Sea Bream cooked Rota Style - Urta a la Roteña

We want to share with you the most typical recipe from our city, Rota (Cadiz). Other traditional recipes you can find in our local gastronomy are Seabream Soup “Rota style” , a special stew called Berza Roteña, Arranque Roteño (vegetable puree), and many more. In times past, our Gastronomy, as well as our local economy, was based primarily on the sea (fish and seafood) and produce from the land (tomatoes, green peppers, pumpkin, …). Really nice and healthy ingredients. And now we share our recipe with you:


  • 1 Sea bream (Spanish name - Urta) – 1 ½ kilo (3 lb) approximately
  • 2 potatoes
  • 2 big onions
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 kilo ( 1 lb) fresh tomatoes (perfectly ripe)
  • 3 green peppers
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 lemons (1 for the juice and the other one to decorate)
  • 75 ml. (2.5 oz) extra virgin olive oil
  • 75 ml. (2.5 oz) dry Sherry wine
  • 125 ml. (4 oz) mineral water
  • A small glass of cognac
  • Ground Black pepper
  • Salt
  • Chopped parsley
  • For the ground herbs (picada)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Chopped parsley
  • Salt
  • Some Black pepper corns
  • Some olive oil
* We are going to start preheating the oven at 180º C. 
* We peel the potatoes, wash them and cut them into thick slices. We will place them on the tray where we will cook the fish. Add some salt and a splash of olive oil and cook them in the oven for approximately 10 minutes.
* Let’s prepare the fish now. We can keep the head or take it away and use it to cook a nice broth. In our case, we will keep it. We add some salt and ground black pepper and keep aside.
* And now, we are going to prepare the stir-fry (sofrito) the base of every stew in Spain. In a frying pan with a couple of full spoons olive oil we are going to fry the onion cut into slices, then the minced garlic, and the green peppers cut into slices too. We cook it for approximately 10 minutes.
* It is now the moment to peel the tomatoes, cut into small dices and add them to the stir fry. We keep on cooking for 15 more minutes
* We take the tray with the cooked potatoes away from the oven, add the whole fish, and then cover with stir-fry.
* We are going now to prepare the ground herbs. We are going to use a mortar and pestle to grind all the ingredients.  We will spread the ground herb mixture to the fish to distribute the flavour.  You’ll see what great flavours the herbs will give to this dish. We add the mineral water and the juice of one lemon.
* Then we will add the olive oil, the black pepper corns and the dry Sherry wine and put it in the oven for an hour.
* Just five minutes before we finish cooking our fish, we will add the glass of cognac, some broth from the stew and then we finish cooking.
* We remove the tray away from the oven and decorate it with lemon slices and some parsley.
And ready to sit down at the table and enjoy this great dish that we are certain that you will love. We really hope you enjoy it as much as we do. Have a super great week :-)