Traditional recipes

Salt-Crusted Fish with Dill and Lemon

Salt-Crusted Fish with Dill and Lemon


  • 1 3-pound box Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill plus 4 sprigs
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 1-pound whole branzino or black sea bass, cleaned and scaled
  • Olive oil (for drizzling)

Recipe Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 450°. Using a vegetable peeler, remove zest (yellow part only) from lemon in strips. Slice lemon crosswise into thin rounds and set aside.

  • Pulse lemon zest, salt, 1/2 cup chopped dill, and coriander seeds in a food processor until well combined. Add egg whites; pulse to blend, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl, until salt is uniformly moist and pale green.

  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread one-quarter of salt mixture in center of parchment until 1 inch wider than fish (about 15x6 inches). Place reserved lemon slices and dill sprigs in cavity of fish and lay fish on top of salt bed. Pack remaining salt mixture all around fish, sealing any cracks. (Surface of salt should be smooth and even.)

  • Roast fish until a paring knife inserted through crust into the center meets with little resistance and is warm to the touch, 22-25 minutes. Let fish stand for 5 minutes.

  • Crack salt crust and pull away from sides of fish. Remove top fillet from bones and transfer to a platter. Lift bones from top of remaining fillet and discard. Transfer remaining fillet to platter. Drizzle with oil and serve.

Recipe by The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen

Nutritional Content

2 servings, 1 serving contains: Calories (kcal) 310 Fat (g) 10 Saturated Fat (g) 2 Cholesterol (mg) 95 Carbohydrates (g) 5 Dietary Fiber (g) 3 Total Sugars (g) 1 Protein (g) 50 Sodium (mg) 1230Reviews Section

Salt Crusted Red Snapper with Beurre Blanc

In a mixing bowl, slowly add water to salt in order to make a firm paste. Set aside.

Stuff the belly of the fish with the lemon, shallots, dill and parsley.

On a baking tray, lay a third of the salt mixture in the shape of the snapper and lay the fish over the salt.

Use the remaining salt to cover the whole fish.

Press salt down to form a tight cover for the fish to steam.

Place fish in oven and cook for 45-50 minutes.

Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes.

Crack the salt crust with a heavy spoon or the back of a knife.

Remove the salt, and let your guests dig in.

Serve Beurre Blanc sauce on the side.

Beurre Blanc


½ cup (120ml) white wine vinegar

Salt and pepper, to taste
1/3 lb (150g) butter, cut into small cubes.

1 teaspoon (5ml) lemon juice


In a sauce pan, heat vinegar, wine and shallots over high heat.

Bring to a boil, and reduce by half.

Add butter one cube at a time and whisk vigorously.

Once all the butter is incorporated and the sauce has thickened season with salt and pepper, and add lemon juice.

What is salt baked fish?

Wondering how to cook a whole fish? Showcase it with a special treatment like Salt Baked Fish. A perfect way to celebrate when your kid comes home with his first-ever lake trout ?

Baked fish in a salt crust is a fabulous method for cooking whole fish to have up your sleeve. And one that frequently makes an appearance around my house during fishing season.

Usually served at big family dinners there’s actually really no reason to wait for a special occasion. Because even though it looks crazy-impressive it’s super easy to make from common pantry ingredients – herbs, spices and Morton Kosher Salt.

Save now on Morton Kosher Salt

Morton Coarse Kosher Salt is the salt I’ve been reaching for for as long as I can remember! The light, not overpowering, flavor and coarse, opaque white flakes can always be trusted to add the perfect touch. From seasoning and marinating grilled meats and veggies, brining meats, making pickles, or salting before serving, Morton Kosher Salt elevates any dish.

And the new Morton Coarse Kosher Salt packaging, available at your local Safeway, has a versatile lid that flips up or twists off. So now it’s even easier to enjoy the seasoning power of Morton Coarse Kosher Salt! Whether you need to shake a bit, pour a little, or measure a lot!

Simply flip the top and shake a little to add the perfect amount of seasoning to your dish. Or use the easy-pour side of the lid to measure exactly the amount your recipe calls for. Or easily twist off that lid and conveniently pour a lot of salt when you need to. Like this Salt Baked Fish that calls for a whopping 4.5 cups of Morton Kosher Salt.

What does all that salt do?

Although it may sound like a lot of salt, it’s not too salty at all! I promise! A lot of people who are wondering what salt baked fish tastes like are afraid of the saltiness. But the salt isn’t imparted in the flavor of the fish it simply creates an airtight seal, locking in flavor for the most amazing, tender, and flaky fish. Trust me, it’s so much better than simply popping it in the oven! The salt crust acts as insulation protecting the tender fish inside and creating essentially an oven inside an oven. Locking in the natural deliciousness of the fish, imparting it with whatever seasonings you put inside while also allowing the fish to cook low and slow. All of these factors results in perfect evenly-cooked fish, every time!

And now, you can pick up enough for loads of salt-baked fish for a great price in the spice aisle at your local Safeway!

Chargrilled salt-crusted lemongrass fish

Oven temperatures are for conventional if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Soak a bamboo skewer in cold water for 30 minutes. In a mixing bowl, combine the lemongrass, dill and spring onion. Stuff the mixture into the cavity of the fish, then secure the opening using the bamboo skewer. Rub the whole fish with all the sea salt, coating it well. Heat a chargrill pan or barbecue chargrill plate to medium-high. Chargrill the fish for 10–15 minutes on each side, or until cooked through (the scales and skin should peel easily).

