• Salt baked snapper with samoriglio (Sharyn Cairns)Source: Sharyn Cairns

Whole baked snapper is paired with salmoriglio, a green dressing made with oregano, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil. Food Safari Water






Skill level

Average: 3.3 (111 votes)


  • 1 kg whole snapper, scaled and cleaned 
  • 4 slices lemon 
  • 1 sprig rosemary 
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Roasted potatoes, to serve


Salt crust

  • 750 g rock salt 
  • 750 g fine sea salt 
  • 5 g fennel seeds 
  • 1.5 egg whites (1 egg white per kg of salt) 



  • 2 g dried oregano 
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper 
  • ½ garlic clove, finely sliced 
  • 100 ml lemon juice 
  • 200 ml extra virgin olive oil 

Cook's notes

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.


Resting time: 5 min

Preheat the oven to 200˚C. Line a large baking tray with baking paper. 
For the salt crust, combine the salts and fennel seeds in a large bowl.  Add the egg whites and 100 ml water and work together until well combined. Spread half the salt mixture over the baking tray.  Place the fish on top and fill the cavity with lemon slices, rosemary and garlic. Cover the fish in the remaining salt mixture, patting down well to make sure it is entirely covered and sealed – be careful not to get salt in the fish cavity. 
Using a small knife, mark a line along the belly, centre and spine, then make 2 perpendicular cuts, 5 cm from each end starting below the head. This will make it much easier to break open the crust once the fish is cooked, but make sure you don’t go all the way through the salt crust to the fish.  
Bake for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and rest for 5 minutes. Carefully crack open the salt crust, making sure you don’t pierce the fish.  Brush away any excess salt. 

While the fish is baking, for the salmoriglio, combine the oregano, salt, pepper, garlic and lemon juice in a bowl and slowly whisk in the oil until emulsified. 
 Serve the snapper drizzled with salmoriglio, with roasted potatoes on the side. 


Photography by Sharyn Cairns. Styling by Lee Blaylock. Food preparation by Rachel Lane. Creative concept by Belinda So.

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