13th August 2013

Sea bream with fennel bulbs

By MaitreMarcel

As I wrote before, grilled sea fish makes for wonderful summer dinners so when the fish monger’s offered two small sea bream for 15 euro I did not resist for long. They were the right size for an individual portion.
Further down the market, there were small bulbs of fennel at the greengrocer’s which made the stall smell as if she had been drinking pastis.

The stall keeper said she did not like the anisette pastis liquor but would put a slice of fennel in a glass of whiskey for apéro (pre-dinner drinks). Then she asked whether I came from Marseille…for a Dutchman a high reward for speaking French, especially since I buy at her stall almost every week.
Pastis, which contains aniseed and fennel, is a popular drink in Marseille(s).
The Ricard family, once noblemen in the Provence, now heads a world drinks group, just like their Middle-Age contemporaries Puget still see their names on bottles of olive oil, made by Unilever.

I grilled the sea bream, dorade, on the BBQ and served it with whole cooked fennel.


  • Two sea bream
  • Two bulbs of fennel
  • Pepper
  • Thyme


  1. Wash and clean the fish, leave the scales on. Remove the fins with scissors. Put in a wire rack and cook on the BBQ for 25 to 30 minutes, turning every five minutes. Towards the end, add some dried thyme.
  2. Wash the fennel bulbs and put them whole in a pan with water, cook for 20 minutes and drain.
  3. Put the fish and fennel on a serving dish, add pepper. (If you have dried fennel stems you can stick that in the fish during grilling)