Makes 4 servings
This is one of the most aromatic ways to cook sea bass. The crust forms a nice cooking vessel for the fish and citrus, and when you crack the crust the smell is incredible. Bring the fish to the table in the crust and then crack it open in front of your guests so that they can savor the aroma—but make sure to let them know that the crust is not edible! Take a look at the photos below to see how it's done.
Salt Crust Sea Bass
- To prepare the salt crust: Mix together the egg whites, salt, flour, and thyme in an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until a dough forms.
- Roll out the dough into approximately 4- to 6-inch circles or into 2 large ovals.
- To prepare the sea bass: Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
- Layer the citrus slices on the bottom of the dough.
- In a bowl, toss the fennel and onion with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Lay the fish fillets, skin side out, on top of the citrus slices and then the fennel and onion mixture on top of the fish. Scatter the thyme sprigs on top. Season with salt and pepper.
- Place the top piece of dough over the fish. Crimp the top piece of dough together with the bottom piece to seal so that all the steam and juices are contained while baking.
- Place the salt-crusted fish on a sheet pan and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes.
- Transfer the baked salt crust sea bass to a serving platter and serve immediately. Crack open the crust while still hot.