Traditional recipes

Salt-crusted sea bass with orange sauce recipe

Salt-crusted sea bass with orange sauce recipe

  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Seafood
  • Fish
  • White fish
  • Sea bass

Branzino (European sea bass) is very popular in Italy. A great fish dish to serve for special occasions such as Christmas eve, New Years eve or Valentines's day.

2 people made this

IngredientsServes: 2

  • For the salt crust
  • zest from 1 orange, divided
  • 1.8kg sea salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • For the sea bass
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 whole branzino or European sea bass
  • For the sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon potato starch
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 7 or 8 tablespoons single cream
  • 1 pinch salt, or to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:40min ›Ready in:55min

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Mix half of the orange zest with 1.8kg of sea salt and 2 egg whites; set aside.
  3. Place one sprig of rosemary in the cavity of each fish. Cover the baking pan with a thick layer of prepared salt (using about half); lay the fish on top and cover with remaining salt. Press down on salt to make it compact.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes.
  5. For the sauce: Place remaining orange zest, sugar, potato starch, 2 tablespoons orange juice and cream. Season to taste with salt; stir with a whisk and cook on low heat for a few minutes to thicken slightly. Set aside.
  6. Remove fish from oven; crack the salt crust and gently remove the fish. Discard head and tail, skin and bones. Arrange the fillets on a serving plate.
  7. Serve with orange sauce and season with freshly grated black pepper.

See it on my blog

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Sea bass baked in salt crust with a recipe from 330 B.C.

Sea bass in salt crust is a simple recipe with impressive presentation and flavour, which has its roots way back in the mists of time. It’s impressive because there is the ceremony of inviting your guests into the kitchen to see you bringing the fish, still in its crust, out of the oven and then breaking through the salt crust, revealing a wonderful juicy fish, which creates surprise and often a round of applause! However it’s also extremely simple, because with the minimum of ingredients and easy technique you have a delicious, showstopper of a meal without needing sophisticated culinary knowledge. Sea bass in salt crust is the perfect recipe for anyone who is timid about cooking fish – this is a no-brainer recipe with guaranteed fantastic results every time!

The technique of baking in salt crust has a long history and as always, there are many theories as to when and where it first started.

One theory is that it originated with the Mongols who travelled on horseback carrying meat which had been salted to preserve it, and which they baked in the fire in its salt crust. The earliest written reference in China which is of a similar chicken recipe, is that of Dong Jing, in Guandong, during the Qing dynasty (1644-1911).

However, as is so often the case – scratch the surface a little,
and you’ll find a Greek involved!

Laura Kelley, who writes the wonderful Silk Road Gourmet blog, has found reference to a salt-crust recipe in the epic poem “Hyppathia”, written by the Greek Epicurean poet, Archestratos, who lived around 330 BC. in Sicily. Archestratos, who is considered to have written the first book of biology and dietetics in the world, highlighted the value of fish as a healthy food and espoused simple cooking methods, usually with a few selected herbs and spices, which led to a particularly light, but extremely gourmet cuisine.

It seems Archestratos was an ambassador of nouvelle cuisine in antiquity! However, the historical origin of the recipe written about by Archestratus, is presumed to have its roots even further in the past, with the Phoenicians in Carthage, who built an empire based on the trade of salt, salt-cured fish and garum (a fermented fish sauce).
Archestratos’ fish recipe recommends gutting the fish, filling the belly with a few sprigs of thyme and then coating it with thick salt mixed with a little water and egg white … which is, almost exactly our sea bass in salt crust recipe.

The wonderful thing about this recipe is that by using a salt-crust, you don’t have to worry about the fish getting too dry. The crust holds in all the juices and flavour while the fish cooks – but it doesn’t get salty either, as the fact that we cook the fish with the scales still on, prevents the salt being absorbed through the skin. The other great advantage of cooking fish in this way is that, because all the flavour is kept inside the crust, no smell escapes, so the whole house won’t smell of cooked fish.

I included this sea bass in salt crust recipe on the menu of my restaurant that I used to have on the Greek island of Tinos and it was a huge hit with our customers – Greeks and foreign visitors alike. Many people said it was the tastiest, most tender fish they had ever had! Little did they imagine how easy it is to create such a wow-factor dish with so little effort!

This is a recipe that makes the most of a good fresh fish bought the same day and suits most largish fish such as seabass, sea bream (dorade), grouper or red snapper. If you can’t find whole fish, then use a large fillet wrapped in greaseproof paper (playing the role of the fish scales) which will then sit in the salt. Just make sure that none of the fish touches the salt directly.


(count on 250g of deboned fish per person to work out how many fish you need)

1 x sea bass (or similar fish) 750 grams minimum or other large fish weighing in total up to 3 kilos
1.5kg – 3.5 kg coarse salt (depending on the weight and shape of fish)

optional stuffing : sprigs of fresh thyme or a few leaves of verbena or parsley
and / or 2 cloves of garlic

For serving:

3-4 tablespoons capers
a little olive oil
lemon juice
salt in flakes


1. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C.

