Asian Sea Bream with Stir-fried Vegetables and Quinoa

We picked up a lovely piece of fresh sea bream at the market in Oerlikon two weeks ago. We stuck it in the freezer the day after, realising we wouldn’t be around to eat it in the following two days, and defrosted it last week for dinner. It was delicious (but probably would have been even tastier if we hadn’t had to freeze it). To accompany it, I made a stirfry with all of the market vegetables I had left in the fridge.

People tend to be scared of cooking whole fish, but it is ridiculously easy, and tastes so good. Your fishmonger will be more than happy to gut, clean and descale it for you, so don’t be afraid to ask and be careful to avoid the bones. For this recipe, you could also use sea bass or similar.

Asian sea bream with stir-fried vegetables and quinoa

Serves 2

sea bream (2)

This photo does not get across the deliciousness of this dish… Trust me, it’s good! What it does get across is the simplicity of covering a fish in loads of yummy things, wrapping it in tinfoil and sticking it in the oven.


Sea Bream

  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 whole sea bream (sea bass is also fine or similar)
  • 1 whole red chilli, thinly sliced
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 3cm piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 clove of garlic, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 1 tbsp. fish sauce
  • juice of 1 lime


  • Whatever vegetables you have (I wouldn’t use anything harder than a carrot), chopped! I often use carrots, bell peppers, onions, brocolli, spinach, courgette, chard, pak choi, cauliflower etc.
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 2 cm pice of ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. fish sauce


  • 100g dry quinoa (white, red and/or black)
  • 300ml water
  • 1 tsp. salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C fan/220°C conventional/gas mark 7
  2. Rinse your fish (also the cavity in his tummy)
  3. Lay out two big pieces of tin foil, one on top of the other going in opposite directions
  4. Pour the sesame oil on the tin foil and rub your fish in it on both sides
  5. Sprinkle the chilli, shallots, ginger and garlic over the fish
  6. Mix the tamari, fish sauce and lime juice together. Start wrapping up the sides of the tin foil to enclose the fish but leave a hole at the top (see photo above) and then pour the wet ingredients into the little fishy package
  7. Seal the tin foil and put on the wire rack in the oven for 20 minutes
  8. Rinse the quinoa and put into a pan with salt and water. Cover, bring to the boil and simmer with the lid on for about 15 minutes (until light and fluffy)
  9. Meanwhile, start the stirfry. Heat the olive oil in your wok. Add onions if you have them and cook for 2 minutes. Mix together the tamari, ginger, honey and fish sauce and set aside
  10. Add ingredients to the wok according to how hard they are. For example, carrots (cook for 5 minutes), brocolli and peppers (cook for another 5 minutes), then spinach (cook for 3 minutes).
  11. Serve the fish, stir-fry and quinoa. Watch out for fish bones!


stir-fried vegetables



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