Whole Striped Bass Baked in Salt Crust

Staff Writer
Whole Striped Bass Baked in Salt Crust
Whole Striped Bass Baked in Salt Crust
Ben Fink

Whole Striped Bass Baked in Salt Crust

This ancient technique is easy, produces an impressive presentation, and results in the most lush, juicy fish you've ever tasted. The salt crust traps moisture, allowing the fish to steam in its own juices along with the aromas of lemon and herbs. The skin keeps the salt from getting to the meat. Striped bass is a great fish, sort of a cross between flaky and steaky; this technique also works well with red snapper, porgy, grouper, or branzino. The only thing that might be a little tricky for a first-timer, here, is filleting the fish to get the flesh off the bones. Don't worry — when food tastes this good, it doesn't need to look perfect.

Click here to see What Fish Should You Be Eating Now for Flavor, Health, and Environment.

4
Servings
584
Calories Per Serving
Deliver Ingredients

Notes

Note: You can try this technique with a smaller fish for two, or with a whole salmon for a crowd, scaling the crust up or down as needed.
Experiment with salt-crusted vegetables, such as beets and potatoes, or beef tenderloin.  

Ingredients

  • 4 Cups kosher salt
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 4 sprigs thyme, tarragon, or rosemary
  • One 5-pound striped bass or other fish, gutted, scaled, rinsed, and patted dry
  • 4 thin lemon slices
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Line a large baking sheet with foil (otherwise, the egg-salt mixture will all but ruin the pan). In a large bowl, stir together the salt and egg whites until evenly mixed. Stuff the herbs inside the cavity of the fish, along with the lemon slices, garlic, and bay leaf.

Make a thin layer of salt crust in the pan large enough to accommodate the fish. Put the fish on top, and pack salt on and around it (some cooks like to keep the head visible, while others prefer to hide it; consider the tenderness of your guests' sensibilities when deciding).

Bake until an instant-read thermometer reads 135 degrees in the thickest part of the fish (punch the probe right through the crust), for 30-40 minutes. Remove the fish from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes.

To serve, with a sharp knife, make a horizontal cut in the side of the crust from nose to tail. Using a large fork or tongs, you should be able to lift off the crust in more or less 1 piece. (You can also crack it with a utensil.)

Using the fork or a knife, gently scrape away the skin (it will come right off); then, using a fish spatula, gently lift out the first fillet, trying not to bring along bones. The second fillet is easier; grab the fish by the tail, and the bones, spine, and head should lift right off, leaving an intact, boneless fillet. Serve immediately. 

Tripe Shopping Tip

When shopping for offal, the meat should be moist, have an even color and texture, and should not have an excessively strong odor.

Tripe Cooking Tip

Offal does not keep for long periods of time. Ideally, you should plan on using it right away.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
10g
15%
Sugar
1g
N/A
Saturated Fat
3g
17%
Cholesterol
283mg
94%
Protein
120g
100%
Carbs
4g
1%
Vitamin A
8µg
1%
Vitamin B12
9µg
100%
Vitamin B6
1mg
48.8%
Vitamin C
21mg
35%
Vitamin D
18µg
4%
Vitamin E
2mg
12%
Vitamin K
8µg
10%
Calcium
85mg
8%
Fiber
1g
5%
Folate (food)
143µg
N/A
Folate equivalent (total)
143µg
36%
Iron
4mg
22%
Magnesium
166mg
42%
Monounsaturated
3g
N/A
Niacin (B3)
22mg
100%
Phosphorus
982mg
100%
Polyunsaturated
2g
N/A
Potassium
1858mg
53%
Riboflavin (B2)
0.6mg
35.1%
Sodium
1512mg
63%
Thiamin (B1)
0.3mg
16.7%
Zinc
2mg
13%

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