Jun Tanaka’s Sea Bream on Spring Minestrone

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Spring is here and that means we are celebrating with an easy and healthy dish you don't want to miss.

Today Jun Tanaka, television chef and owner of The Ninth brings us the final recipe in our WOT International Chef Series, and it is a GOOD ONE! This healthy Sea Bream on Spring Minestrone recipe is flavorful and easy to make.

Tip: How do you know when fish is cooked property? Jun suggests using a metal skewer or cocktail stick and inserting it into the fish while it is still in the pan. If you don’t feel any resistance, then you will know it’s cooked. Raw fish is tougher and has more resistance to it naturally, so you will be able to feel when your fish is cooked all the way through!

You also don’t have to use sea bream with this recipe, you can substitute with sea bass or another white fish. You can also use frozen peas if you don’t have fresh.

Check out the video below as Jun walks us through exactly how to make this dish.

Jun Tanaka's Sea Bream On Spring Minestrone


  • 4 5oz sea bream fillets, boned and scored on skin side cod or sea bass could also be used
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced into 1 cm cubes
  • 1/4 cup sugar snaps, cut into ½” pieces
  • 8 asparagus spears, cut into ½” pieces
  • 1/4 cup peas
  • 1/4 cup fava beans
  • 8 sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cannellini beans
  • 3 cups fish or vegetable stock
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 tbsp light olive oil
  • 2 bunches basil
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan
  • ¼ - ½ cup olive oil


  • To make the pesto, pick the basil leaves and place in a blender with the garlic, parmesan and olive oil. Place the pine nuts in a dry frying pan and cook on the gas until golden.  Add to the rest of the ingredients, blend and season to taste.
  • To make the minestrone, pour half the olive oil into a saucepan with a tight fitting lid and heat up. Add the onions, carrots and sweat for 5mins with the lid on.
  • Add the peas, asparagus, sugar snaps, dried tomatoes & sweat for 3mins. Pour in the fish stock then add the beans. Simmer for 4 mins. Season and add a squeeze of lemon juice. Add about 3-4 tablespoons of pesto.
  • Pour the remaining olive oil into a non- stick frying pan, place the sea bream skin side down, season and cook for 5mins. Flip over and take the pan off the heat.
  • To serve, spoon a generous portion of minestrone into a bowl and place the sea bream on top.
*You will have extra pesto, it freezes great.
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About Jun Tanaka — Television chef and owner of The Ninth

Jun Tanaka began his culinary career at the age of 19 working at Le Gavroche, where he embarked on his first apprenticeship under the mentorship of the Roux brothers. Following his training in classic French cuisine, Jun went on to work with some of the country’s greatest Michelin-starred chefs at London’s most renowned institutions, including Nico Ladenis at Chez Nico, Phil Howard at The Square, and Marco Pierre White.

In 2004, Jun became the Executive Chef at Pearl Restaurant and Bar, the showpiece of the Renaissance Chancery Court Hotel in Holborn, where he was awarded three AA Rosettes. In 2006, Jun also began hosting his own television series, Cooking It, on Channel 4, and to this day still makes regular appearances on shows such as Saturday Kitchen and Masterchef: The Professionals.

Jun has also written a recipe book, Simple to Sensational, which was published by Simon and Schuster in 2009. Jun left Pearl in 2012 to travel around Europe, before opening The Ninth in 2015.

About The Ninth: The Ninth opened in November 2015 as Jun’s first solo venture, which has since won several awards including a Michelin star in its first year (which has been retained ever since), three AA Rosettes and The Caterer Magazine’s Catey Menu of the Year. The name ‘The Ninth’ refers to the number of restaurants Jun has worked with and been involved in to date. The tagline of the restaurant is ‘a contemporary neighborhood restaurant by chef Jun Tanaka serving French, Mediterranean-style sharing dishes.’

by Camila Alves McConaughey