Upper crust seabass
Salt-baked fish just screams ‘Ibiza’ to me! It’s just THE perfect summer lunch and makes me reminisce about hot summer days and lunch at a beach club, washed down with an Aperol Spritz and a side salad.
It’s hard to believe that the fish won’t taste really salty from the amount of salt used to cook it in but cooking the fish in a salt crust enables the fish to steam in its own juices. The salt crust hardens as it bakes and when you open up the crust, it will come away in large chunks. The result is wonderfully moist fish inside, free from skin and scales.
You will need a large ovenproof dish in which the fish will fit in quite snugly.
What you need
500g whole sea bass, gutted, scales left on which helps to peel the skin off the fish prior to serving
2kg sea salt flakes
Bunch fresh rosemary sprigs
1 large orange, sliced
2 tbsp filtered water
A drizzle extra virgin olive oil
Half lemon cut into wedges
What you do
Pre-heat the oven to 200˚C.
Rinse the fish and pat dry with kitchen roll on both sides.
Cover the base of the ovenproof dish with a thin layer of salt.
Lay the fish on top of the salt.
Place the rosemary sprigs and orange slices into the cavity of the fish.
Cover the fish with the remaining salt to completely cover the fish. Sprinkle over two tablespoons of water then bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
By now, the salt should have formed a firm crust around the fish.
Remove the fish from the oven, leaving it in its dish.
Use the back of a spoon to carefully crack and tap off the salt crust. The crust should easily flake off in big chunks revealing the steaming fish underneath. This may take a couple of minutes.
Brush off any excess salt with a pastry brush being careful not to let the salt touch the flesh.
Transfer the fish to a large serving plate and carefully peel back the skin.
Serve drizzled with a little extra virgin olive and fresh lemon wedges on the side.