Fish forms an essential part of the Assamese diet. The close proximity of the state of Assam to the mighty Brahmaputra river has always assured a large and steady supply of various kinds of riverine fishes. Like so many of our native brethren, we too nurture this love and as we moved from place to place, we kept that love alive by adopting and savouring the various kinds of fish that are locally available and cooking them in the traditional and, at times, the not so traditional ways, but both to suit our taste buds.
One of our latest finds has been the sea bream. Sea bream, also called Dorade on the continent is a kind of fish which is quite similar in taste and texture as the sea bass. It was this fish that I made a bake of, and along with some roasted new potatoes and a salad, they contributed towards a very nice meal. The fish recipe is very easy to assemble and doesn’t take long to cook. But watch out for those sharp fins if you don’t want to end up like this…
And if you’re still there , the following is the recipe for baked sea bream …
2 sea breams (approximately 750 gms), gutted, scaled and washed
zest and juice of 1 orange
1 small bunch of coriander, finely chopped
1 inch ginger, finely chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp each of ground coriander and cumin
1/2 tsp of crushed red chillies
a handful of pine nuts(optional)
2 tblsp of olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Pre heat the oven at 200 deg cel.
- Pat dry the fishes with a kitchen towel and make 3-4 diagonal incisions on both sides.
- Mix together all the rest of the ingredients.
- Place the fishes, side by side on a greased roasting tray.
- Spoon over half of the orange mixture on the fishes, and also into the slits.
- Place the tray into the centre of the pre heated oven and bake for 6-7 minutes.
- Remove the tray and spoon over the rest of the orange mixture, the same way as before.
- Return the tray to the oven and bake for another 6-7 minutes or till the fish is cooked completely ( the flesh will turn white ).
Serve hot . A simple fresh salad goes well with this, but we gorged on some roast potatoes as well !