Baking the fish inside a crust of salt makes the meat so tender and moist and not salty at all. This dish is a must-try for all the fish lovers.
The first time I encountered this dish being prepared in Italy, I was wide-eyed because of the amount of salt. I thought that it was going to be very salty with all the boxes of salt being poured on the fish and without even waiting for it to be cooked, I was already convinced that I was not going to like it.
Instead, I found it to be the most tender and moist fish I have ever had in my life. This is probably one of the best and simplest ways to bake the perfect whole fish!
Salt-crusted baked whole fish recipe
- 1-1/2 pounds whole fish (like gilt-head bream, sea bass, red snapper or similar), cleaned and gutted but leave the scales on
- 5 pounds rock salt
- 2 twigs fresh rosemary
- Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling before serving
- Using an ample-sized baking dish, line the bottom with parchment paper.
- Put 1/3 of the salt in it.
- Insert the rosemary in the cavity of the fish then put the fish on the bed of salt.
- Cover the fish with rest of the salt, leaving the eyes uncovered.
- Bake in a preheated oven of 400 degrees F for 30 minutes or until the eyes of the fish look cooked through. Note: If the fish is bigger, add more cooking time.
- Take away the salt crust completely.
- Take away the skin and bones before serving. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Best when served while still hot.