Cooking a whole fish has always intimidated me, so you can trust that this recipe is level 10 impressive but level 1 easy (I call it fool proof for a reason!). Salt-Baked Branzino sounds like something you’d see on a high-end restaurant menu, but it’s almost ridiculous how simple it is to make at home. The two-ingredient salt layer insulates AND flavors the fish from the outside while fresh lemon slices and herbs delicately flavor it from the inside. The result is a melt-in-your-mouth tender bite that bakes up just 15 minutes. Serve it with a quick salad and a starch – I love pee wee potatoes! – and impress your guests by cracking the salt shell open right at the table.
The salt layer insulates the food you are cooking, which means the food cooks more slowly and evenly. This makes salt-baking an ideal cooking method for foods that are easily overcooked, like fish!
Although you may think cooking a fish in a mound of salt would result in an over-salted fish, it is actually perfectly seasoned, once you remove the skin, all through the process of osmosis!
3. Moisture Retention
The salt traps moisture within the food you are baking so that it cooks in its own juices, retaining more of it’s delicious flavor. Make sure you use non-iodized salt!