Salted Fish with Olive Oil and Herbs

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • serves


Appears in

Darina Allen's Simply Delicious Suppers

Darina Allen's Simply Delicious Suppers

By Darina Allen

Published 2001

  • 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 even tastier.


  • 4 whole fish weighing 450 g each approx. or 4 × 170 g fillets of white fish, e.g. bass, bream, grey sea mullet or mackerel
  • 45 g coarse sea salt
  • 130 ml olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons 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 approximately 30 minutes. When the fish is ready, wash off the salt, dry well, brush lightly with olive oil 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.