I have been wanting to salt crust a fish for a while now and I siezed the opportunity. I headed down to the garden and grabbed some thyme and parsley. When I returned to the kitchen I sliced some lemon and stuffed the cavity of the fish with lemon and herbs.
I already had a fire going so I put a cast iron griddle on top of the grate and went back in the kitchen. I poured some salt (ok, a lot of salt) into a bowl and added water until it was the consistency of wet sand.
I made a thin bed of salt on the griddle and the rested the fish on top. The rest of the salt I packed tight over the top of the fish. Then I closed the lid of the grill, making sure the vents were open, and waited.
After about thirty minutes, I opened the lid. The wet salt had been transformed into a thick crust. I easily picked up the entire package with a spatula and transferred it to a large platter. When the guests arrived, they were all curious about what was on the platter. I enjoyed showing the young boy who caught the fish how to crack the salt crust by tapping it with the side of a spoon, revealing the beautiful fish inside.
The skin peeled off effortlessly with the help of a spoon and the flesh underneath was moist, full of flavor and not at all too salty. Everybody was thrilled with the fish and the dramatic presentation. I couldn’t believe how simple and easy it was to prepare and serve. I can’t wait for another fish so I can do this again!