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Recipe: Sea bass in salt

Updated Friday 6th October 2006

Try out our recipe from the Ever Wondered About Food series

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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.






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