This is why you should roast a whole fish in a salt crust:
1. It’s incredibly easy.
2. The presentation is so impressive no one will believe howeasy.
This is why you won't even try:
1. It’ll taste too salty and I’m trying to avoid sodium.
2. It’s too hard.
Okay, now take a look at the recipe. How hard is that? Not at all, right? And by the way, you bake the fish in the salt crust… you don’t actually eat the salt crust (so the fish is moist and flavorful, not at all salty).
Put this on the menu for this weekend… that’ll give you enough time to find a place that sells whole fish (don’t forget to ask them to gut, scale and take the fins off for you).
Now… stop making excuses and get going!
prep: 15 minutes
cook: 30 to 40 minutes (depending on the size of the fish)
1 whole fish, 2 to 3 pounds (red snapper, striped sea bass, rockfish, croaker, grouper, porgy)
5 cups kosher salt
8 egg whites
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 lemon cut into about 6 thin slices
let's get to it...
Line a baking sheet or baking pan large enough to hold the fish with foil with ends of foil extending over the side. Move oven rack to center position. Heat oven to 450°F.
Remove the fish from the refrigerator and dry completely, inside and out. Let stand at room temperature while you make the crust. Covering the Fish with the Salt Crust Mixture
Mix the salt, egg whites and flour together in a medium bowl.
Spoon a ¼-inch layer of the salt mixture slightly larger than the size of the fish onto the baking sheet or baking pan. Place the fish on top. Layer the lemon slices inside the fish. Spoon the remaining mixture thickly on top of the fish, following the shape of the fish (so the salt crust is “fish” shaped). Blot the top of the crust and the bottom of the pan to mop up an excess water.
Bake for 30 minutes (for a 2 to 3 pound fish). Add 10 minutes for each additional pound of fish.
Remove fish from baking sheet or baking pan with foil handles and place on a serving platter. Take the platter to the table and crack the crust into big pieces with the back of a heavy spoon; place broken crust in a separate bowl. Remove skin if it didn’t come off. Lift off the top filet with a spatula and serve. Remove the center bones and lift the bottom filet and serve. Garnish with the lemon slices.
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