Step-by-step guide to salt-baking trout: test kitchen secrets (plus recipe)
- Preparation and cooking time
- Total time
- Serves 6
- 2kg rainbow trout or wild sea trout, gutted and cleaned
- 2 tbsp fennel seeds
- a small bunch parsley
- a small bunch dill
- 2 lemons, zested and sliced
- 2kg coarse sea salt
- 5 egg whites
- extra-virgin olive oil
- 1-2 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1 small clove garlic, crushed
- 1 red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
- 3 courgettes, cut into thin strips
- a small bunch mint, leaves picked and torn
- a small bunch basil, leaves picked and torn
- crusty bread, optional
- STEP 1
Heat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7.
- STEP 2
To make the salt crust, add the fennel seeds, stalks from the parsley and dill, and the lemon zest together with 350g of the salt to a food processor and whizz to a purée.
- STEP 3
Pour the remaining salt into a bowl, tip in the purée and mix. Add the egg whites and mix again.
- STEP 4
Put 1/3 of the salt mix in a layer diagonally on a large baking sheet (mimic the shape of the fish).
- STEP 5
Lay the trout on top. Stuff the parsley leaves, dill fronds and lemon slices into the trout’s cavity. Season with ground black pepper.
- STEP 6
Pour over the remaining salt mix, leaving the tip of the tail and the head exposed, patting it round the body of the fish so it is totally encased.
- STEP 7
Roast in the oven for 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven and rest for 15 minutes.
- STEP 8
For the salad, whisk together 4 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil, the lemon zest and juice, crushed garlic and chilli.
- STEP 9
Add the courgettes, season with salt and black pepper, and toss well. Leave to marinate while the fish rests.
- STEP 10
Carefully break away the salt crust and remove the skin of the fish.
- STEP 11
Stir the torn herbs through the courgettes and serve with portions of the cooked trout and crusty bread, if you like, mopping up the juices.