Sea bass baked in a salt crust

Sea bass baked in a salt crust

By
From
Kitchin Suppers
Serves
2
Photographer
Laura Edwards

This recipe may sound a little scary but it’s really very straightforward and a lovely way to cook sea bass in order to retain its wonderful fresh flavour and moist texture. You can prepare the dish ready to bake a few hours ahead, but don’t leave the fish sitting in the fridge overnight, as the salt will penetrate the flesh. To serve four, bake two fish, increasing the quantities for the salt crust accordingly. I like to serve the fish with simple accompaniments – new potatoes, pasta or rice and a leafy side salad.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 sea bass, about 700g, gutted, gills removed and scaled
1 rosemary sprig
1 thyme sprig
3 bay leaves

Salt crust

Quantity Ingredient
1kg coarse salt
1kg fine salt
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
100ml water

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 200°C. Trim the sea bass if necessary. Open the belly of the fish and place the rosemary and thyme sprigs inside. Using your fingers, tuck up the cavity to stop salt entering and making the flesh salty; set aside.
  2. For the salt crust, put the coarse and fine salt into a large bowl and mix together. Add the thyme leaves, egg whites and water and mix until evenly combined.
  3. Spread about a third of the salt mixture out on a baking tray to form an even layer for the fish to lie on. Place the sea bass on top of the salt. Cover with the remaining salt and pack it around the fish to encase it completely. Now carefully score the salt around the bottom (see below); do this lightly so you don’t pierce the skin of the fish. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  4. Rest the fish for 5 minutes before serving. For maximum drama, take the fish to the table and carefully open the salt crust with a spatula. This will release a wonderful aroma. Portion the fish and serve with your chosen accompaniments.

Note

  • Scoring the salt crust lightly around the base with a small, sharp knife before baking will make it much easier to remove once the fish is cooked. After resting the fish, simply run a knife along the score line to open the salt crust. If you don’t do this beforehand, it will be very difficult to get into the fish.
Tags:
The Kitchin Restaurant
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