Nick Lama, chef and owner of Avo in New Orleans, stuffs a whole fish with thyme and slices of lemon and fennel, then covers it in salt for his easy recipe for Salt-Baked Snapper. Don't worry--you don't eat the salt afterwards! Just scrape off the salt-coated skin before eating the fish. The result is super flavorful and fragrant from the herbs.
- One 4-pound snapper (scaled, gutted and gills removed)
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 1 bulb fennel, sliced
- 8 egg whites
- 4 pounds coarse kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Rinse the snapper and pat dry. Stuff the belly of the fish with the thyme, sliced lemon and sliced fennel. In a medium bowl, combine the egg whites and salt to create a paste. In a baking dish that is longer than the snapper, place enough of the egg-and-salt mixture to make ¼-inch base to lay fish on. Lay the fish on top of the salt and pack the remaining salt around the snapper. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes. Break the salt crust with a wooden spoon and peel it away from fish. Completely remove the salted skin before serving.