Orata al Forno (Baked Sea Bream)
Orata al forno is a very delicious fish recipe, and one of my go-tos when I want an easy weeknight meal. Orata, also known as Gilt-Head Sea Bream or Dorado depending on which country you are in, is one of the best tasting Mediterranean fist. It is extremely popular in countries like Italy, Greece, Spain, as well as Tunisia.
Orata al forno translates to baked sea bream, and that’s all this recipe is. In fact, it’s pretty much a one dish recipe. This makes it perfect for weeknight meals due to the easy cleanup. You can have this delicious recipe on your plate from start to finish in less than one hour.
How To Cook Orata al Forno
The first step in this recipe is picking up a good quality fish. My fish is about 550 grams, or about a pound and a quarter. Make sure the eye is clear and not whited over. I also use this fish in my Mediterranean Baked Sea Bream recipe, which is one of the most popular on the site!
Baked Orata Ingredients
These ingredients are fairly easy to find, and there’s nothing that should give you difficulty.
1 Sea Bream (aka Orata, Dorado, etc) – scaled and gutted. Your local fishmonger will usually sell this fish already cleaned so you don’t have to do it yourself.
450 grams (1 pound) Potatoes – peeled and scrubbed
1 bulb Garlic
Lemon – cut into wedges
1 bunch Thyme
Parsley – optional
Start by slicing your potatoes into 1/2 cm thick rounds and lay them down in your baking dish. They can overlap a bit for presentation. Brush them with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in an oven at 200°C or about 400°F for 15 minutes.
While the potatoes are baking you can stuff the fish. In the cavity where the guts normally go stuff in the bunch of thyme (and parsley if you are using it) along with a couple peeled cloves of garlic and some lemon wedges.
After 15 minutes remove the potatoes from the oven. Sprinkle over some thinly sliced garlic, more thyme, and more lemon. Then lay the fish down on top. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with some more salt. Bake for another 25-30 minutes.
You can serve this fish whole just so it stays beautifully presented, or you can fillet it into two halves. If I’m cooking for a group I tend to buy smaller breams (350 grams) and give everyone a personal one.
Orata al Forno
- 1 Roasting Dish or any high walled bakingware
- 1 Sea Bream aka Orata, Dorado, etc – scaled and gutted. Your local fishmonger will usually sell this fish already cleaned so you don’t have to do it yourself.
- 450 grams Potatoes peeled and scrubbed (1 pound)
- 1 bulb Garlic
- Lemon cut into wedges
- 1 bunch Thyme
- Parsley optional
- Olive Oil
- Slice the potatoes into 1/2 cm thick rounds and lay them on the bottom on the baking dish. Drizzle generously with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in oven to bake at 200 C or 400 F for 15 minutes.
- While the potatoes are in the oven sprinkle the inside of the fish with some salt and pepper and stuff the fish cavity with thyme, whole garlic cloves, and lemon wedges. You can also stuff in parsley if you are using it.
- Remove the potatoes after 15 minutes and sprinkle over some thinly sliced garlic. Lay the fish on the potatoes and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle some salt on the fish skin and place back in the oven for another 25 minutes.
- Remove and serve whole or filleted
Orata al Forno
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