Barbecued black bream with fennel and lemongrass

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Adam Byatt keeps barbecuing fish simple with this delicious bream recipe, adding a slight Asian twist with fragrant lemongrass. The fish is cooked wrapped in a banana leaf and layer of foil to steam the fish, thus keeping it really moist and full of flavour. You can buy banana leaves in specialist Asian shops or online, or use a layer of baking paper inside the foil instead.

First published in 2015





  • Barbecue


Mix together the lemongrass, fennel and dill in a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil
  • 2 sticks of lemongrass, finely sliced
  • 3 fennel, 2 finely sliced, 1 halved lengthways
  • 1/2 bunch of dill, roughly chopped
  • olive oil
Cut out 4 large squares of tin foil, each piece should be roughly 4 times the size of each fish. Cut the banana leaf into 4 and a piece on top of each foil square
Place a fish into the centre of each leaf, then stuff the cavity of each fish with a star anise and some of the lemongrass and fennel mix. Top each fish with 3 lemon slices and season with salt
Tightly wrap each fish first in the banana leaf, then in the foil until fully enclosed and sealed as a thin package
Place the parcels on a medium hot barbecue and cook for 12 minutes, turning over after 6 minutes. At the same time, char the lemon halves and fennel bulb halves on the barbecue. Add the samphire to a pan of boiling water to quickly blanch, then dress with a little olive oil and the chilli slices
When the fish is cooked through (to check, press down gently on one of the parcels, it should give way easily) unwrap and discard the foil. Carefully remove the head and bones and flake the flesh onto plates (or you could leave them whole in the banana leaves if preferred). Serve with a charred lemon half, some of the fennel and samphire and a drizzle of olive oil

Adam Byatt is a creative and accomplished Michelin-starred chef with a passion for British food. Starting his career aged sixteen, Adam has earned a reputation for honest cooking designed to showcase the very best local produce

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