Oven Roasted Sea Bream With Lovage Recipe (Tsipoura)

This article may contain affiliate links (disclosure policy).

This sea bream recipe features a stuffing of fresh lemon slices and a special herb mixture made with pressed garlic, oregano and lovage.

The fish is roasted in the oven at a high temperature which gives the skin a crispy texture, while the flesh remains tender.

Keep reading for step-by-step instructions on how to make this recipe.

A serving of oven roasted sea bream garnished with lettuce and capers

Oven Roasted Sea Bream With Lovage Recipe (Tsipoura)

Sea Bream, also known as Tsipoura, is a type of Mediterranean fish that’s often used in Greek and Balkan cuisine.

And as someone who’s grown in the Balkans, I’ve learned a variety of different ways to prepare it.

Today, I’ll share how you can roast it in the oven with a special herb paste and a mixture of lemon juice and white wine.

As you’ll soon find out, the most important herb that makes this recipe stand out from the rest is lovage.

Lovage is a fragrant herb that’s most often used to season fish and lamb. If you can’t find it, then you can substitute it with some fresh parsley.


  • Sea Bream – This recipe is made with two sea breams which weigh roughly 600 grams each. Make sure you ask your fishmonger to remove the scales if you don’t want to bother doing it yourself.
  • Lemons – You’ll need two lemons, one for the stuffing and one to make lemon juice for the herb paste which you’ll use to season the fish.
  • Lovage – This is the key ingredient that will give the sea bream an amazing fragrance. The closest thing you can use as a substitute is a tablespoon of fresh parsley and celery leaves.
  • White Wine – I’m using Muscat wine, but you can easily substitute it with another low acidic white wine such as Pinot Grigio.
  • Seasonings – The fish is seasoned with a paste made of garlic, breadcrumbs and dried oregano. You’ll also need some salt and pepper to season the skin and a few sprigs of fresh thyme for the stuffing.
  • Olive oil – Olive oil will prevent the skin of the fish from burning out. Make sure you use an olive oil variety with a high smoke point such as refined olive oil.

Ingredients for oven roasted sea bream

How to make

Check out the recipe card at the end of this article for detailed, step-by-step instructions.

  1. Start by cleaning the fish and removing its fins.

    Trimming the fins off sea bream and scoring it with a knife

  2. Score both sides of the fish with a knife and rub its skin with some salt and black pepper.
  3. Whisk the white wine and half of the lemon juice of 1 lemon in a small bowl.
  4. Use the mixture to coat the stomach cavity and skin of the fish.

    Seasoning sea bream with black pepper and lemon juice

  5. Mix the rest of the seasonings with the remaining lemon juice and rub the paste on the inside and outside of the fish.
  6. Stuff the stomach cavity of the fish with the lemon slices and thyme sprigs.

    Applying seasoning to sea bream and stuffing it with sliced lemons

  7. Coat the skin with some olive oil.
  8. Bake in an oven preheated to 410°F (210°C).

    Two oven baked sea breams stuffed with sliced lemons

Pro tips

  • Use a wire rack – Using a wire rack on top of your baking pan will allow air to circulate freely and cook the fish more evenly.
  • Leave the fins on – The pectoral fins and tail of the sea bream can become incredibly crispy if you cover them in generous amounts of salt.
  • Allow the fish to rest – Letting the fish rest for at least half an hour after you season it with salt will draw out some of the moisture and improve the texture of the flesh.

Close-up of oven roasted sea bream where the tender meat inside can be seen

a plate with oven roasted sea bream over lettuce and lemons

↑ Click stars to rate now!

Oven Roasted Sea Bream With Lovage Recipe (Tsipoura)

This sea bream recipe is made with a fragrant herb paste that complements the rich taste of the fish. I recommend serving it with a side of roasted potatoes or on a bed of green salad and capers.
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Resting Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
by: Aya
Servings: 2
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Balkan, Mediterranean


  • 2 sea breams
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 tbsp lovage fresh; can be substituted with 1 Tbsp parsley + 1 Tbsp celery leaves
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 sprigs thyme fresh
  • 8 cloves pressed garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp white wine I used Muscat Ottonel which I think works best with this fish


  • Thoroughly clean the sea bream by removing its scales and innards.
  • Pat dry with a paper towel, then cut off the fins and trim off the tail.
  • Make 3 vertical slashes on both sides of the flesh, then generously season with black pepper and salt.
  • Mix half of the lemon juice of 1 lemon and white wine, then pour the mixture over the inside and outside of the fish.
  • Combine the pressed garlic, olive oil, the remaining lemon juice, lovage, oregano, breadcrumbs and a pinch of salt in a small cup.
  • Use the herb mixture to fill in the scores as well as the inside of the fish.
  • Slice the second lemon and stuff it inside the sea bream along with the fresh thyme. Drizzle some olive oil on top.
  • Place the sea bream in a baking pan lined with parchment paper and bake at 410°F (210°C) for roughly 25 minutes or until the thickest part of the fish registers 145°F (63°C).
  • Garnish with fresh lettuce and capers and serve.


  • Let the fish rest for about half an hour after you rub in the salt and black pepper. This will suck out the moisture and make the flesh more tender.
  • If you want to cook the fish more evenly, I recommend using a wire rack

↑ Click stars to rate now!


Calories: 1300kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 161g | Fat: 62g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 26g | Sodium: 2117mg | Potassium: 295mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 209IU | Vitamin C: 65mg | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 2mg

I do my best to provide you with the nutritional information for recipes but I'm not a certified nutritionist. The nutritional information provided should only be treated as an estimate since it will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Trying this Recipe?Pin it for later and Follow me on Pinterest (oneReCP) for more like it!

If you've tried my recipes and cooking tips, please tag me on social media - I would love to see your creations! 

Following me on PinterestYouTube or Facebook may be just a click for you but it's very valuable to me... So thank you for your support!

Leave a Comment

Rate This Recipe:

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.