salt baked fish

We prefer to use Sonoma sea salt for this recipe.

  • For salt crust
  • 6 cups Sonoma sea salt or other coarse sea salt 
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 3-pound whole fish (striped bass or branzino), cleaned and scaled, fins removed 
  • 6 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 small bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • Lemon wedges, for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine sea salt, water, and egg whites. Spread 2/3 of mixture on prepared baking sheet, creating a thick layer. 
  3. Brush fish with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Stuff cavity of fish with thyme, lemon slices, and garlic, and place fish on bed of salt.Cover with remaining salt mixture, creating a layer just over 1/2 inch thick. 
  4. Bake for 30-45 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into fish reads 135°F (fish will continue to cook as it rests). Remove from oven and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Using back of a spoon, crack edges of salt mound, so you can easily peel it off and discard. Carefully brush off excess salt from fish, trying not to allow salt to touch flesh of fish. Gently transfer fish to a cutting board. Remove skin, fillet, and transfer big flakes of fish to a serving platter. Drizzle with remaining 6 tablespoons olive oil and serve with lemon wedges. 

Serves 4.