Salt Crusted Whole Red Emperor

Serves 6 Prep Time 10 minutes   Cook Time 25 minutes   Rated:

Salt crust baking is a revelation. I loved this so much and have plans on trying the cooking method with plenty of other my spare time of course. The fish was literally the nicest fish I have ever eaten and that is saying something. I didn't get a great pic of the cooked fish as it was dark by the time it was cooked, so of course, this too is on my one day list!

This is a very spectacular dinner party dish, you can serve the entire fish on the table and open the crust in front of your guests. The fish is seriously moist and flaky, perfection!

This recipe does not require a Thermomix at all unless you plan on milling down some salt and mixing the egg white that way, but there is so much required that it maybe easier to do as directed. I hope you give it a go! Too easy. Cue the salads!

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  • 2-3 Kilos whole red emperor, gutted but not scaled
  • Stuffing of choice for the fish, we used lemon sliced, fresh herbs, chillies, kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 Kilo table salt
  • 1 egg whites
  • water if needed



Fill the fish cavity with as many of the stuffing ingredients as you fancy. They will not be eaten but will give the fish a subtle flavour. Season inside the cavity as well.


Place remaining ingredients except water into a large mixing bowl and mix well with your hands. Add water as required until the mixture will hold together like wet sand.


Preheat the oven to 200°C and make sure you have a tray ready that will fit your whole fish.


Pack some of the salt onto the tray to form a bed that you will lay your fish on. Make sure you have a complete layer with no holes. You are creating a kiln in which to bake your fish.


Place the fish on top and build the sand castle! Just like childhood, cover the fish entirely with the wet salt and push it around the fish until it is completely covered.


Bake for 25-30 minutes until the salt is hardened and starting to turn golden.


Cool slightly before breaking open the salt crust. Peel away the skin (and scales) carefully and lift the fillets directly off the bones. Serve with salads of choice.

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