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Simple, Delicious Whole Fish Cooking Method

Salt Crusted Whole Fish

Need an extra special recipe for a meat alternative this holiday season? We've got you covered!

Salt-crusted, whole fish is one of our favorite dishes to serve at dinner parties, because ‘breaking’ the salt crust just before eating is so impressive! It’s a great way to get guests involved in the meal, too. And the flavor is simply WOW! The salt method makes for a tasty, very moist fish.

Before you begin, head to your local market and purchase a whole fish. Yes, a whole fish. We know cooking and serving a fish whole might sound a little intimidating, but it’s actually very simple – promise! Be sure to ask the employee at the fish counter to remove the scales (and any internal organs if still there) for you. Red Snapper and Branzino work well for this cooking process.You can also ask your fish monger for alternative suggestions if not in stock.

You will also need  a few lemons and a 3lb. container of kosher salt. Depending on the size of your fish, you may use the entire box.

salt fish covered

Whole Fish Cooking Method


  • 1 whole fish (try red snapper or branzino)
  • A few lemons
  • 3 lb container kosher salt


  • Stuff the inside of the fish with plenty of lemon slices and place on a sheet pan.
  • Mix together  ½ cup of water for every 2 cups of kosher salt to form a paste. Mound the salt mixture around the fish, making sure to cover the bottom, sides and top (see picture above).
  • Bake at 425 degrees for 30 – 45 minutes, depending on the size of your fish. (The last time we made this, our fish was almost 3 pounds, so we baked it for 45 minutes.)
  • Crack open (it’s fun to do at the table!) and serve with your favorite salad and side dishes.

salt fish after

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20150217Allison025Prep Dish is a gluten-free & paleo meal planning website. Celebrity personal chef & dietitian Allison Schaaf thoughtfully crafts each plan using her own well-tested recipes. Each meal plan allows you, the home cook, to spend only 2-3 hours preparing a week’s worth of crave-worthy, gluten-free, healthy meals using seasonal, whole foods (nothing processed!). We aim to save you time while keeping your family’s taste buds happy.

Along with a weekly menu, you’ll get a printable grocery list and recipes for prep day — just one day of preparation yields scrumptious, good-for-you dishes all week long. Click to start

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