Pesce Nella Crosta di Sale

Fish Baked in Salt Crust

The principle here is that the skin of the fish should be thick and resistant enough to not permit the salt to permeate the delicate meat under it. Be very careful to make sure that the skin of the fish is not pierced anywhere because if salt seeps through to the flesh it will spoil the taste. I have suggested grouper for this recipe, but any large, heavy scaled fish would be good—sea bream for instance.


  • 1 fresh grouper, gutted, weighing about 3½ to 4 lb (do not scale)
  • 4 egg whites
  • lb finely ground coarse sea salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Wash the fish carefully inside and out and pat dry on paper towels. Lay it out in a baking dish lined with foil.
  2. Beat the egg whites in a bowl until frothy, then carefully add all the salt, stirring. Cover the fish completely and very thickly with the egg white mixture. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes.
  3. When ready, the dish should look like a golden loaf of bread. Slide the fish off the foil with a spatula and onto a platter.
  4. Break the salt crust at the table and serve carefully, lifting the fish out and placing on individual plates with a little drizzle of olive oil, a lemon wedge, and some black pepper.

To Serve

extra virgin olive oil lemon wedges

freshly ground black pepper