Oven-Baked Sea Bream (Daurade au Four)

This is how sea bream (daurade) was served to us in Corsica: cooked in the oven with some colorful vegetables. When ordering fish on Corsica, be careful about the price. On the menu this daurade was listed as 12 euros per 100 grams. We shared an 800 gram fish, which set us back 96 euros. So it makes a lot of sense to make this at home instead, as it is quite easy as long as you use a thermometer. Sea bream overcooks very easily and will then become dry and boring. With a thermometer you can’t overcook it.

You could encounter a very similar dish in Italy. It would then be called orata al forno.

In many restaurants it will work like this. The waiter will come by the table with a large platter full of fresh fish. You pick which fish to cook and how you would like to be cooked. After the fish has been cooked, it will be shown to you again at the table. It is now either filleted and plated in front of you, or taken back to the kitchen for that.

Ingredients

For 2 servings

1 large sea bream (about 800 grams, 1.8 lbs), gutted

1/2 zucchini, diced

1 carrot, peeled and diced

1 tomato (or 2 small tomatoes), diced

1 garlic clove, peeled and halved

1 lemon slice, halved

a few sprigs of fresh thyme

extra virgin olive oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

Season the fish inside and out with salt and freshly ground black pepper and rub it with extra virgin olive oil. Stuff the cavity with lemon, thyme, and garlic.

Toss the diced zucchini and carrot with some extra virgin olive oil and scatter the vegetables in an oven dish.

Insert the probe of an instant-read thermometer into the fish, such that the tip of the probe is in the center of the thickest part of the fish.

Put the dish in the oven at 180C/350F.

After 10 minutes, turn the fish carefully…

…and add the diced tomatoes. Return the dish to the oven…

…until the core temperature of the fish reaches 50C/122F. This will take about 5 minutes.

Now remove the skin from the top of the fish.

This is a gratuitous shot of the fish with the skin removed.

Now carefully lift off the fillet and put it on a preheated plate.

Remove the bones, then carefully transfer the other fillet (without the skin) to the other preheated plate.

Arrange the vegetables on and around the fish, and drizzle with good quality extra virgin olive oil. The olive oil should be fragrant, if not then buy a better one.

Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and serve.

Wine pairing

This is great with many dry white wines. In Corsica it would of course be a local Vermentino, but Italian whites like Gavi or Verdicchio would also be outstanding.

Flashback

DSC00746

White asparagus are still in season here, and these white asparagus ravioli are a great way to serve them.

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9 thoughts on “Oven-Baked Sea Bream (Daurade au Four)

  1. This looks (and I’m sure tasted) lovely, Stefan. The pricey fish menu doesn’t surprise me too much. I bought a line cought sea bream recently, which was just enough for two people, for Eu25. Fresh fish does not come cheap.

    Liked by 1 person

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