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Whole Fish in Salt Crust

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Servings: 5 people


  • 3 pounds (1.5 kg) black sea bass cleaned but not scaled
  • Several sprigs fresh herbs (rosemary, oregano, thyme)
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled
  • 4 pounds (2 kg) kosher salt or sea salt
  • 1 cup (125 gr) flour
  • 125 ml water
  • 6 cloves oven-dried tomatoes chopped
  • 1 juice of lemon
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) basil oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • Trim the fins and tail of the fish with scissors.
  • Cut the cavity of the fish with scissors. Stuff the cavity of the fish with the herbs and garlic and sew up the cavity with strong thread or dental floss.
  • Mix the salt and flour together, then mix in the water to make a thick, fairly dry paste.
  • Line a baking sheet with foil.
  • Spread the part of the salt mixture on the foil in a layer somewhat larger than the fish.
  • Place the fish on the salt layer, then completely bury the fish in the remaining salt mixture, packing it on to cover the fish completely.
  • Place in the oven and bake 45 minutes.
  • Mix the tomatoes with the lemon juice and basil oil, season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
  • Lifting the fish and foil together, transfer the fish with the foil to a serving platter.
  • To serve, carefully crack the salt crust and lift off the top layer.
  • Wipe the utensils clean and lift off the skin of the fish.
  • Then serve the exposed flesh, spooning a little of the tomato sauce over each serving.
  • Be careful not to allow any of the salt to get on the flesh of the fish.
  • Lift off the bones and serve the rest of the fish leaving the skin on the salt.