’t find sea bream, just replace it with sea bass. The point is to use a whole white fish. Of course, you can use fish fillets as well and make the sauce on the side, but cooking fish with the bones gives another dimension of the dish. I’m sure that a lot of you will agree that cooking any meat or fish on the bone is much more flavorful. In this particular dish, the bones keep the fish moist and keep it from drying out.

You can use any kind of tomato for the sauce. I just used what I had in the fridge. The sauce will be delicious with halved cherry tomatoes as well. Or you can even replace them with cherry tomatoes on the vine.


  • 2 whole sea bream (about 300 g), cleaned
  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped or 100 g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 100 g black olives, pitted
  • 1 lime, slices
  • 1 lime, juice
  • 10 g fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 10 g fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp fennel powder
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • salt and pepper

Clean and scale the fish. Season each fish with salt and pepper. Season also the cleaned belly with salt, pepper and fennel powder. Stuff the fish with a sprig fresh rosemary, 1 clove garlic (slices) and lime slices.

Heat oil in a wide cooking pan over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the fish. Cook on each side for 3 min or until it start getting color.

Add the chopped bell pepper, chopped tomatoes and sliced garlic. Season with salt, pepper and dried oregano. Add the remaining fresh rosemary. Cook for 3-4 min. Add 1 cup of hot water, capers, olives and chopped cilantro. Cover with a lid and let it cook for 15 more minutes.

At the very end add lime juice and adjust the seasoning if needed. Serve the whole fish with roasted potatoes. Enjoy! 


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