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Salt-crusted baked whole fish

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.

Salt-crusted baked whole fish recipe

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.

Salt-crusted baked whole fish recipe

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

Serves 2-3


  • 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


  1. Using an ample-sized baking dish, line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. Put 1/3 of the salt in it.
  3. Insert the rosemary in the cavity of the fish then put the fish on the bed of salt.
  4. Cover the fish with rest of the salt, leaving the eyes uncovered.
  5. 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.
  6. Take away the salt crust completely.
  7. Take away the skin and bones before serving. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Best when served while still hot.

More baked fish recipes

Parmesan and almond crusted cod
Baked whole fish and potatoes with rosemary and paprika

Fish and potato squares

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