Salt Crusting: When In Doubt, Bury In Salt!
Salt crusting is sometimes seen as a showboating technique left over from the grandeur of the 80's. Some may find it unnecessary, but few cooking techniques can match the presentation and juicy flavors that cooking meats buried in salt can produce. The cracking of the hard outer shell that releases the aromatic presence of the fish, bay, and lemon is just a serene experience, and your guests will be truly amazed.
salt crusted red snapper
with pickled ginger, lemon and bay leaves
1 medium sized Red Snapper, cleaned and gutted (You can really use any size fish you desire as long as you have enough salt)
1.5 lbs of Kosher Salt
5 bay leaves
1/3 cup pickled ginger
3 egg whites
Beat Egg whites until foamy.
Mix salt with egg whites, then add water slowly until it is the consistency of slightly wet sand. DO NOT OVERWATER. You can also mix in a bit of ground black pepper if you want to add a bit more presentation to your crust. (wont effect flavor)
Preheat the oven to 450 F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and coat the bottom of the paper with about an inch of the salt mixture in a shape and size sufficient enough to accommodate the fish.
Place fish on center of salt layer and stuff the inner cavity with Lemon, bay leaves, and ginger
Cover the rest of the fish with remaining salt and pat down to form a "shell" around entire fish.
Bake fish for 30 minutes
Remove tray from oven and crack top of salt crust with a large spoon or fork. Divide the fish meat up and serve with lemon wedge, ginger, and olive oil. Its best to discard the skin at this point as it will be very salty, but if you like you can serve the skin as well.
You can leave out the egg whites from the salt mixture if you wish the crust to remain a brilliant white.