Lubina a la sal or sea bass in the salt crust is a typical Spanish dish. It is very popular in restaurants. The recipe is often wrongly classified as very difficult. But it’s not true.This cooking method is easy, healthy and preserves the wonderful taste of fresh fish and the herbs and spices used. In addition, you can use this cooking method for all kinds of fish, including sweet-water or sea fish such as sea bass or sea bream. The fish remains juicy and aromatic. Make sure you have reliable fishmonger to ensure the fish is of excellent quality and as fresh as possible
- 1 whole fish whole, gutted and scaled
- 1 to 2 kg coarse sea salt (depending on size of the fish)
- 2 to 3 lemon wedges thinly sliced
- 1 small bunch of fresh parsley, rosemary or sage, or other herbs to taste
- 1 bay leaf fresh or dried
- Heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius with top-bottom heat.
- About 40 minutes
- Salt and pepper the fish inside and out.
- Stuff with herbs and lemon wedges. Make sure this cavity is not left wide open. This prevents additional salt from getting into the fish.
- Cover the bottom of an ovenproof dish with salt. Put fish on top. Cover the fish with the remaining salt and pat it with moist hands. Press the salt firmly until it is really compact and the fish is coated with it.
- Important: leave the eye free.
- Place the dish in the oven.The fish is done when the fish's eye is no longer shiny and white.
- Take the baking dish out of the oven. A solid crust of salt should surround the fish. Carefully break the crust by tapping it with a spoon, until it starts crumbling off and revealing the fish’s silvery skin. Finish removing the salt with a small brush then start filleting the fish, making sure the salt doesn’t get in contact with the fish filets.
- Arrange the fillets on the plate.
- A few drops of Lemon olive oil or medium Extra virgin olive oil enhance the taste of the fish.
- Accompany with boiled potatoes and home-made mayonnaise or aioli sauce.