4 portions. Approximate cost: £13.50, 

Skill level: Easy (if using fish fillets), 

Total cooking time: 25 to 40 minutes depending if you’re using fillets or a whole fish, 

  • Prep time: 10 minutes ( 25 minutes if filleting your fish), 
  • Cooking time: 15 minutes (25 to 30 minutes if cooking your fish whole), 

Equipment used: Frying pan,

Original recipe: James Martin’s sea bass with chorizo, red onion and cherry tomatoes


This is actually one of the first fully fledged meals that I remember making. At the tender age of 21 or 22, I made this for my boyfriend’s mum. Whilst the boyfriend was full of praise, looking back, I’m pretty sure I served her some very overdone fish, a mound of couscous that tasted mainly of stock cube and a pretty bland stew (what’s seasoning!?) 

Recreating more recently, I’ve increased the volume of ingredients in the stew, adding more tomatoes, olives, and chorizo, although I’d advise you to amend to your own preference. 


To prep:

1: Remove the papery skins from your chorizo (make a small slit with your knife, peel part of the skin off and tug hard.) Cut the sausage into small pieces. 

2: Thinly slice the garlic and onion and set both to one side.

3: If needed, fillet your fish. (The original dish used a whole sea bass, so the choice is yours). 


To Cook:

Preheat the oven to 190 C. 

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and chorizo. Fry for 4-5 minutes until the oil runs out of the chorizo and the onions soften.

Add the thyme, olives and tomatoes and stir to combine.

Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper, before transferring the mixture to an oven proof dish.

Using a sharp knife, slash skin of the sea bass diagonally along each side so that the flesh is exposed and place sprigs of thyme into the slashes. (If using fillets no need to make slashes here as fillets will naturally cook more quickly than a whole fish)

Season the sea bass with salt and freshly ground black pepper and place on top of the chorizo mixture. 

Drizzle over the olive oil and cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the fish is tender and cooked all the way through. (Reduce the time if using fillets, 10 minutes is long enough)

(Whilst the fish is cooking, prepare your cous cous and wilt some spinach in a pan with a knob of butter. For a Paleo version, simply omit the cous cous).

To serve, take the cooking dish to the table.



  • 4 sea bass fillets (£7.50 if purchasing pre-filleted from the supermarket)
  • 1 packet of cooking chorizo (£3 for 250g)
  • half a punnet of cherry tomatoes (£1 for 330g, 150g used here)
  • 100g olives (£1 for a tub from the deli)
  • 2 x red onion (50p)
  • dried thyme
  • 2 to 3 cloves of garlic

To serve:

  • spinach (50p)
  • couscous
  • chopped fresh herbs (mint, coriander, basil etc.)


View other fish dishes