As it gets hotter, I try to choose lighter sources of protein and fish is such a great option. It’s so light and satisfying but it doesn’t leave you all bogged down after a meal. I’ve only recently discovered the “wonders” of baking fish in a salt crust, and I wonder why it isn’t a more popular method of cooking fish, as it gives moist, flaky and satisfying results every single time.
If you haven’t heard of this method or tried preparing your fish this way then, I consider this my good deed of the day. You MUST try it. It’s really simple and with very little effort you’ll have a grand dish that’ll spark conversation at any dinner table. Imagine adding this to your dinner menu and having your guest squeal in delight as you crack the salt crust to reveal perfectly cooked fish? BOOM!
It comes together in 30 mins tops & while the fish cooks you have enough time to put together a side dish. Bonus points? This recipe costs under AED 25 and it feeds 4.
Fish – Rohu from Lulu AED 13
Salt – 3 packs at AED 1.75 each – 5.25
Fresh dill – AED 3
The spices are staple in my pantry but If I really had to break down and measure they would cost less that AED 2 and the olive oil was gifted to me by Carluccios’s an fantastic Italian restaurant in Dubai that should be on your radar.
I do hope you try this recipe, thank me later.
- Use a whole fish. If you don’t all you’ll have is some very salty fillets. I used Rohu and had it cleaned and scaled at my fish monger. Please ask for sustainable fish.
- Don’t be afraid to pack the fish with seasoning, you only get one chance to flavor it before you seal it in salt, so fill it with herbs, spices and citrus.
- 1 whole medium sized fish (scaled and cleaned)
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 handful dill
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 lemon, sliced thinly
- 1 tsp Cameroon spice, you can substitute for a spice mix of your choice
- 3 egg whites
- ¼ cup water
- 3 packs of kosher salt, about 6 cups
- Preheat the oven to its highest setting. Once your fish is clean, rinse it with cold water and pat it dry with a paper towel.
- Make the salt crust by mixing the egg whites with the salt and water, till a moist mortar forms. Fill a third of this mixture to about 1 cm thick in a large baking pan, this will create a nice bed for your fish to lay.
- Stuff the cavity of the fish with the whole peppercorn, dill, spices, lemon and olive oil. Place the fish on the salt bed and cover completely with the remaining salt mix.
- Place in the oven and cook for 25 minutes. You can open the fish so you’ll have to trust that the timing is exactly right. If your fish is on the bigger side give it some extra minutes.
- After cooking, leave it rest for 10 minutes. The salt forms a hard crust around the fish which is so much fun to crack. Once you are ready to serve, crack the crust and you’ll have a delicious moist fish to serve with any sauce of your choice.
- I opted for a simple salsa of cherry tomatoes, onions and a squeeze of lemon juice. Enjoy!