Bream, often pronounced brim, especially in the southeastern United States, refers to two varieties of fish: one saltwater and one freshwater. Both types are small, usually no larger than 2 lbs. Though small, these fish have a very mild flavor. You can fry, bake, broil or grill them quickly due to their size. You can also cook bream whole, complete with the head and tail if desired.
Wash each bream thoroughly under cool running water. Check to make sure that all of the scales were removed; otherwise they would provide an unwelcome surprise at the dinner table. Pat each fish dry using clean paper towels, drying both the outside and inside of the cavity as well.
Drizzle the fish with olive oil or an herb infused oil. Use your fingers or a pastry brush to spread the oil over the entire fish.
Season the fish with salt and pepper and any other seasoning that you like to use on fish. Seafood seasoning, lemon pepper, paprika, garlic powder and others work really well on fish. Season both sides of the fish.
Place the bream onto a hot grill. The oil on the fish should keep it from sticking to the grill, but you can use a nonstick grill spray if you prefer extra insurance.
Cook the bream until the meat is opaque and flakes easily with a fork. Smaller bream weighing 1 lb. or less may require three to four minutes per side, depending on the heat of your grill. Larger bream may take 7 to 8 minutes per side.
Remove the bream from the grill using tongs and serve with sliced lemon if desired.
It doesn't matter if you want to cook the bream whole with the head and tail, or just the body, the steps and cooking time are the same.