Whole fish in salt crust

I’ve always been quite fascinated about the idea of cooking fish in a salt crust.  It seems that it couldn’t work and that the salt will draw all the moisture and give a tough, dry result.   I’m not sure how, but I can tell you it turns out the exact opposite – moist succulent and flavoursome.

I am now convinced there is simply no better way to cook a whole fish.

I followed a recipe from Mario Batali

Make sure you ask your fishmonger to clean and scale the fish.  I made this with a pink snapper.

In terms of the fresh herbs, you could use thyme as suggested by Mario or lemon thyme, fresh bay leaves, oregano or rosemary.


4 egg whites
2 cups rock salt
1-1.5kg whole fish
slices of lemon
bunch of fresh herbs


1. Stuff the inside of fish with some of the fresh herbs and slices of lemon.

2. Beat eggwhites until soft peaks form.  Mix through the salt.

3. Lay the fish on some of the eggwhite mix and then cover with the remaining.

4. Bake at 220C for 25mins.  Leave to rest for 10mins.

5. To serve gently peel back the salt crust and skin.

6. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and squeeze of lemon juice.

Serves 2 (or 4 as part of a banquet).


About Soul Kitchen Blog

Welcome to Soul Kitchen Blog. Sure food ultimately is fuel for the body but made with love is so much more and truly nourishes the soul. As cliche as it sounds, life really is too short to eat bad food and drink bad wine. I have a passion for cooking and a love of good food. I am committed to my quest of searching for fabulous recipes that just so happen to be gluten free. In recent years I discovered that I have intolerance to gluten and whilst its changed my eating habits somewhat, I refuse to allow it to limit my choices to eat well or make those that I cook for feel that they are missing out on anything. My mandate is simple... Feed the body and nourish the soul. I look forward to sharing my journey with you ....
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