Hi Everyone. I am still in a field digging but will be home soon. Today, Louise from Comida Y Vida is looking after you. I hope you enjoy the post. Will be back soon. Happy Cooking! Jo
Whilst Jo is off on a dig she has kindly asked me to do one of a series of guest posts she is having on her blog. I am very happy to have been asked by Jo as I love her blog, it is full of so many inspiring stories of home cooking. Then, earlier this year I got to meet her in person and she is such a lovely and interesting person and one who is actively promoting midlands foodie blogs with lots of hard work and effort. So it is an absolute pleasure to write a guest post for her. My blog Comida Y Vida is a mix of local food and restaurants or Spanish style cooking, so I thought I’d give Jo’s blog a little Spanish flavour.
One of the dishes I most enjoy in Spain is salt baked fish. This is not something I have seen in the UK but I know it to be a popular Mediterranean style of cooking with claims coming from the Portuguese, Spanish and Greek. Where it actually originated from is up for debate and Laura at Silk Road Gourmet had done an in depth research into this which makes for an interesting read.
Now the only problem with recreating this dish at home is you need a “veritable mountain” of salt as the fish needs to be sealed in a salt duvet, which allows it to bake in a protected layer.
I saw a variation on salt baked fish a while ago on a TV show (think it was Saturday Kitchen but it was a few years ago) which incorporated egg whites to reduce the amount of salt required, and thought it would definitely be a good version to try at home, so had stored it as a recipe to try.
- 1 (550g) sea bass, cleaned, scales on
- 1kg (depending on dish size) sea salt,
- 2 egg whites
- Lemon wedges and extra-virgin olive oil, to serve
- Preheat oven to 200C/gas 6.
- Prepare the fish, I stuffed it with some lemon slices and some thyme.
- Whisk egg whites to until soft peak and then combine in the Salt and I added some lemon zest for extra flavour.
- Spread a layer of salt mixture over the base of a large oval ovenproof dish. Place fish on top and top with remaining mixture.
- Bake for 40 minutes (adjust depending on size of your fish)
- Remove fish from oven and cool for a few minutes then, using a knife, break salt crust and discard. Scrape off the fish skin and remove the flesh from the bones.
- Serve with lemon wedges and a drizzle of olive oil.
N.B. – For other sizes of fish, you should use twice the amount of salt to fish to give it a good covering.
After being baked in the salt layer the fish is left perfectly moist and just falls off the bone. Surprising to many people I get to taste this on work trips to Spain, it doesn’t taste salty at all, as the skin of the fish protects the flesh from absorbing the salt. It was perfect for a summer evening served with a few new potatoes and was gone in no time at all.