Sea bass in a herb salt crust
- Gluten Free
- Lactose Free
- Difficulty: Easy
- Prep time: 30 min
- Cook time: 30 min
- Serving: 2 people
- Cost: Average
Sea bass in a herb salt crust is a tasty and aromatic main course that involves baking the fish in a tasty shell made from a mixture of egg whites, salt, and herbs. Unlike conventional oven baking, salt baking is one of the oldest and healthiest methods of cooking food, avoiding the need for any additional condiments and allowing the steam produced from the natural moisture within the fish to cook it, thus maintaining both its flavor and its softness. Contrary to what you might think, sea bass in a herb salt crust is actually extremely simple to make. In fact, once you’re familiar with this recipe, you could even try it using beer to even further enhance the fragrance! This fish course is great served with classic roasted potatoes or with a peperonata in summer, maybe even in a replica of the Umbrian flag!
How to prepare Sea bass in a herb salt crust
To make the sea bass in a herb salt crust, start by scaling the fish with a scaler or the back of a knife to avoid damaging the flesh. Rinse thoroughly under running water. Pour the herbs and peeled garlic clove into the bowl of a blender. Chop the herbs and transfer them to a bowl. Alternatively, chop all the herbs 1 using a knife 2. Grate the lemon zest 3 and add to the chopped herbs.
Stuff the belly of the sea bass with a spoonful of the herb mix 4. Meanwhile, pour the egg whites into a bowl 5 and beat them with a hand mixer until stiff 6.
Gently mix in the herbs 7. Stir, add the fine and coarse salt 8 a little at a time 9, and mix everything together.
Stendete un foglio di carta forno su una leccarda e poi adagiatevi un sottile strato (circa 1,5 cm) del composto ottenuto 10. Appoggiate quindi sopra il letto di sale il branzino 11 e ricopritelo con il composto di sale pressandolo delicatamente per fare aderire bene l’impasto 12.
Line a baking tray with a sheet of parchment paper and place a thin layer (about ½ inch (1.5 cm)) of the mixture on top 10. Next, place the sea bass on top of the bed of salt 11 and cover with the salt mixture, pressing gently to ensure that the mixture adheres well 12
and making sure that the fish is entirely covered 13.Bake the sea bass in its herb salt crust in a conventional oven preheated to 390°F (200°C) for 30 minutes. Once the fish is cooked, remove it from the oven and leave to rest for a few moments 14. Then, take a small hammer or meat tenderizer, break the salt crust 15, fillet the fish and serve hot!
This sea bass in a herb salt crust can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a couple of days at most.
Some people soak the salt in water instead of egg whites to coat the food before cooking, the disadvantage of this method being that the dampened salt that coats the food dries out with the heat of the oven, causing cracks to form in the crust and therefore the fish to dry out.
Using egg whites beaten until stiff, on the other hand, will produce a firm mixture that will not crack as it dries out, meaning that it retains all of its aromas, along with the all-important moisture and the flavor of the food, during the cooking process.