The salt crust is made with egg whites and water as binders, and it hardens as it cooks, trapping all the juices inside and resulting in a very moist and delicious fish






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  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 2 kg cooking salt
  • 8 egg whites
  • 250 ml water
  • 2 kg whole snapper, cleaned, scaled and gutted
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • ½ bunch dill
  • ½ bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • 3-4 tbsp 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: 10 minutes

  1. Preheat oven 180°C. Line baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  2. In a bowl, mix together lemon zest, salt and egg whites. If mix is too dry, add water one tablespoon at a time until you get the consistency of wet sand.
  3. Stuff the fish with herbs.
  4. Spread one third of the salt mix on the tray. Place the fish on top and press the remaining salt mixture over the fish. Make sure the fish is entirely sealed in the mixture.
  5. Bake the fish for 30 minutes. Insert a small knife into the thickest part of fish and check the temperature, if the knife is hot the fish is ready, if not then leave in the oven for further 3 minutes and re-test.
  6. Remove from the oven and let the fish rest for 10 minutes.
  7. Using a small knife carefully peel away the salt crust, being careful not to pierce the snapper skin. Gently brush away any of the salt with a pastry brush.
  8. Drizzle with olive oil and squeeze the lemon juice on top.


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