To get the best flavor and aroma, the fish is cooked twice. The fish is scored, rubbed with salt and pepper, coated with oil and grilled over very high heat on both sides. This step is essential before proceeding to the poaching stage. Why?
Grilling the fish gives it texture. The surface turns firm and crisp, and this prevents the fish from turning soggy during poaching. Grilling also gives the fish a lovely smoky aroma and flavor.
You may also try pan frying the fish in olive oil if a grill is unavailable to prevent the fish from turning into a mush during the poaching stage. Frying will give the fish the texture it requires but you’ll miss out on the lovely smokiness.
Whether you fry or grill the fish, it still finishes cooking in the sauce. The sauce is cooked in a pan, you lower the fish into the barely simmering sauce and you poach it just long enough to allow the fish to soak up all the wonderful flavors.
Greek-style Grilled Sea Bream With Onions and Tomatoes
- 1 sea bream - about 800 grams, cleaned and gutted
- olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ½ cup finely chopped onion
- 1 cup finely chopped tomatoes
- 2 generous pinches dried oregano
- 1 generous pinch thyme
- ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 generous splash white wine
- juice of half a lemon
- chopped greens - (scallions, basil or parsley), to garnish
- Rinse the sea bream well. Pat dry with a kitchen towel.
- Score the fish two to three times on both sides.
- Rub generously with salt and pepper.
- Heat the grill and brush the rack with olive oil.
- Brush the fish liberally with olive oil.
- Grill over high heat, about five minutes per side. Set aside.
- In a wide shallow pan, heat about two tablespoons of olive oil.
- Saute the garlic, onion, tomatoes, oregano, thyme and paprika with a little salt and pepper until the tomatoes star to liquefy.
- Pour in the white wine. Allow to boil, uncovered, for about two minutes.
- Lower the heat. Taste the sauce and add more salt and pepper, as needed.
- Lay the grilled sea bream on the sauce.
- Cover the pan tightly and poach the fish for about 20 minutes until the sauce is no longer soupy.
- Lay the fish on a serving plate and pour the sauce over it.
- Squeeze lemon juice directly over the fish and sauce.
- Serve your Greek-style grilled sea bream with onions and tomatoes topped with chopped greens of your choice.