Steamed sea bream with lemon condiment

You'll need a large steamer


Only use supremely fresh fish when steaming and nothing too meaty, as you want the fish to cook quickly without taking on too much moisture. Sea bream works brilliantly and is tasty and economical and widely available. You will need a large steamer.

Serves: 4 as a main meal or 6–8 as a tapas


For the lemon condiment
● 3 unwaxed lemons, each cut into eight, seeds removed
● 3 tbsp caster sugar
● 100ml extra virgin olive oil
● 2 tbsp marjoram or oregano leaves
● Sea salt and pepper

For the fish

● 4 fillets sea bream
● 2 medium heads of fennel, trimmed and quartered
● 1 glass dry white wine
● 1 small red chilli, deseeded and chopped
● 2 sprigs thyme
● 500ml good quality fish stock
● Olive oil, sea salt and black pepper


● For the lemon condiment: blend the lemons and sugar in a food processor until the lemons break down to a coarse consistency - not a purée.

● Now gradually pour in the olive oil, pulsing at the same time, so that the lemons emulsify with the oil. Season and stir in the marjoram or oregano. You should end up with a viscous, jam-like consistency.

● Heat a medium-sized pan over a medium heat and add a lug of olive oil. Throw in the fennel, season with salt and pepper and lightly sauté on all sides to brown.

● Now pour in the wine, add the chilli and thyme sprigs and turn the heat up to maximum. When the wine has come to the boil, reduce it rapidly until a glaze is achieved and then add the fish stock. Bring the fish stock to the boil, turn the heat down to a simmer and place a lid on the pan.

● Cook the fennel until tender and the fish stock has reduced to sauce consistency. A few minutes before the fennel is ready, set up your steamer and bring the water to the boil over a high heat.

● Season the fillets with salt and pepper, place in the top of the steamer and cook until the fish is opaque or just cooked. Transfer the bream to serving plates. Divide out the fennel and spoon over the braising liquor.

● Serve with the lemon condiment on the side.

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