Salted Fish with Olive Oil and Herbs

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Simply Delicious 2

Simply Delicious 2

By Darina Allen

Published 1990

  • About

Anne Willan of La Varenne Cookery School in Paris told me about salting fish in this Japanese way; it intensifies the flavour and makes it taste even more delicious.


  • 4 whole fish weighing 1 lb (450 g) each approx. or 4 × 6 ozs (170 g) fillets of white fish, e.g. bass, bream, grey sea mullet or mackerel
  • 1½ ozs (45 g) coarse sea salt (we use Maldon)
  • 4 fl ozs (100 ml/½ cup) olive oil
  • 2 tablesp. mixed freshly chopped chives, basil and parsley or chives, fennel, lemon balm and parsley


If you are using whole fish, gut them carefully, scale if necessary and wash and dry well with kitchen paper. Cut 3 or 4 deep slashes diagonally on each side, almost to the bone. Put the fish on a tray and sprinkle it on both sides with coarse sea salt. Leave in the fridge for 2–3 hours, turning occasionally.

If you are using fish fillets there is no need to slash them, but salt them and leave for 30 minutes approx. When the fish is ready, wash off the salt, dry well and cook on a heavy grill pan until brown on each side and cooked through.

Mix the olive oil with chopped herbs and spoon over the hot fish. Serve immediately on hot plates with a good green salad and perhaps some new potatoes.