How to cook the Dream Bream

Sea Bream En Papillote

This recipe is great for a mid week dinner or fish friday. Each fish is enough to feed one person, we had ours with new potatoes and green beans. The en papillote method (French for in parchment) is good for retaining the moisture in the fish and locks in its flavour. I was surprised by how flavoursome the bream was for a white fish, it was similar to salmon and had a meaty texture.

The fish are easy enough to serve, once removing the skin the flesh flakes off the bone. But If you’re not keen on the idea of handling a whole fish, ask your fishmonger to fillet the bream. I got these mine from Jenkins and Son on Deal high street, where they gutted and descaled them for me.


  • 2 whole sea breams
  • 1 half bulb of fennel
  • 1 red chilli
  • 8 sprigs of rosemary
  • 200 ml white wine
  • 3 good lemons
  • Freshly milled salt and pepper

Additional Equipment

  • String
  • Greaseproof paper


Finely chop your fennel, removed the seeds from the chilli and finely chop. Squeeze the juice from one lemon and combine with the white wine. Slice your remaining lemons up. Take your fish and season generously with salt and pepper.


Stuff a portion of fennel chilli and rosemary into the fish belly. Add a couple of slices of the lemon, layering them lengthways. Layer more lemons on the body of the fish, adding sprigs of rosemary and a sprinkling of chilli for decoration. Take two lengths of string and tie up the fish near the head and tail, securing the lemons in place.


Transfer your fish to a sheet of greaseproof paper each. Scrunch the paper up around the fish so it can retain liquid, then pour the wine and lemon juice over the fish. Scrunch up the paper to seal in the fish. You dont want a tightly wrapped parcel, but a loose fit with a good seal.
Place on baking trays and put in the oven at 180C for 20 minutes. Remove from the papers and cut the strings. Place on a plate to serve.

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