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Salt and Herb Roasted Whole Fish

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“When we lived in Italy DH LOVED the whole fish baked in a salt crust and served at the table where the crust was cracked, then fileted with a spoon and fork and the fish was so moist and flavorful. I never knew how to do it then saw Anne Burrell on TV prepare it and knew I had to get the recipe and make it for us. I haven't done this yet, but will very soon.”
2 whole fish

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 2 lemons, 1 zested and juiced and one sliced into thin rounds
  • 1 bunch thyme, half picked and half left whole
  • 4 bay leaves, fresh and coarsely snipped
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 9 egg whites
  • 8 cups kosher salt
  • 2 fish, 1 pound whole, with fins and gills removed
  • 14 cup olive oil, for finishing


  1. In food processor, combine lemon zest and juice, picked thyme, bay leaves and garlic and pulse until a coarse paste.
  2. Add egg whites and puree until frothy and foamy.
  3. In large bowl combine herb-egg white mixture with salt and mix until a moist paste.
  4. Place half of lemon slices and whole thyme in cavity of each fish.
  5. On a baking sheet, place a little less than half of salt mixture in two rows.
  6. Lay fish on top of each.
  7. Pack remaining salt mixture around fish to encase them, pressing mixture firmly on fish to create crust.
  8. Roast fish at 450 for 25 minutes. Remove and let rest for 10 minutes.
  9. Crack open salt crust and brush excess salt from fish.
  10. Remove top fillet, pull the spine out and remove the bottom fillet.
  11. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.

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