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    Basque Baked Sea Bream Recipe

    • Serves 4 people
    • Complexity Easy
    Prep time
    10 mins
    Cook time
    25 mins
    Total time
    35 mins
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    • 2 whole sea bream, weighing about 450g/1lb each, clean and gutted
    • 3 Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
    • 1 lemon, ½ juiced and ½ cut into thin wedges
    • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
    • 1/2 tsp of dried chillies
    • 8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 tbsp, flat-leaf parsley finely chopped
    • Sea salt to taste


    Try our traditional Basque Baked Sea Bream Recipe.
    Besugo al Horno (Baked Sea Bream) is a classic sea bream recipe served during Christmas Eve in the Basque Country. Traditionally this Spanish fish recipe uses Royal Bream, considered to be the most expensive fish during the Christmas season in Spain. As this species is not widely available in the UK, I have used Sea Bream which will also work perfectly for this classic Basque recipe. It may not have the grandeur of a huge turkey-and-trimmings production, but the dry chilli and garlic flavoured oil baked into the thin sliced roasted potatoes, certainly beats it hands down on flavour.


    1. Pre-heat your oven to 200°C/390˚F/Gas Mark 5 for 15 minutes.
    2. Lay the sliced potatoes in a large baking dish, season the inside of the fish with sea salt and place the fish on top of the sliced potatoes. Make three diagonal slashes on one side of each sea bream and push a lemon wedge into each slash. Drizzle the fish with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season the outside of the fish with sea salt.
    3. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 15 minutes, basting the fish occasionally.
    4. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes to crisp the fish and brown the potato slices.
    5. Whilst the fish and potatoes are browning, prepare the garlic and chilli oil to finish the dish by warming in a pan the remaining 6 tablespoons of olive oil. Once the oil is warm add the garlic slices and fry slowly until lightly golden, sprinkle on the dried chilli and chopped parsley.
    6. Remove the fish from the oven, squeeze on the fresh lemon juice and spoon the garlic and chilli oil all over the fish.

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