Whole Roast Gilthead Bream with Couscous Salad

Have the fishmonger prepare the gilthead bream for you and Jun Tanaka's impressive main course becomes as easy as pie
By Jun Tanaka
Whole Roast Gilthead Bream with Couscous Salad
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2-3 small sprigs thyme
  • small piece chicken stock cubes, crumbled
  • 75 g couscous
  • 1/2 courgettes, cut into 1cm dice
  • 1/2 aubergine
  • 1/2 red peppers, cut into 1cm dice
  • 1 bulb fennel, sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing
  • handfulfresh coriander
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • salt and black pepper
  • 400-500 g whole gilthead bream, gutted, scaled, spine removed and pin boned

For the dressing

  • 1/2 bunches basil
  • 1/2 bunches mint
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 lemon, juice only
  • 4 anchovy fillets, in vinegar
  • 150 ml olive oil

Tips and Suggestions

the dressing ingredients will make more than you need for this dish. Keep the remainder stored covered in the fridge and use over the next few days by serving with grilled vegetables, pasta, tomato salad, lettuce, fresh cheese, grilled fish, chicken, lamb, or beans and lentils.


1. Combine the garlic, thyme, and chicken stock cube in a small saucepan with 75ml water and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the stock cub. Place the couscous in a small heatproof bowl and pour the hot stock over. Cover with cling film and set aside for approximately 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, lightly coat the diced vegetables and fennel with olive oil. Heat a ridged griddle pan over a high heat and when smoking, grill the vegetables for 2 minutes or until nicely browned all over. Transfer the fennel to a baking tray and place the remaining grilled vegetables in a bowl.

3. Preheat the oven to 220C/gas 7.

4. Add the coriander and red wine vinegar to the bowl of diced vegetables and mix through. Remove the cling film from the couscous and fluff it up with a fork. Add the grilled vegetables and 1 tablespoon of olive oil and adjust the seasoning to taste.

5. Lightly season the inside of the fish. Stuff with the couscous and fold the top half back over to form its original shape. Lay the fish on top of the fennel. Brush with olive oil and cook in the oven for 10-12 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, for the herb dressing, put the herbs, capers, garlic, lemon and anchovies in a blender and whiz to a purée while you slowly add the olive oil.

7. Arrange the fennel on a platter and rest the fish on top. Drizzle with the herb dressing and serve.

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