When you cook a large whole salmon, it can easily dry out. However, a salt crust seals in the natural juices to keep its flavor and create a moist texture.
Adapted from "Recipes for Parties" by Michael Leva and Nancy Parker.
- 4 pounds coarse sea salt
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- One 4-pound whole salmon, gutted and cleaned
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced
- 1 bunch thyme leaves
- 1 bunch basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
- 1 bunch sage leaves, cut into chiffonade
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a larger glass bowl, stir together the salt and eggs until the mixture resembles wet sand. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and lay out a 1 ½-inch-thick layer of the salt and egg mixture. Place the salmon on top of the salt. Line the cavity of the fish with lemon slices and fill with the herbs. Be careful not to overstuff. The top and bottom slices of fish should meet up. Cover the salmon with the remaining salt and egg mixture, place in the oven, and bake for 45-55 minutes, until tender.
Remove from the oven and take off the crust immediately so the fish does not continue to bake. Discard the lemon and herbs. Peel back the skin and transfer the top half of the salmon onto a serving platter. Remove the spine and bones, discard them, and transfer the bottom half of the fish onto the platter. Serve immediately.