Firinda Cipura – Oven Baked Gilthead Seabream

I’ve been craving fish for months, bluefish is my favorite, turbot comes next. There are rumors flying around about the soon-to-go-extinct bluefish, advising against consumption of it if smaller than 24cms, so I had to convince myself not to buy bluefish until the larger ones are abundant and the prices go down correspondingly.

If you’re asking what does all this have to do with the gilthead seabream recipe, it arrived just in time when my cravings ran in full force. They sell farm-bred seabream all around and it tastes like grass, so I would never recommend it. Farmed seabass is a bit more acceptable in terms of taste, but no farmed seabream for me, thanks. The one I baked was from Western Black Sea and so fresh and full of flavor. By the way, hubs is not a fish-fan at all, but once I had the time to check out on him while nibbling on my yummy fish, he was sucking the gelatinous bits over the bones. Here is how I baked it and let the flavors come out:


2 gilthead seabream, around half a kilo, gutted, cleaned and washed

A pinch of ground sea salt (I used maldon type)

1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons of virgin olive oil

4-6 cloves of garlic, peeled and halved

1 onion, julienne

1 lemon, peeled and sliced (add in a pinch of zest as well, if you like)

6-8 bay leaves

Fresh parsley or rosemary leaves

Make 1-2 deep incisions on the sides of the fish. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Cut two pieces of foil, twice the size of the fish, we’ll wrap the fish into these foils. Rub the seabream with salt and pepper. Line each fish onto separate foils. Drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil over each fish. Hide garlic and onion pieces into the guts of the fish. Line lemon slices, bay leaves and parsley/rosemary onto the fish. Wrap up the foils, not too tightly. Line the foils onto a baking tray and bake for 20-25 minutes. Serve with fresh salad made of rocket leaves, tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice and feta cheese.

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