Salt-crusted fish in coals

Salt-crusted fish in coals

By
From
Ben's BBQ Bible
Serves
10
Photographer
Billy Law

The hard part about cooking a fish whole is controlling the heat so the skin doesn’t burn or stick to the grill. Cooking fish in a salt crust solves these problems, and keeps it deliciously moist. I like to serve this with Grilled verdure miste and a nice Basil mayonnaise.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 lemons, roughly chopped into 3 cm pieces
5kg rock salt
2 egg whites, lightly whisked
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
1 2 kg whole fish (trout, salmon or barramundi), freshly gutted, gills removed
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley

Method

  1. To prepare the salt crust, place the chopped lemons in a large bowl and add the salt, egg whites and fennel seeds. Mix well.
  2. On a baking tray large enough to hold the fish, use half the salt mixture to make a bed 2–3 cm thick in the shape of the fish, and place the fish on top. Stuff the parsley into the cavity of the fish to prevent the salt getting in and making the flesh overly salty.
  3. Preheat your gas barbecue to 180–200°C with the hood down or prepare a hot charcoal fire.
  4. Cover the sh with the remaining salt, similar in thickness to the bottom layer of salt. If need be, use scrunched-up foil to make a retaining wall to hold the salt in place.
  5. Place the fish on the barbecue and bake for 40–50 minutes with the lid down. If using coals, make a thin base of charcoal by moving the majority of the coals to the side of the fire. Place the tray onto this base, then pile the coals around the edge and on top of the fish.
  6. Check that the fish is cooked by inserting a small knife or roasting fork into the thickest part of the fish; touch the knife or fork to your lips and if it’s warm, the fish is done. Remove from the heat and allow to rest for 10 minutes before removing the crust.
  7. Use a serrated knife to saw around the salt base, being careful not to cut into the flesh. Lift the top off; it may come away in one piece or break into several pieces. Brush any excess salt off the fish with a wet pastry brush.
  8. To serve, peel back the skin and cut down the centre of the fish, removing the flesh in portions. It should be wonderfully moist.
Tags:
bbq
barbecue
outdoor
grill
entertaining
party
Ben's BBQ Bible
Ben
Odonoghue
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