One would imagine that baking fish a crust of salt would result in a salty tasting dish, but in fact that doesn’t happen. The salt actually doesn’t come in contact with the flesh of the fish because the skin is left on which forms a nice protective layer. The fish becomes encased in the salt crust, which results is a very tender, moist fish. I like to serve this simply with a drizzle of really good extra virgin olive oil, although it is also nice with a little lemon. You’ll need about twice the weight of the fish in salt to cover it almost an inch thick all around.
Tender Whitefish Served With Drizzle Of Olive Oil And A Little Lemon
Deborah Mele 2011
Whole Fish Baked In Salt Crust
Baking a whole fish in a salt crust creates an extremely moist and tender dish.
- 1 (3-4 Pound) Grouper, Red Snapper Or Other White Fish
- 4 Egg Whites
- 1/2 Cup Water
- 6 to 7 Pounds Kosher Salt (Or Sea Salt)
- Handful Of Fresh Herbs Of Choice (Parsley, Oregano & Thyme Are Good Choices)
- 1 Lemon, Quartered
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Rinse the fish and pat dry.
- Whisk together the egg whites and water until foamy, and then add the salt, using as much of the salt as you can, mix it with your hands, trying to coat the salt evenly with the egg white mixture.
- Preferably, choose an oval casserole dish that will hold the fish and fill it with about a third of the salt.
- Stuff the fish cavity with the fresh herbs of choice and lemon wedges.
- Place the fish on top of the salt in the casserole dish, and cover with the remaining salt in egg white mixture, patting it down smoothly with your hands.
- If you do not have a casserole dish of the right size, use a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
- Pat the salt as best you can around the fish, covering it evenly.
- Bake the fish for about 45 to 50 minutes. (The only way to judge the cooking time accurately would be to use a thermometer. The internal temperature of the fish should be 135 degrees F.)
- Take the fish out of the oven, and carefully crack the salt shell with a mallet.
- Remove the skin off the fish, and carefully place large sections of the flesh on each plate using a large fork.
- Drizzle with a little olive oil, and serve immediately.