Whole Fish Baked In Salt Crust
Whole Fish Baked In Salt Crust Preparation
Ask fish monger to gut and scale fish, remove gills, leave on the head, and trim tail and fins.
Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade and pulse to blend. Beat the egg whites and water in a bowl. With the motor running, add the egg and water mixture through the feed tube and blend just until the dough holds together and rides on the blade. The dough should be firm and moist, not sticky. If the dough is a little flaky or cracks, add about one Tbls more water. If it is too moist, add about one Tbls flour.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Briefly knead the dough and shape it into a round or block. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Dough may be refrigerated overnight but should be brought to room temperature before use.
Wash the fish thoroughly inside and out until there is no trace of blood remaining. Pat dry with paper towels.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Wrapping the fish:
Lightly dust a work surface with flour. Roll the dough to form a rectangle about 12 by 18 inches long, large enough to envelop the whole fish without stretching the dough. Place the fish in the center of the dough. Fold one long side over the fish and lightly moisten the top surface with water. Fold the other side over to enclose the fish. Press the dough together to seal. Lightly moisten the ends of the dough, fold up, and press to completely seal the package. Transfer the wrapped fish, seam side up, to an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake the fish for 35 - 40 minutes. Remove the fish from the oven and let it rest in the crust on the baking sheet for at least 30 minutes but no more than an hour. The fish will remain warm for up to an hour. Adjust baking time 5 minutes more or less for each ? lb of fish.
with a pair of scissors, cut open the salt crust to reveal the fish. Some of the fish skin will come off with the crust. Using a fork, carefully remove any skin left on top of the fish and discard. Using a large spoon, carefully scoop the cooked fish off the top half of the fish. Then lift the backbone up from the tail forward and discard. You should be able to lift it off in one piece. Carefully scoop the bottom half of the fish off the crust, being careful to leave any skin and bones behind.
Serve with garlic aioli or a sprinkle of fruity olive oil and lemon juice.
Discussion: dough could be mixed by hand also. Serving suggestion is for garlic aioli. We made kaffir lime aioli, which is delicious with the fish. Baking time is accurate. We used a 2.2 lb snapper and baked it for 25 minutes, which was just done. To get a sense of how this dish tastes, imagine steaming a fish in its own juices - it's very moist and tender. The salt crust does not impart a salty taste.
Adapted from: Cooking Under Wraps by Nicole Routhier
Each (app 1? cup) serving contains an estimated:
Cals: 243, FatCals: 45, TotFat: 5g
SatFat: 1g, PolyFat: 2g, MonoFat: 2g
Chol: 103mg, Na: 170mg, K: 640mg
TotCarbs: 0g, Fiber: 0g, Sugars: 0g
NetCarbs: 0g, Protein: 46g.
NOTE: The crust is not consumed so it wasn't included in nutrition calculation.
Aioli or other sauce topping should be calculated separately.
We did this with a Red Snapper. It was wonderful.
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