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A woman's hands are shown preparing a salt baked whole fish, she stuffs a whole fish with lemon, lime and fresh herbs.

Salt Baked Fish

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Seafood
Diet: Gluten Free, Low Lactose
Keyword: salt baked fish
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Cook time per pound: 8 minutes
Total Time: 23 minutes
Servings: 2 people per pound
Calories: 234kcal
A salt baked fish is an easy recipe for entertaining. It can be made with almost any combination of aromatic herbs and citrus, and the fish cooks perfectly every time in about 30 minutes.
Print Recipe


  • 1 whole fresh fish red snapper, grouper, striped bass, etc.
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro
  • 1 handful fresh dill
  • 2 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 1 lemon sliced
  • 1 lime sliced
  • kosher salt about 2 boxes for a 2-3 pound fish
  • egg whites 2 egg whites per cup of salt


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Remove fins from fish, or ask your fish monger to do so. They can be bony and difficult.
  • Stuff the cavity of the fish with the herbs (stems and all) and sliced citrus.
  • Mix salt and egg whites in a large mixing bowl until the mixture becomes the consistency of wet sand.
  • Put a layer of the salt mixture onto the sheet pan. and place the stuffed fish on top.
  • Smear the rest of the salt mixture over the body of the fish - you can leave the head and tail exposed. It doesn't need to be too thick, just thick enough to form a coating that isn't see-through or cracking.
  • Place the fish in the oven and bake about 8-10 minutes per pound. To see if the fish is done, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the flesh. When it is about 125 degrees F, it's ready.
  • Gently rack open the salt crust - I used a rolling pin. Remember you are just trying to loosen the crust, you don't want to smoosh the fish inside!
  • Remove crust and peel back the skin of the fish. Lift out the flesh, then carefully remove the backbone, and lift the remaining flesh.



  • You can use whatever herbs you like, according to your plans for serving. Use the ones I chose, or parsley, rosemary, thyme are all also acceptable.
  • You can also use whatever citrus you like/have. One kind or a few kinds.
  • To see if it's done, use a meat thermometer inserted through the salt crust into the thickest part of the fish. When the temperature is about 125 degrees F, it's ready.
  • Use two egg whites per cup of kosher salt. How much salt? Depends on how big your fish is. I got a couple of boxes for this small-ish two pound fish. Get more than you think you'll need. Just get it. You'll use it. It's salt.
  • Be sure to read the post above for answers to all the FAQs and a few more tips!
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Calories: 234kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 46g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 113mg | Sodium: 120mg | Potassium: 758mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 224IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 2mg