Saddled sea bream al sale

This recipe works for any white fish, just be sure you order your fish with the scales still on. Michael Diacono shares his recipe using a wild, sustainable local fish, the saddled sea bream or kahlija in Maltese.

Saddled sea bream al sale


  • 1 saddled sea bream (kahlja), with scales
  • 500g sea salt
  • 1 slice lemon
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • Olive oil

Sweet pepper salsa

  • 1 bell pepper, grilled and cooled
  • Handful walnuts
  • Handful kalamata olives
  • Handful basil
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Season the fish in the inside with salt, pepper, the lemon slice and fennel seeds and olive oil.
  2. Drizzle the olive oil over the fish.
  3. Add a couple of tbsp water to the salt and cover the fish completely with the salt, pressing down to form a crust. Make sure the fish is completely covered, to keep the moisture inside, preventing the fish from drying out.
  4. Cook the fish in a preheated oven at 190C for 20-25 mins.
  5. To make the salsa, chip the grilled peppers.
  6. Finely chop the walnuts.
  7. Remove the pit from the olives and finely chop.
  8. Chop the basil.
  9. Season with salt and pepper.
  10. Mix all the ingredients together and add a little olive oil and mix again.
  11. Remove the fish from the oven and remove the salty crust from the fish.
  12. Remove the skin from the fish.
  13. Serve with lemon wedges and the sweet pepper salsa.

This recipe first appeared on Gourmet Today TV, aired on TVM on 3 June, 2017.

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