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BBQ Sea Bream with charred shallots & cheats garlic aioli

This was perhaps the most delicious thing I have eaten this year! Simple perfectly cooked fish on the BBQ with garlic aioli and charred shallots. The perfect sunshine weather food, eaten outside with some lovely salads and bread. So good!

In terms of the fish - I really love sea bream as the flesh is slightly meatier than sea bass but any whole fish is great on a BBQ, I’ve done mackerel, salmon and hake! As directed by my BBQ mad/ fish obsessed uncle over many holidays and summers, the trick to cooking the perfect BBQ fish is to wrap it in a tin foil parcel, turn it just once and gently press the flesh to see when it’s cooked, you’ll notice the difference in texture between raw fish and cooked fish, it’s less firm! And, to double check t’s cooked you can gently twist a fork through the flesh and see if it flakes.

There’s no set time for how long each side is, it depends on your size fish I'm afraid. The best thing to do is ask the fishmonger what he would recommend, for these size breams we did 6 minutes per side.

This garlic aioli recipe is my go-to! It’s a cheats version and a bit healthier than the normal mayo based version as I make it lighter with some yoghurt. I have this with everything - fish, meat, veg, bread… You can roast a whole garlic for intense garlicy-ness like me or make it a bit more gentle by just roasting a half!

Enjoy :)

BBQ’ed sea bream with crispy shallots


  • However many people x 1 whole white fish (bream or sea bass), make sure you try and source from a local fishmonger and get something as fresh as possible

  • 1 lemon, sliced

  • Olive oil

  • Salt & pepper

  • 5 sprigs of rosemary or any other woody herb such as bay leaf or thyme!

  • 5 shallots (halved)


  • Fire up your BBQ and get it nice and hot

  • Create a large foil parcel that is strong enough to hold your fish, do this by layering two sheets of foil on top of one another and folding down the edges - repeat this process again with two more sheets, so you have a top for your parcel

  • Place your fish in the parcel and prepare by stuffing with the lemon and herbs and rubbing with olive oil and seasoning

  • Place your parcel lid ontop and fold the sides both the bottom and the lid sheets together - you should have a nice strong parcel

  • Gently place onto a large tray and take to your BBQ

  • Place your parcel on the hottest part on the BBQ and turn over at the halfway point of the cooking time (estimate this based on the recommendation you got from the fishmonger)

  • Place your halved shallots on the BBQ alongside the parcel, let them get nice and charred. You can tell when they are cooked by eye!

  • Once the recommended fish cooking time is complete, remove the parcel from BBQ and gently press on the flesh to check the change in texture (it should feel soft not firm). You can twist a knife into the flesh to check that it flakes)

  • Serve the shallots with the fish and enjoy!

Cheats garlic aioli


  • 2 heaped tablespoons of thick yoghurt

  • 2 heaped tablespoons of mayo

  • 1 small bunch of chopped parsley

  • 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar or lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

  • 1 large bulb of garlic

  • Black pepper and salt


  • Roast the garlic (unpeeled and skin on) in the oven for 20 minutes at 180°C

  • Mix the rest of your ingredients in bowl

  • Once garlic is roasted simplye squeeze out of skin into your bowl

  • Season well

  • Taste to serve - you might want to add a bit more acid or more oil depending on your preferred flavour or consistency

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