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Sea Bream Fillet with Lemon Parsley Crumb

Simple pan-fried sea bream fillet is topped with an equally simple parsley and lemon zest crumb to create an elegant and simple dish.

If you buy fish fillets rather than fish on the bone this dish will go from your fridge to your table in 20 minutes. If you are filleting the fish add another 5-15 minutes depending on your experience with cleaning fish.

Portrait close up image of pan fried sea bream fillet served with a parsley crumb and puy lentils with fennel

Pan-fried Dorade or Porgy

Growing up fish came in 3 different ways, battered chip shop fish, fish cakes or breadcrumbed cod from the freezer.

I don’t think I ate a pan-fried fillet of fish until I was well into my 20’s.

Which is crazy really because contrary to popular opinion cooking fish like this is so simple!

Cooking pan-fried sea bream fillets takes just 5 minutes, yes you read that right. I think that they look stunning and they taste incredible!

I use pretty much exactly the same technique here as I do in my fancy fish curry, pan-fried hake and pan-fried halibut recipes. It is also not too far removed from the technique used in my pan-fried skate wings and French pan-fried lemon sole meuniere recipes.

Cooking the breadcrumb separately rather than crumbing the fish is just pure laziness.

But it makes this whole recipe stupidly simple and gives you all of the crunch of crumbed fish with an elegant twist.

Portrait overhead image of pan fried sea bream fillet served with a parsley crumb and puy lentils with fennel

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use different types of fish?

Yes, this recipe works perfectly and cooks identically with freshwater trout, sea bass and zander (walleye).

How do I fillet sea bream?

Of course, the easiest way is to ask your fishmonger, but if you are getting it from the supermarket, don’t worry, it is not hard!

The first thing to do is scale the fish by rubbing the blunt edge of the knife from the tail to the head. Then run the fish under cold water.

Then onto the filleting:

  • Grab a sharp knife and cut the head off. You want to do this at an angle on the body side of the ‘fin’ on the side of the fish. The angle should lean towards the head of the fish making the ‘belly end’ shorter.
  • You should find a hole along the belly of the fish towards the tail end, cut from there up to the head and remove the innards. Then wash the cavity of the fish.
  • Take a sharp knife and cut along the backbone as close as you can, keep working with long knife strokes as close to the bone as possible until you remove the fillet.
  • Flip the fish and repeat with the second fillet.

How do I pin bone sea bream?

The bones can be pain to free up. You can either use proper fish tweezers or some bent-tipped needle-nosed pliers.

Run your fingers along the head end of the fillet towards the tail, find a bone then grab it. It is important that you pull towards the head end of the fish and parallel to the fish.

If you pull towards the tail or straight up you will snap the bone and make a mess.

Portrait image of pan fried sea bream fillet served with a parsley crumb and puy lentils with fennel

Serving Suggestions

I have a side dish that I simply love serving with pan-fried fish. It is a pickled fennel and puy lentil salad, it is what features in these pictures, but I also serve it with pan fried salmon.

When you are looking for a side for this dish you want something with a defined flavour that stands on its own.

However, you should not go too bold or you will rapidly overwhelm the flavour of the fish!

Something like my stir fried broccoli with the chilli omitted would be great as would green bean amandine.

Sticking with the green bean theme another great side would be a take on this Italian green bean and potato salad.

Landscape image of pan fried sea bream fillet served with a parsley crumb and puy lentils with fennel

Equipment Used

I only name-check brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Stovetop.
  • 24cm or 10″ frying pan.
  • 30cm or 12″ frying pan.
  • Chopping board.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Citrus zester.
  • Fish tweezers if you need to pin bone the bream.
  • Weighing scales and or measuring cups and spoons.
Square overhead image of pan fried sea bream fillet served with a parsley crumb and puy lentils with fennel
Yield: 2 Servings

Pan Fried Sea Bream Fillet Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Cooking fish is a great deal easier than most people believe, this recipe takes some sea bream fillet, pan fries them to get a perfectly crispy skin and finishes it with lemon juice before topping with a simple crumb.


  • 2 Sea Bream
  • 30g (⅓- ¼ Cup) Breadcrumbs
  • 15g (½ Cup) Parsley
  • 1 Lemon
  • 30g (2 Tbsp) Butter
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • ¼ Tsp Salt


  1. If you have fish on the bone remove the fillets and pinbone them.
  2. Chop the parsley as finely as you can.
  3. Zest the lemon and cut it in half.
  4. Heat half of the butter in a 24cm or 10" frying pan over a medium heat and when it begins to foam add the breadcrumbs.
  5. Cook the breadcrumbs until golden brown this will take 5-7 minutes.
  6. Remove from the heat and stir through the chopped parsley and lemon zest. Then transfer the mix to some kitchen cloth and allow to drain.
  7. Heat the olive oil in a 30cm or 12" nonstick frying pan over a medium-high heat.
  8. Make shallow cuts through the skin if the bream is about 1½cm apart then season the fillets with salt.
  9. Place the fish skin-side down in the pan and LEAVE IT ALONE for 2½-3 minutes.
  10. After 3 minutes flip over the fish and cook for a further 60 seconds.
  11. Squeeze in the juice from half of the lemon and cook for a final 30 seconds.
  12. Serve with the golden crumb on top of the fish.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 326Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 96mgSodium: 578mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 21g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!


Tuesday 4th of April 2023

I fixed this tonight and it was wonderful. I like the toasted breadcrumbs on top rather than coating the the fish. I used Badia 14 Spices and very little salt. Delicious, thank you!

Brian Jones

Thursday 6th of April 2023

Glad you liked it Rick, I had to look up Badia 14 spices., it's not commonly available here int he UK, looks good!

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