Sea bream with almond and breadcrumb crust, vinegar and thyme

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Breadcrumbed fillets of sea bream are given a rich nuttiness thanks to ground almonds and a bright zestiness thanks to plenty of vinegar. Perfect in the sunshine with a side salad for when you're craving Sicilian flavours.

This recipe is taken from Sicilia by Ben Tish (photography by Kris Kirkham). Published by Bloomsbury Absolute, priced £26. Available now.

First published in 2021
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'Sicilians love a coating of breadcrumbs on their fish (and meat) and in this recipe it not only gives a reassuring crunch but also ensures the fish is kept deliciously moist and juicy. The vinegar, traditionally a preservative to extend the shelf life of less than fresh fish, adds a lovely piquant flavour. Ensure the vinegar is of very good quality and use a sweeter variety such as a Chardonnay.'






Place the fish fillets in a bowl, season well and pour over about 75ml of the vinegar. Leave to marinate in the fridge for an hour

  • 4 sea bream fillets, large, skin lightly scored
  • 75ml of Chardonnay vinegar, or moscatel vinegar

Drain off the vinegar and dab the fillets dry. Mix the breadcrumbs with the ground almonds. Dredge the fillets in flour, then dip into the egg and coat with the breadcrumb-almond mix


Heat a large sauté pan over a medium heat. Pour in olive oil for shallow frying – you’ll need a good amount, perhaps 1cm in depth. When the oil is hot carefully lay the fish, skin side down, in the pan and fry for 3 minutes or until golden brown and crunchy. Turn the fish over, add the thyme sprigs and continue to fry for a further 2–3 minutes or until cooked through and golden brown

  • extra virgin olive oil, for cooking
  • 1/2 handful of fresh thyme

Pour the remaining vinegar over the fish, then remove the fillets from the pan to drain on a kitchen towel. Season and serve hot with the thyme-infused oil and vinegar pan dressing spooned over

First published in 2021

Chef, restaurateur and cookbook author Ben Tish has a stellar track record for creating dishes that, quite simply, everyone wants to eat. After years of channelling his love of Mediterranean food he's now chef director across Cubitt House's various pubs and restaurants, proving just how versatile his talents are.

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