Pan-fried sea bream with fresh tomatoes and cauliflower mash

I hate low carb. I hate the fact that they have taken the joy out of enjoying warm crusty bread rolls fresh from the oven. And biting into perfectly al dente pasta. And loving the fact that the rice absorbs all the flavours of curries on your plate. And creamy, fluffy, buttery mashed potatoes filling my mouth. I wish they would tell us that starchy carbs are not the enemy. But enemy they are. And as we get older, we have found that we need to watch what we eat, just that little bit more.

One of our favourite fish dishes (apart from my salmon, corn and herb salad) is pan-fried fillet of fish with fresh tomatoes on mashed potatoes. I tried something today which, surely does not replace potato mash, but manages to have the same consistency – sort of fooling my brain – with the mild taste of cauliflower, which we luckily happen to love.

The mash of course is not the hero of the dish.  The hero is pan-fried fillet of fish (tonight we had sea bream) with a fresh tomatoes, flash fried in butter, and poured over the fish almost like a dressing, or sauce.  You can, of course, go nuts with potatoes instead of cauliflower – just don’t tell me about it. (I’m even being cheeky and categorising this under “healthy”)

Ingredients (for two)

  1. 2 fillets firm white fish fillets – snapper, bream whatever you have access to
  2. handful cherry tomatoes, chopped
  3. 1 tbs butter plus a nob extra for the mash
  4. half a small head of cauliflower
  5. salt and pepper


  1. Start the mash first.  Cut the cauliflower into pieces and cook till very soft.  You can either boil or microwave – I boiled mine but I’d imagine microwaving it might make for a dryer, firmer mash
  2. While the cauliflower is cooking, season the fish fillets with salt and pepper, and pan fry in some olive oil until crispy on the outside and still tender inside.  Depending on the thickness of the fillets, this usually takes about 3-4 minutes on each side of a hot pan
  3. Once the cauliflower is soft, mash or use a stick blender and whizz till creamy.  Add butter, salt and pepper to taste.  You could even add in grated cheese or cream for a richer flavour
  4. Take the fish out of the pan and in the same pan, melt the tablespoon of butter until frothy and toss the tomatoes in for 30 seconds until they release their juices and mix with the butter to make a silky sauce
  5. Serve the fish with the mash, topped with the buttery tomato mix

About Carolyn Chan

A girl slowly eating her way around Singapore and farther afield when she's lucky. View all posts by Carolyn Chan

2 responses to “Pan-fried sea bream with fresh tomatoes and cauliflower mash

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