Health, Sports & Psychology
  • Activity
  • 5 mins
  • Level 1: Introductory

Recipe: Sea bass in salt

Updated Friday 6th October 2006

Try out our recipe from the Ever Wondered About Food series

Serves 4 -6 depending on size of sea bass


  • A whole sea bass, scaled, cleaned and gutted with tail and fins removed
  • 3kg (7lbs) sea salt


  • vegetable oil
  • 4 shallots, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • 8 button mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • 1 tbsp parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp tarragon, roughly chopped

Butter sauce

  • 125ml (4½ fl oz) fish stock
  • 30ml (2fl oz) white wine 
  • 100g (3½oz) unsalted butter, diced

To serve

  • green beans
  • new potatoes


  1. Preheat the oven to 230°C / 450°F / Gas Mark 8


  1. Heat a little vegetable oil in a pan and fry the shallots, fennel and mushrooms for 5 minutes until softened and slightly brown.
  2. Allow to cool, then add the parsley and tarragon.


  1. Fill the empty stomach cavity with the stuffing.
  2. Take a large baking dish and cover the base with 3cm of sea salt. Place the fish on the bed of salt. Then cover with another 3-4cm of salt, making sure the fish is completely covered.
  3. Place the dish in the oven and cook for 35 minutes.

Butter sauce

  1. Put the fish stock and white wine in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the butter and whisk until smooth.

To serve

  1. Remove the dish from the oven and place on a heat-proof board.
  2. Scrape away any loose salt and dig out the shape of the fish without exposing it.
  3. Gently remove the fish without cracking the hardened salt and place on a serving dish.
  4. Serve with boiled green beans, new potatoes and the butter sauce.



For further information, take a look at our frequently asked questions which may give you the support you need.

Have a question?

Other content you may like

Ever Wondered About... Fish? Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission audio icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Ever Wondered About... Fish?

Chef Paul Merrett and scientist David Shuker explore the science of fish - and why some advisors want us to eat more, but others want us to lay off.

15 mins
Eel life Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Jupiter Images video icon

Nature & Environment 

Eel life

Patricia Ash talks us through the impressive journey of eels to our rivers.

5 mins
Fish Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Production team article icon

Health, Sports & Psychology 


Ever Wondered About Food takes a look at fish

Holding back the tide Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Production team article icon

Nature & Environment 

Holding back the tide

Managing flooding might prove more effective than a losing battle with the tides, explains Paul Brown

Debate: Manorexia? Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Jupiter Images article icon

Health, Sports & Psychology 

Debate: Manorexia?

Forum guest Sara W wondered if there was any reason for a separate word for men with eating disorders

The Herculean task of tackling hepatitis C continues Copyright free image Icon Copyright free: Courtesy of the Center for the Study of Hepatitis C, The Rockefeller University article icon

Health, Sports & Psychology 

The Herculean task of tackling hepatitis C continues

The scale of the task featuring scientists working to make hepatitis C a thing of the past would be familiar to the ancient Greeks.

OU on the BBC: Can Gerry Robinson Fix Dementia Care? Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC article icon

Health, Sports & Psychology 

OU on the BBC: Can Gerry Robinson Fix Dementia Care?

Gerry Robinson visits a number of struggling care homes, examining the way they are run, in a bid to improve conditions for residents.

Ageism debate: In the restaurant Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Brad Calkins | activity icon

Health, Sports & Psychology 

Ageism debate: In the restaurant

Do you think you have been the victim of job-related age discrimination? Join the debate.

Work and mental health Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: iStock free course icon Level 2 icon

Health, Sports & Psychology 

Work and mental health

Although being at work during periods of mental illness can be difficult for those with mental health problems, most people with these difficulties could take paid employment if it were not for numerous barriers in the workplace and the wider community (Centre for Mental Health, 2013). In this free course, Work and mental health, you will look at some of the ways in which employment affects mental health and what can be done to support people in finding and keeping work.

Free course
5 hrs