Grilled sea bream with fennel coleslaw

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Eric Chavot’s serves his whole grilled sea bream recipe with a crunchy fennel coleslaw lovingly coated in homemade ranch dressing. The ideal fare for an impressive Sunday barbecue.

First published in 2015




Sea bream

Lemon split dressing

Pickling syrup

  • 175g of white vinegar
  • 120g of caster sugar

Ranch dressing

Spice mix

Fennel coleslaw

To serve


To make the lemon dressing, firstly warm the olive oil over a low heat in a small saucepan. When warm, add the herbs and lemon peel. Remove from the heat, cover with a lid or cling film and leave to cool and infuse on the worktop overnight. The next day, pass the oil through a fine sieve and add the lemon oil, vinegars, water and seasoning
To make the pickling syrup, bring the vinegar and sugar to a gentle boil in a stainless steel saucepan. Simmer down by 1/3 until you get a good balance between sweetness and acidity. Cool and keep in a small jar in the fridge
  • 175g of white vinegar
  • 120g of caster sugar
To make the ranch dressing, blitz all of the spices and seasonings in a blender with the buttermilk. Using a whisk, gently fold in the mayonnaise, sour cream and 60g of the pickling syrup you made earlier. Leave to steep overnight in the fridge and pass through a fine sieve the next day, checking the seasoning. Keep refrigerated for up to 1 month
To prepare the bream, combine all of the spices in a small bowl. Using the tip of a sharp paring knife, gently score the skin of the fish. Brush each fillet with a dash of olive oil, and generously apply the spices on the skin. Keep the sea bream refrigerated until needed
Remove the fish from the fridge about 10–15 minutes before cooking. Place the onto a very hot barbecue and cook for 5–6 minutes on each side. The fish is cooked when the flesh pulls easily away from the bone. Alternatively, you could cook the fish under a very hot grill for the same amount of time
Place the fennel, spring onions, green pepper, green chilli and sugar snaps in iced water for 5 minutes. Drain and gently spin dry in a salad spinner. Keep refrigerated in a bowl until needed
When needed, fold gently with the ranch dressing, lemon split dressing and syrup. Season to taste. Top with the coriander cress. If you like a bit of heat, garnish with a sprinkling of chilli flakes
First published in 2015

Eric Chavot’s cuisine has been championed by fellow chefs, diners and critics alike – not bad for a chef who arrived in London without a word of English and just twenty pounds in his pocket.

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