Salt-Crusted Fish Recipe | Authentic Italian Spigola al Sale
This unusual method for cooking whole fish seems extravagant, but it's actually a simple and light way to prepare a healthy meal! The fish is baked in a crust of course salt and it comes out moist and perfectly seasoned.
Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we make this recipe here:
For this recipe, you will need:
- 2 whole fish (we recommend thick-skinned, non-oily fish; branzino, sea bass, red snapper, etc.)
- Table salt
- Fresh black pepper
- 4-6 sprigs fresh parsley
- 2 cloves garlic
- Extra course sea salt (we used 6.5 lbs, but the amount will vary depending on the size of your fish/pan)
- White wine (about 1 cup, but just enough to saturate the amount of salt you use)
Preheat an oven to 395 degrees F (200 C).
Gut and clean the fish but, if possible, do not scale them. This method works better if the scales are left on.
Sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper into the body cavity of each. Stuff the fish with a few sprigs of fresh parsley, and a peeled and halved garlic clove.
Pour the sea salt into a large mixing bowl. We used 6.5 lbs, but you just need enough line the bottom of a large baking pan and to cover the fish completely. Adjust according to the size of your pan and fish. Pour white wine over the salt—just enough to lightly saturate it—and mix all together by hand.
Spread a 1/2-inch layer of the salt mixture on the bottom of a baking pan large enough to accomodate both fish. Place the fish onto the pan and use the remaining salt to cover the fish completely with another 1/2-inch layer.
Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and loosen the salt by cracking it open with a heavy spoon. Remove the skin (it should easily peel off), fillet the fish and serve. Buon appetito!