Salt Baked Bream with Coriander & Lemon

Serves: 2 people

Difficulty: Moderate

Baking fish in salt is one of the surest way to keep it soft and succulent. I like to use rock salt with a little coriander seed and lemon to create my crust. And don’t be shocked by the amount of salt you need – it’s purely for the crust and you won’t eat any of it.

You can use any non oily fish for this so go seasonal. Get your fishmonger to prep it and ask them to remove the scales and clean it. I think it looks better if you keep the head on, but do as you please.

Ingredients

  • 1 kg rock salt
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 lemon, zest and then cut into slices
  • 2 egg whites, lightly whisked
  • 2 medium sized sea bream, scales removed and cleaned
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 fat clove garlic, finely chopped
  • good handful of fresh herbs, I like coriander, dill, parsley and basil

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 220°C / 425°F / gas 7.

2. Mix the salt with the coriander seeds and lemon zest. Pour over the egg whites and mix together well.

3. Set aside and prepare the fish. Rub the inside with some chilli powder and garlic. Stuff well with herbs and lay the lemon slices inside.

4. Pour half the salt mixture into the base of a deep baking tray. Lay the bream on top and cover with the remaining salt. Try and cover the bream and don't worry if the head is poking out.

5. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes. The salt will turn golden brown and be solid to the touch.

6. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing the salt crust. I bash it with a heavy object and then prise it away. Push all the salt to one side otherwise the flesh will taste salty.

7. Serve the juicy bream with a simple salad for the perfect fuss free meal.


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