Carpaccio of Bream
Serves: 2
A twist on a classic Italian carpaccio. Sea bream’s firm, dense flesh makes it particularly suitable for serving raw.
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • ½-1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon baby capers, rinsed
  • really good extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large fillet (or 2 small) very fresh sea bream
  1. Lay the fish fillets on a board and remove any pin bones with tweezers. Make sure no bones remain, as they will make slicing the fish quite difficult.
  2. Now slice the fish with a very sharp knife, trying to make the slices as large and as thin as possible – no more than 1 mm thick. Cut the sea bream as you might a side of smoked salmon, working gradually down towards the skin at an angle.
  3. Lay the sea bream slices on 1 or 2 large plates, spreading them out in an even layer so they don’t overlap too much.
  4. Cut the base from the fennel bulb and peel off the tough outer layers (the fresher the bulb, the less you’ll have to discard). Slice the fennel from tip to root as finely as possible – you’re aiming for what they call ‘shaved’ fennel. Scatter the fennel slices over the fish, then squeeze over the lemon juice, trying to get a few drops on every bit of fish. Spoon over the capers, then season the whole plate with salt and pepper.
  5. Finish with a trickle of extra virgin olive oil. Unlike a ceviche, where the fish needs at least a couple of hours to ‘cook’ in the marinade, this dish is all about fresh flavours combining in the mouth. So serve, and eat, immediately.
Recipe by George Hughes Fishmongers at