Not sure if this dish, the Dorade d’espagnole is a specialty in France. I see this dish often whenever I go to a seafood restaurant here in the South West of France especially in the Basque Country.

Dorade is a small fish with tender white flesh, shimmering silver skin and has a rich, succulent meat similar to red snapper. The secret to this dish is the Chilli they use called Piment d’Espelette. It has a variety of Capsicum that is cultivated in the French commune of Espelette, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, traditionally the northern territory of the Basque people.


  • 700 to 800 gram Sea-bream or Red Snapper
  • 4-5 tablespoon olive oil, divided (reserve 2 tablespoon for sauce)
  • 6 to 8 cherry tomatoes
  • 10 to 15 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 150 ml Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoon Piment d’Espelette (or substitute with Cayenne Pepper)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste


1. Preheat oven at 180C

2. Fillet the Fish: Lay the fish on one of its sides, the. run your knife down the fish’s spine from tail to head. Start your cut at the base of the tail, and use the fish’s backbone to guide your cut.

3. Place the fish fillet together with the fish head on grill pan. Drizzle oil over the fish and add cherry tomatoes. Put it in the oven and grill for 15 to 18 minutes, depending on the size of the fish.

4. Meanwhile, let’s prepare the sauce. In a pan, add olive oil and sauté garlic until fragrant. Then deglaze with cider vinegar and add water. Let it cook, about 2 to 3 minutes, or until the sauce reduce slightly.

5. Season to taste with salt and lastly add the piment d’espelette or substitute with Cayenne Pepper. Let it simmer for another 2 minutes.

6. Pour the sauce over the fish. Serve immediately.

Bon appétit!
If you’ve tried the recipe, don’t forget to tag us on instagram at #thespatulaandwok

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