Gourmet Greatrix

Whole Fish Baked in a Salt Dome

Baking fish inside a salt dome not only provides a visually stunning presentation, it is also a very effective and delicious way of preparing whole fish. The salt encases the fish completely and therefore the fish effectively steams in it's own juices, thus producing very succulent and moist flesh. Stuffing the cavity with aromatics imparts wonderful flavour into the flesh. Most fish can be cooked this way, simply adjusting the cooking time according to the size of the fish, and any combination of aromatics can be used to suit your chosen fish and/or your menu. Recipe: (serves 4)
1 (5-6lb)
½ cup
1 handful
whole fish, Snapper or Bass
egg whites
kosher salt
fennel bulb, cut into quarters
lemon, thinly sliced
orange, thinly sliced
thyme sprigs
rosemary sprigs
olive oil (for drizzling)
  1. Heat oven to 450°F
  2. Wash and dry the fish, place the fennel, lemon, oranges, and herbs inside the cavity of the fish.
  3. Line a large sheet tray with parchment paper
  4. Mix the salt, egg whites and water together until the consistency of wet sand (using your hands works best).
  5. Spread about one third of the salt mixture onto the sheet tray about 1/2" thick and 2" larger than the fish.
  6. Place the fish on top of the salt layer.
  7. Pile the remaining salt on top of the fish pressing the salt into a smooth and compact dome around the fish.
  8. Bake for around 35 minutes. The fish should reach an internal temperature of until 130°F. For best results check with a instant read or probe thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the fish (through the salt crust).
  9. Rest for 5 minutes. At the table (for effect) crack open the dome using a small hammer. Carefully lift of the baked salt, which should be solid and come off in slabs, brush off any stray salt.
  10. To fillet the fish:-
    • Gently pull out back fin, then using a fish knife or serrated pie server, make a single incision all the way down the back of the fish and around the gill plate.
    • Gently remove the skin off lifting it off from the head to the tail.
    • Remove meat from the top side of fish, going down one side of the spine then the other.
    • Grasp the tail and lifting gently remove the skeleton, it should come up intact, leaving the meat below bone free and ready to slide right off the skin.
  11. Drizzle the fish with olive oil and serve.

Posted by Victoria on June 23, 2004 08:51 PM to Gourmet Greatrix