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OK, I’m just playing with words ! . . . ALLIUM is the family of onions, garlics, shallots, chives and leeks & CAPSICUM is the family of sweet and hot peppers and CITRUS of course you already know. By the way, sea breams, also called gilt-head bream, are part of the SPARIDAE family and are marine fish (at least you learned something new today) . . .

I remember eating these oven-baked fish often when we were kids and they were called TSIPOURA. Usually, when they’re prepared in the traditional Greek way, all you use is some lemon slices and lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil and oregano. So simple and yet so perfect, and served with a green salad with onions and lots of vinegar.

It’s funny how we hated eating this dish as kids, not because it wasn’t tasty enough, but because as kids, you don’t really know how to correctly eat a whole fish, all those bones everywhere, never knowing when you’re going to harpoon your throat and choke and die, and always wondering if you eat the skin, fins, tail, head parts, which is why we loved fish sticks ! At some point, my parents gave up and fed us those frozen and breaded fish (or sort of fish) sticks which are the marine and seafood version of terrestrial hotdogs. Those MYSTERY MEATS and us DUMB KIDS !

*short quick story for a quick meal that is ready under 60 minutes : 

Yesterday was market day in my neighborhood, right in front of my place. I found these 2 beautiful sea breams weighing a bit over 500 grams each for a total of 10€. I already had and/or bought some different types of peppers and onions and lemons & limes so I pretty much had everything or could adjust the recipe according to what I had at home.

The preparation is simple enough. For 1 kg of fish, you’ll need 1 kg of vegetables or to be more precise, half or 500 grams of peppers and half or 500 grams of onions and 250 grams of citrus fruits like lemon, limes (and even part an orange if you have one) for the juice. 

Scale and clean out the fish (if it hasn’t already been done for you), slice up the vegetables, toss them with the lemon juice, then salt, pepper, dried herbs, then add the oil, partly oven-bake the vegetables first (because they take longer and you don’t want to dry out your fish), then add the fish on top that you’ve stuffed with the partly-cooked vegetables and bake some more. VOILAAAAA !

BLOOP-BLOOP-BLOOP (I think that’s the sound that fishes make when they swim and breathe) & CHOMP-CHOMP-CHOMP (that’s the sound that we make when we eat them and when they eat other smaller fish too) . . . :)

roasted sea bream with citrus & allium & capsicum




fish :

  • 1 kg (2 whole medium-sized & cleaned) sea breams (or gilt-head breams)

vegetables & fruits :

  • 500 grams (4 cups) mixed & sliced onions & garlic (175 grams red onion, 150 grams yellow onion, 75 grams green onions, 50 grams shallots, 25 grams garlic)
  • 500 grams (4 cups) mixed & sliced peppers (125 grams yellow bell pepper, 125 grams red bell pepper, 125 grams green bell pepper, 100 grams green banana pepper, 25 grams green hot pepper)
  • 250 grams citrus fruit (1 lemon of 100 grams, 2 limes of 100 grams total and 50 grams or ¼ of an orange) for approximately 90 ml (6 tbsp) of juice

marinade :

  • 90 ml (6 tbsp) olive oil
  • 90 ml (6 tbsp) citrus juice (from the 1 lemon, 2 limes, ¼ orange)
  • 15 grams (3 tsp) fine sea salt
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 2 grams (3 tsp) dried oregano
  • 2 grams (3 tsp) dried thyme
  • 1 gram (¼ tsp) ground pepper
  • optional : 0,5 gram (¼ tsp) ground espelette pepper (or use a mix of paprika and a pinch of chili pepper)


  • scale and clean out the fish, rinse well and weigh and prepare an equivalent amount in weight of sliced vegetables (half mixed onions and some garlic, etc) and half mixed peppers (mostly sweet and some hot)
  • place the fish back in the refrigerator
  • preheat the oven to 210°C
  • toss the sliced vegetables with 4 tbsp of citrus juice, 2 tsp salt & 2 tsp each of dried oregano and thyme dried and finally the 4 tbsp of olive oil, place in a deep dish, loosely cover with a sheet of baking paper and/or a sheet of aluminum foil and bake on the middle rack for 25 minutes until partly cooked and softened
  • remove the fish from the refrigerator, drizzle the inside and outside of each fish with 1 tbsp citrus juice, sprinkle the inside and outside of each fish with ½ tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp each of dried oregano and theyme, some ground pepper (and a pinch espelette pepper) then stuff each fish with 1 bay leaf, some of cooked garlic slices, onion slices and pepper slices, drizzle each with 1 tbsp of olive oil, place on top of the partly-cooked & softened vegetables and bake at 210°C for 10 minutes per side and 2-3 minutes  per side on broil at 230°C (total baking time 25 minutes)
  • remove, let cool slightly and serve each fish on a bed of vegetables, drizzle some of the cooking juices on top.