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Prep Time: 1 Hour
Yields: 6 Servings

This is an easy recipe and only intimidates the first time you try it. It presents beautifully at the table and is the most “foolproof” way to get spectacular results cooking a whole fish. Coarse sea salt is best for this recipe. Do not panic! The amount of the salt mentioned is needed to protect the fish from roasting and will not over salt the flesh. Take my word for it!  

1 (5-pound) whole snapper, cleaned and head-on
6 cups coarse sea salt
kosher salt and black pepper to taste
granulated garlic to taste
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 fennel bulb, trimmed, cored and finely sliced
¼ cup thyme leaves
2 large egg whites
¼ cup water
extra virgin olive oil for serving
2 tbsps lemon juice
lemon wedges for serving

Preheat oven to 450°F. Thoroughly rinse fish with cold water, removing any trace of blood, and pat dry with paper towels. Season cavity of fish with kosher salt, pepper and granulated garlic then stuff fish with lemon slices, fennel and thyme. In a large bowl, whisk together egg whites and water. Add sea salt and mix thoroughly. The mixture will feel like coarse, damp sand and look like slushy snow. In a large ovenproof pan, spread a ¾-inch base of salt mixture in the shape of fish. Place fish on salt mixture and cover with remaining mixture. With a rubber spatula, smooth salt over fish so it completely cover it in a dome. Bake 25-30 minutes, remove from oven and let rest 10-12 minutes prior to breaking salt. With handle of a chef’s knife, tap salt dome sharply, breaking in into large pieces and discarding salt. Brush away any excess salt from fish with a pastry brush. NOTE: In some places the skin may stick to the crust and it is okay. Using a pastry brush, paint fish with extra virgin olive oil. Using a spatula or carving knife, remove fillets off bone. Place an equal portion of fish fillet onto immediately.






















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