Meanwhile, combine the tamarind dipping sauce ingredients in a small bowl and mix until the sugar has dissolved. Before serving the fish at the table, peel away and discard the scales and skin. Serve the fish hot, with sticky rice and the dipping sauce.

• To make tamarind water, soak 100 g tamarind pulp in 400ml boiling water. Break it up a little with a whisk, then leave until cool enough to handle. Using your hands, break the mixture into a thick paste. Pass the mixture through a sieve you should get about 375 ml tamarind water.

Salt and Pepper Crusted Sea Bass

If you’re trying to get your family to eat more fish, sea bass is the perfect gateway. The flavor is mild, the texture is meaty, and it pairs with just about anything—from Mediterranean spices to fruity salsas. But, in order to put focus on just how perfect sea bass can be on its own, I kept things clean and simple.

Hitting a fillet of fish with salt and pepper is common. But with this recipe, I used a generous amount of both in order to create a dreamy crust on top. As a result, you get a golden crisp exterior with a flaky and tender interior. You don’t need much else, but if you’re feeling extra, go ahead and whip up that garlic lemon butter I’ve provided in the recipe card. You can’t go wrong with a sparkling drizzle of garlicky lemony buttery goodness )

I like to serve my salt and pepper crusted sea bass with a veg, like oven-roasted broccoli, or over a wholesome bed of greens and grains like I did here. Depends on the season! But salt and pepper goes with pretty much anything, so your options are endless. What will you serve it with?

If you try this recipe or create your own variation, let me know in the comments! I love connecting with you. Then snap a photo and tag me on the Insta @killing__thyme to be featured in our newsletter.


Preheat the oven to 200C/390F/Gas 6.

Dry the scaled, gutted fish with kitchen paper. Stuff the body cavity with the thyme.

Whisk the egg whites in a bowl until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed. Fold the salt into the egg whites.

Line a baking sheet or ovenproof serving dish with greaseproof paper and spread one-third of the egg white mixture over the base.

Lay the sea bass on top of the egg white mixture, and then spoon over the remaining mix to cover the fish completely.

Bake the sea bass in the oven for 30-35 minutes, until the salt crust is crisp.

Remove the dish from the oven. Break the salt crust with a palette knife. Using a pastry brush, remove the salt crystals from the surface of the fish and from around the fish.

Squeeze over the lemon juice and drizzle with olive oil.

For the fennel salad, place the fennel, dill, orange juice and olive oil into a bowl and mix together.

Leave to stand for about ten minutes. Just before serving, add the rocket and mix to coat the rocket leaves.

For the garlic mash, place the garlic and cream into a saucepan and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the cream is reduced by half.

Remove the garlic bulb from the pan, then mix in the mashed potatoes and stir well to combine.

Add the butter and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

To serve, place a spoonful of mash onto each serving plate along with a little of the salad and a quarter of the sea bass for each person.

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

PREHEAT THE OVEN to 220°C. Cut 1 lemon into 6 wedges. Sprinkle sea salt in the cavity of the fish. Tear dill and place it in the cavity, along with the lemon wedges.

On a large baking tray, spread a 1cm-thick layer of table salt. Place the fish on top of the salt and cover it with the rest of the table salt. Sprinkle 1/4 cup water over the salt this will help to form the crust.

Bake the fish for 25 minutes. Set it aside to rest for 10 minutes. Break the crust from the top of the fish (most likely, the skin will come off with it).

Remove any remaining skin and discard. To fillet the fish, draw a line down the spine and remove the flesh in large chunks. Break the spine at the head and tail and remove. Take the fillets from the second side.

Divide the fish among the serving plates (about 180g per serve) with a dollop of aioli on the side. Drizzle with olive oil and finish with a squeeze of lemon over the fish and a generous grind of pepper.

2. Will the Salmon be overly salty?

In short, no. The Salt Baked Salmon will barely have any salt on it except for the salt that you season the inside and outside. Why does that salt not migrate into the fish? Well, that is mostly because of the moisture and barriers. Because there is a layer of skin and lemon slices on the outside, the fish meat will not absorb the salt as much as you think.

Additionally, the salt crust is moist so as it is cooked the moisture will leave and ultimetally dry it out. This will transfer no salt flavor onto the meat. The salt crust on this Salt Baked Salmon is all about trapping in the flavor, and not about making your food overly salty.

Salt-Crusted Rose Spotted Snapper Bake Recipe

This is one of those recipes that looks so cool to make, but you never think you'll have the time or enough salt to do it, right? That's what I've always thought when seeing this beautiful dish that dates back to the Mongolian Empire of the 13th and 14th centuries. The salt bake creates an oven-like capsule keeping the fish moist and delicate. This method was traditionally cooked over the fire in the past, but nowadays we have our handy-dandy oven to do the trick.

Martin and I rolled up our sleeves and got salty making this showstopper dish the other night in our nest kitchen! We purchased two whole beautiful, Rose Spotted Snappers and stuffed them with the freshest of ingredients. It was so much fun and required minimal ingredients. It felt like we were building salt sandcastles or snowmen with all the damp salt, definitely a hands-on way of cooking and therapeutic!

Check out the recipe below and get cooking your salt-encrusted fish next time for dinner! Be careful as to the size of the fish and the salt ratio-we used a bit too much salt and needed an extra egg yolk, but lessons learned for next time. It was still delicious although a bit salty (learning curve 1/2 inch next time thick), a bit bony (be careful with the bones) and yet an ever so a delicacy —yummm. Cheers!