Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Sea bream with a herb vinaigrette, pickled cucumber and clams

Prep time less than 30 mins
Cook time less than 30 mins
Serves 6-8
From Chefs: Put Your Menu Where Your Mouth Is
This light but beautifully flavoured starter is the perfect foil for a rich main course.


  1. For the picked cucumber, place the cucumber in a bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the rice vinegar with the sugar, chilli and ginger. Once the sugar has dissolved, strain over the cucumber and set aside to cool.

  2. For the herb vinaigrette, blend the herbs, anchovies, lemon juice, capers and Dijon mustard in a food processor. With the motor running, gradually the olive oil until combined - the vinaigrette should have a spreadable consistency. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  3. For the sea bream, using a sharp knife, thinly slice the fillets on a diagonal. In a saucepan, gently fry the shallots and garlic in olive oil without colouring. Add the wine and then the clams. Cover with a lid and cook for three minutes, then drain in a colander. Remove the clam meat from their shells and finely slice.

  4. To serve, divide the slices of sea bream between serving plates. Spread over the herb vinaigrette and dress with the clams and pickled cucumber.


For the pickled cucumber

  • 1 cucumber, finely chopped
  • 200ml/7fl oz rice vinegar
  • 100g/3½oz sugar
  • 1 red chilli finely chopped
  • small piece fresh root ginger, grated

For the herb vinaigrette

  • small bunch parsley
  • small bunch mint
  • small bunch basil
  • 2 anchovies
  • 2 lemons, juice only
  • 50g/1¾oz capers, drained
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 100ml/3½oz olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the sea bream

  • 3 sea bream, filleted, skin removed and pin boned
  • dash olive oil
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 100ml/3½fl oz white wine
  • 4 razor clams

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