Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

crusty ole fish (sallye)

Recipe by
sallye bates
Austin, TX

Almost as good as a smoked fish. The taste is divine. Try it, you'll like it.

yield serving(s)
prep time 15 Min
cook time 25 Min
method Bake

Ingredients For crusty ole fish (sallye)

  • 3 lb
    coarse kosher salt
  • 6 lg
    egg whites
  • 2 md
    (1-2# each) whole fish
  • 1 Tbsp
    sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp
    black pepper
  • 4 sprig
    fresh rosemary
  • 2 tsp
    olive oil
  • 1 lg
    lemon thinly sliced

How To Make crusty ole fish (sallye)

  • 1
    Line a baking sheet with parchment paper . The baking sheet should be large enough to hold both fish in a single layer side by side. If necessary, use two pans. Set aside. Preheat oven to 375F
  • 2
    Pour the kosher salt into a large mixing bowl. Mix the egg whites by hand into the kosher salt until well combined and the mixture feels like wet beach sand. Use rubber gloves if you have any cuts on your hands or the salt will sting (a lot).
  • 3
    Rinse the fish well with cool water and pat it completely dry with paper towels inside and out. Place the fish on the parchment lined sheet pan (or pans).
  • 4
    Rub the sea salt and ground pepper generously in the cavity of each fish, add the fresh rosemary sprigs and place 1/2 of the lemon slices in each fish cavity.
  • 5
    Close up the cavity. Rub the outside of the fish with the olive oil. Then using your hands, completely cover the fish with the kosher salt-egg mixture. The crust should be about 1/2" thick. Press the crust down into the fish to make sure it adheres well. Make sure that the fish is covered entirely so that the airtight surface will retain the moisture while cooking. Place in preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes. The crust will become golden brown. and it will completely harden.
  • 6
    Remove from the oven and let rest for 20 minutes (it will stay warm). When ready to serve, use a small hammer, mallet or the back of a chef's knife to crack the crust. Break the crust off in pieces until the fish is completely uncovered. Discard the pieces of the salt crust.
  • 7
    Remove any skin and cut around the fillet (below the head and above the tail) and place on a serving platter. Remove and discard the center bone and skeleton to access the bottom fillet. Again, cut around the fillet and place it on the serving platter. Discard the head and tail, and gently remove any skin left over. The meat will flake easily, so handle gently.
  • 8
    Serve with wedges of lemon and your favorite sides.

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