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Baked sea bass in a crust of salt

When the fish is of excellent quality, cooking it in a salt crust is the best way to enhance its taste.

Chef Danilo Angè

Difficulty: easy

Method: 20

Cooking: 30

Difficulty: easy

Method: 20

Cooking: 30

Rest: 10

Chef Danilo Angè

Difficulty: easy

Method: 20

Cooking: 30

Difficulty: easy

Method: 20

Cooking: 30

Rest: 10

Method

  1. 01 / Prepare the salt mix

    Mix the coarse and fine salt in a bowl

    Add the egg white

    Add grated orange peel

    Mix

    Chop up half the rosemary needles

    Take half of the leaves of the thyme

    Chop the rosemary and thyme together

    Add the herbs to the salts and mix

  2. 02 / Prepare the fish

    Place the remaining rosemary and thyme in the belly of the fish

    Take a baking tray and lay a bed of seasoned salt on it

    Place the fish on top of the salt

    Cover the whole fish with salt, using your hands to make it stick well

    Bake the fish in the oven at 190°C for 30 minutes

    Once cooked, leave it to rest outside the oven

  3. 03 / Prepare the sauce

    Peel and chop the parsley

    Put the egg yolks, salt, and pepper in a bowl

    Add the lemon juice

    Beat with a whisk

    Add the extra virgin olive oil, whisking continuously

    Add the chopped parsley

    You should obtain a thick sauce

  4. 04 / Finish preparing the sea bass

    After the fish has rested, break the crust, first with the back of a knife and then with a spoon

    Peel the fish using 2 spoons

  5. 05 / Serving

    Cut the fish into fillets

    Place them on the serving plate

    Serve with a little sauce on the plate

Wine pairing

Pair sea bass in a salt crust with a light to medium-bodied, fresh, and fragrant white wine, like a Ligurian Vermentino or a Sauvignon del Collio.

To maintain the characteristics of softness and succulence, baked sea bass should be prepared right before cooking; preparing it in advance is not recommended.

Pay attention to the quality of the fish! A fresh fish has:

A lively, convex eye

Bright red gills without mucus

The skin is bright in colour, without discolouration

Scales attached to the skin Bones firmly attached to the flesh

The meat is compact and elastic: if you press it with your finger, it should sink and then immediately regain its original shape

The scent of fresh fish is brackish or fishy; when the scents turn to sour smells, the fish was caught a few days before

Do not cook fish without first preparing it well: once eviscerated, wash it thoroughly both inside and out and dry it with kitchen paper.

Do not forget to leave it to rest outside the oven: the crust allows the fish to finish cooking gently, preserving the tenderness of the meat.

Do not overcook fish: if it is a mistake to serve it raw, it is just as much a mistake to serve it overcooked, the meat must retain its tenderness and succulence.

You can also use fish stored in the freezer. Before cooking it, let it defrost in the fridge and dry it very well before seasoning.

To enjoy the softness of the fish, sea bass in salt should be eaten freshly cooked. If left over, you can keep it in the fridge for a day, covered with cling film. Before serving it again, reheat it in the oven with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Like for baked sea bass, if you want to keep it for a few more days, even 3 or 4 days, we suggest preparing a quick “carpione” fish:

Cut 50 g of carrot, 50 g of celery and 300 g of onion into julienne strips.

Cook on a very low heat with a little extra virgin olive oil and a little salt until the vegetables are very soft.

Add 100 ml white vinegar and 100 ml white wine, a bay leaf and some peppercorns and let it simmer.

Pour the hot marinade over the leftover fish and keep it covered in the fridge. Perfect also as an appetiser.

When the fish is of excellent quality, cooking it in a salt crust is the best way to enhance its taste. The crust created during cooking protects the fish, which maintains its flavour and softness, without adding any fat.

You can replace the sea bass with other whole fish of your choice, like the sea bream and dentex for example, preferably not smaller than 700 g to preserve the tenderness of the meat.

Leave the scales on the fish; this way it does not absorb too much salt.

Adding herbs and spices to the salt gives a pleasantly flavoured fish.

Adding egg white to the salt allows obtaining a firmer crust when cooked.

Calculate the cooking time according to the size of the fish:

Whole fish weighing around 700 g take 20/ 25 25 minutes plus 10 minutes to rest.

For whole fish weighing about 1– 1.4 kg, the time is 30/ 35 35 minutes plus 10 minutes to rest.

Whole fish weighing around 2 kg take 50/ 60 15 minutes plus 15 minutes to rest.

Ingredients for 4 people

For the fish

1 kg of sea bass

1 kg of whole coarse salt

200 g fine salt

1 egg white

1 bunch of rosemary

1 bunch of thyme

1 orange

For the sauce

2 egg yolks

1 lemon

1 bunch of parsley

50 ml of extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

Wine pairing

Pair sea bass in a salt crust with a light to medium-bodied, fresh, and fragrant white wine, like a Ligurian Vermentino or a Sauvignon del Collio.

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