Salt crusted fish is a very dramatic way to present your cooked whole fish at the table. Carrying it out on a tray and cracking open the crust to reveal the perfectly steamed fish. A gentle hand, and flat server, easily lifts the filets to your guest. How does it all get done, you might wonder? Is it difficult? It does a look bit daunting, but actually, it’s one of the easiest preparations, as the oven does all the work for you. Click here to see this salt crusted fish recipe step by step..
With just a little bit of prep for this easy salt crusted fish dish, the oven does all the work and you get all the glory.
- 1 - 1 to 1.5 lb whole branzino or red snapper
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Ground black pepper
- 2 lemons fully zested
- 1 bunch of basil
- 2 egg whites
- Fruity oil, garnish
- Fresh chopped parsley or chives, optional
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Place the whole fish on a foil lined sheet tray and drizzle with a little olive oil. Season the cavity with a little salt and ground black pepper.
- In a separate bowl add 2 cups of kosher salt and the lemon zest. Combine thoroughly with your hands.
- Slice one of the lemons into 4 round pieces and place in the cavity of the fish, along with half of the basil. Reserve the other half for garnish or salad.
- In a separate small bowl whisk the egg whites until they are foamy and frothy. Add to the lemon salt and mix well with your hands. You will have the constancy of wet sand.
- Scoop the salt mix carefully over the fish patting it down as you go. You will have enough to cover the fish with a 1/4 - 1/2" layer.
- Place in the oven and set the timer for 25 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and set the timer for 10 minutes, to allow it to rest.
- Crack the crust along the lower edge of the fish using a flat server or small paring knife. The crust will pop off in one piece.
- Remove the skin and lift out the top filet. Look for pin bones around the edges. Remove the backbone and lift out the lower filet.
- Top with a drizzle of fruity oil, lemon, parsley or chives if desired. Serve immediately.
If you run out of salt near the tail don't worry. As long as you have 95% of the fish covered you will be ok. Just make sure the rest of the fish is completely sealed.