Baked Snapper in Salt Crust
This is the easiest way to cook fish, ever. The salt crust creates a sort of mini-oven around the fish and keeps all the moisture trapped inside, resulting in the juiciest fish you’ll ever taste. The most important thing here is to leave the scales on the fish: otherwise, the crust will stick to the skin and over-season the fish. And remember, the salt crust is just for cooking, not eating!
- 2 cups coarse kosher salt
- 2 cups flour
- 1¼ cups water
- 1 snapper - (about 1kg), cleaned (see notes if using fillets or scaled fish)
- Preheat the oven to 190°C. In a large bowl, mix the salt and flour. Add the water and stir to form a slightly stiff yet pliable dough.
- Rinse the fish under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Put the fish on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Scoop out half the dough and pat it over the fish to form a crust about ½ cm thick. Flip the fish over and form a crust on the other side with the remaining dough. The entire fish should be enveloped in dough, with no cracks or openings. (You might have dough left over.)
- Bake the fish until the crust begins to turn golden, about 30 minutes. Slit the crust, peel it away from the fish and discard it. Lift the fish away from the bones and serve.
This preparation keeps the fish moist and imparts a mouth-watering but subtle flavour of salt. The crust takes just minutes to prepare. Be sure to keep the crust fairly thin; a too-thick crust will form a gluey layer next to the fish. You can also use fish fillets but they should be wrapped in lettuce leaves first, so the salt crust doesn't come into direct contact with the flesh.