Updated: Nov 5, 2022
Salt-baked Whole Fish
Salt-baked whole fish: SO easy to make -- just a few ingredients -- yet so impressive for your guests. Encasing the fish in salt creates a sealed cooking environment, trapping steam and any aromatics you add as the fish cooks. This steam hardens the salt into a shell-like casing and bathes the fish in moisture. The result is ultra-moist fish with absolutely no salty taste.
1 large, whole fish; cleaned and gutted (like Sea Bass, Bream, Snapper, Porgy, Dorade, etc.)
Aromatics (such as citrus slices, peeled Garlic, Ginger, Rosemary, Taragon, Dill, etc.)
Olive Oil for brushing
10-12 Egg Whites (use the yolks for sauces, baking, pasta, or treats for the dog)
8 cups of Sea Salt (fine works best)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Pat fish dry. Stuff belly cavity with your choice of aromatics. Very lightly brush both sides with olive oil.
Begin to whisk egg whites, folding in salt as you go. You want a consistency similar to slightly damp sand -- just wet enough to pack around the fish without shifting or being runny.
Spread a layer about an inch or so bigger than the size of the fish on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Place fish on top of layer.
Take the remainder of the salt mixture and mound it completely over and around the fish, making sure there are no gaps. If there isn't enough of the mixture, are more using the same ratio.
Place in the oven on a middle rack and bake for about 30 mins. The salt mixture will turn a light brown as it bakes.
Remove from oven, place on a platter, garnish, and serve. For extra flair, you can crack open the top of the salt mound in front of your guests; use some caution when the steam escapes.