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Osteria is the latest restaurant at the Barbican, focusing on seasonal Italian cooking. Head chef Patrick Leano shares his recipe for sea bream baked in a salt crust – a popular Italian feasting dish. The crust breaks away after cooking to leave beautifully moist and tender fish underneath



Serves 2

Whole wild sea bream, 600-800g gutted and descaled (ask your fishmonger to do this for you)
600g coarse sea salt
10g dried oregano leaves
125g egg whites
Zest of 2 unwaxed lemons


Mix all ingredients for the salt crust together in a large bowl. It should form a paste and have a sticky texture to it.

Preheat your oven to 180°C degrees.

Place the fish on an ovenproof dish with a piece of parchment underneath and drizzled with a touch of olive oil on the bottom. Then use all the salt and place it over the sea bream, covering the whole fish. You can do this up to 1 hour before baking.

Bake for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, take the sea bream out of the oven and leave to rest for a few minutes. The crust should be very firm.

Break the crust off and brush off any excess salt. Place into a serving dish of choice and serve with roast potatoes and a shaved fennel and clementine salad.


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