Easy Salt-Baked Fish Recipe

Making perfectly cooked fish is easy when you smother it in salt, stuff it with lemon, herbs, and fennel.

by Julia Ziegler-Haynes
Sep 24 2014, 3:30pm

Servings: 4
Total time: 35 minutes

1 whole fish, around 3 pounds, gutted, and cleaned (I used black sea bass)
1 bulb of fennel
3 lemons
several bunches of fresh herbs: (marjoram, thyme, tarragon, or dill to name a few)
6 egg whites
3 cups kosher salt or fine sea salt


1. Preheat the oven to 450° F / 230° C.

2. Rinse your fish. Slice the fennel and one lemon into thick disks and stuff the body cavity with these along with the fresh herbs (keeping the whole herb stems in the fish is fine).

3. Combine the egg whites and the salt in a bowl, mixing with your hands. Add more salt if the consistency feels too wet. You are looking for the consistency of wet sand.

4. Lay about a half cup of the salt mixture down on a baking sheet. Place your fish atop it. Start to apply the salt to the top side of the fish as well. (It should not be too thick, because you are looking to cover it and seal all the gaps.)

5. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. (In the video, I was baking two on one pan so I left it in there a little longer). The crust should turn to a tempting toasty brown (but don't eat it, obvi!) Crack the crust and carefully remove it. Transfer the fish to a platter and serve with lemon halves.

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