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Salt crust bream with red pepper salsa

Salt crust sea bream

with red pepper salsa

James Nathan

Recipes by
James Nathan


2 x 425-450g gilt head or black sea bream – whole fish with scales still on if possible

6 sprigs fresh thyme

4 fresh bay leaves

4 slices lemon

Small bunch flat leaf parsley

2kg coarse sea salt

4 egg whites

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Zest of 2 lemons

For the salsa:

6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 tsp sherry vinegar

Juice of ½ lemon

1 tbsp small capers

3 baby gherkins, finely chopped

1 tbsp chopped green olives

1 tbsp very finely chopped shallot

4 tbsp roasted red peppers

1 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley

½ tsp sugar

Let's get started...

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Gut the fish and trim their fins with a pair of scissors. If the fish has its scales on, leave them on. Fill the belly cavity with the herbs and lemon slices.
  2. Mix the salt with the whisked egg whites and make a 1.5cm base on a large baking sheet. Put the fish on top and cover them with the remaining salt so they are totally encased in salt.
  3. Bake the fish for 20 minutes, and then remove from the oven. If you have a probe, carefully push it through the crust, guessing where the thickest part of the fish will be. It should register about 55°C.
  4. Meanwhile, mix the ingredients for the salsa together in a bowl.
  5. To serve, carefully crack the crust, scrape away the skin and remove the flesh which will be unbelievably moist and tasty.

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