Whole Fish Baked In Salt
You need about one pound of whole fish per person. Just have us fishmongers here at Dirk’s clean it for you. Red Snapper, Grouper, Striped Bass, or any heavy boned fish works best. The fish should be gutted, gilled and cleaned, but leave the scales on.Stuffing the fish is completely optional. I have done it both ways. Stuffing can be as easy as partially steamed spinach with lemon juice, or other lightly sauteed vegetables. Other options that I’ve tried include Cajun stuffing with crabmeat or wild rice and shrimp.You will need parchment paper or it's equivalent for this recipe. We can sell it to you by the sheet, so you won't have to purchase more than you need.Kosher salt comes in 3 lb. boxes - you can pick it up here at Dirk's.
1 - Whole fish [see above]
1 lb. Kosher Salt per pound of fish
2 - Egg Whites per 3 lbs. of salt
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
If the fish is to be STUFFED simply fill the body cavity with stuffing.Put a piece of parchment paper on a heavy sheet pan. Lay the fish on the paper. In a large bowl add the egg whites to the salt and mix well until moistened (increase amounts as needed). Pack the salt mixture entirely around the fish, covering completely, from head to tail. Put the pan into the pre heated oven and bake it approximately 9 min per lb. Stuffed fish takes a little longer. I stick a thermometer into the fish at this time. The temperature should be about 140 degrees. Remove the fish from the oven. The salt has formed a hard crust. Crack the salt coating with the side of a mallet or other broad object. Crack the salt crust, don’t pulverize it. Remove the large pieces of salt from the fish. Careful they are hot! Make a slice in the skin just behind the head and peel the whole skin off. Remove the stuffing first then lay the chunks of fish directly on top of it. I use a wide kitchen knife to remove the meat from the fish. Work from the back of the fish towards the belly, sliding over the bones. The meat will come off easily.
You did it! Eat slow and enjoy!