Foodie readers, this post is for you! Squeamish readers, consider this your warning. Today we’re talking about whole fish cooked in salt. Why? Because it’s:
- Super, super easy;
- Results in a delicious, perfectly cooked fish; and
- Makes for an incredible presentation that will fool your dinner party guests into thinking you’re an innovative and accomplished chef!
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- 3 lbs. whole fish cleaned and gutted
- HINT: Use a firm, white fish like red snapper or branzino; if one large whole fish isn’t available or if you just prefer to mix things up, you can use 2-3 smaller fish. A whole smaller fish per guest could also make for a memorable meal.
- 1/2 lemon, sliced into rounds
- 1/2 small onion, sliced into rounds
- few stalks flat leaf parsley
- 1- 3 lb. box coarse kosher salt
- 6 large egg whites
- HINT: Use boxed eggs whites for quicker, cleaner preparation!
How to Prepare Whole Fish Cooked in Salt
1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Stuff fish with lemon, onion and parsley.
3. In a large bowl, mix together the kosher salt and egg whites until mixture resembles wet sand. NOTE: I was nervous about the fish not being fully encased so I actually used about 50% more salt/egg mixture than the recipe stated.
4. Spread some of the mixture on the bottom of a large baking sheet to create a “bed” for the fish. Lay the fish on the bed. Use the rest of the salt mixture to completely coat the fish, gently pressing down. NOTE: Excuse the cooking tray, I didn’t have a sheet or pan large enough to accommodate this full 3 pound fish so had to use a disposable.
5. Bake fish for about 30 minutes (or until fish has an internal temperature of about 135 degrees). Remove from oven and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
6. Use a mallet or the back of a heavy spoon to crack the salt coating away from the fish. This is fun – have your guests join in!
7. Serve fish as is or remove the skin and fillet before serving. With this cooking preparation, removing both the skin and bones is very easy, they’ll separate from the fillet pretty naturally on their own.
For this meal, I paired the red snapper with a simple rice pilaf and green beans, garnishing with a lemon wedge. Simple and delicious.
Bon Appetit, friends! Until next week…keep it simple, keep it stylish, make it satisfying.