2. Prepare the fish:
Ask your fishmonger to gut the fish, remove the gills and rinse it/them. You must leave the scales on, as they are protecting the salt from over-seasoning the fish, through osmosis via the skin, while being cooked. Place the herbs – parsley or verbena – inside the fish along with 1-2 finely chopped cloves of garlic (optional) and then close it, bringing the two parts of the belly together, folding one edge on top of the other, so that salt does not enter.

3. Cover the fish with salt
Now, take the baking pan that you’re going to cook the fish in, line with greaseproof paper to make it easy to clean (you’ll thank me later!) and pour in a layer of salt to create a base on which the fish will sit. Place the fish on the salt base and cover it/them completely with the remaining salt , sprinkling with just a bit of water, so that the salt sticks to the sides, making sure there are no gaps. Put the fish in the preheated oven.

Note: The original recipe called for a mixture of salt and egg white to ensure that the salt makes a solid crust. I have experimented with plain salt selectively sprinkled by water and found that it gives exactly the same result without the fuss of beating egg whites and mixing them with salt. You might end up using a bit more salt because it is not as malleable as the mixture with egg whites, but a few minutes in the oven and the salt crust becomes airtight!

4. Baking – Filleting:

Allow 25 minutes for 1 sea bass fish weighing 700-800g, 35 minutes for one or two fish totalling 1.5 kg or 45 minutes for three fish totalling 2.2kg.
Once the fish is ready, take the pan to a worktop in the kitchen (it’s a bit messy to do it in the dining room) and, using a sharp knife and a tenderising mallet or regular hammer, break the hardened salt crust, putting the pieces in another bowl to be thrown away (see video above).

Remove all of the salt from the upper side of the fish. Pick the fish up carefully out of the crust and transfer it to a serving dish to fillet it and serve.


Serve at the table onto warmed plates. You could accompany it with steamed/grilled vegetables or a rocket salad with olive oil and lemon juice. Place a few capers on top of the filleted fish, drizzle a little olive oil over it, and sprinkle a few salt flakes. The ideal wine would be a white dry and very sharp Assyrtiko from the island of Santorini.


my world famous fish in sauce recipe!! Don’t fret If you don’t have access to orange roughy fish, this sauce in particular pairs well with many different types of fish, ranging from SALMON, TO RED SNAPPER, to even Sea Bass (in my opinion). I hope you will give this recipe a try & let me know what you think!

The recipe goes as following:
1) Soaking the fish in an acidic liquid base prior to cooking for at least 30 minutes
2) Marinating the fish in 2-3 TBSPS worth of pesto sauce for 30-60 minutes. Don’t throw away the excess sauce, we will be pouring it into our dish later on.
3) 1 Cup of Corn Oil & 1 TBSP of butter
4)Sliced purple onions, chopped tomatoes, 1 green bell pepper, few garlic cloves.
5) 1 TBSP OF Tapatio Hot Sauce
6) 1/2 TSP OF Tabasco
7) 1/4 TSP OF Siracha Hot Sauce
8) White Iodized Salt (1/2 TSP)
9) 1 Lime
10)3 Cloves
11) 1 TSP of Adobo Powder
12) 1/2 TSP Creole Seasoning (Wasn’t shown in this video)

For the sea bass, preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

Stuff the thyme into the cavity of the sea bass.

Whisk the egg whites in a bowl until soft peaks form, then fold in the salt.

Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and spread one-third of the egg white mixture over the tray. Lay the sea bass on top and spoon over the remaining egg white mixture, ensuring the fish is completely covered.

Bake the sea bass in the oven for 30-35 minutes, or until crisp. Carefully crack the salt crust, remove it from the fish and discard. Peel the skin from the fish and place it onto a serving plate.

Meanwhile, for the salad, blanch the runner beans in a pan of boiling water for 1-2 minutes, or until just tender. Drain and refresh in iced water, then drain thoroughly.

Mix the runner beans, parsley, shallots, broad beans, lettuce and croûtons in a bowl until well combined.

Whisk the mustard, vinegar, lemon juice and olive oil together until well combined, then season with a pinch of sugar, salt and freshly ground black pepper.

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Excellent! Lots of work, but well worth it. Very filling. Fun to make because it's different.

Cooking time depends on the size of the fish. To test whether it is done or not, poke the thickest part of the fish with a long skewer. If, once extracted, the skewer is hot, but not wet, it means that the fish is done.

This recipe is great of entertaining because it takes little time in the kitchen and has a great presentation, I used it for a large dinner party and even people that were not fans of fish enjoyed it. For those fearful of the cost and botching the recipe, I would recommend using something less expensive like trout and getting the salt in a large quantity from a bulk grocery store. 50 pounds of salt is about the same as one pound at the national grocery chains.

Ugh---this recipe was super anti-climactic. The fish was hard to debone and the flavor was tolerable at best. End of story, I won't be making it again. It was way too shi shi and a waste of expensive fish.

This was wonderful. Presentation is fun too we had our dinner guests doing their best to peer over our shoulders as we served this. Very easy, very tasty, I'll make this again.

Wonderful, easy and quick. what I really liked about it is that you get the taste of the fish. some recipes add so many spices that you can not appreciate the REAL flavor of the fish. that is why, too, you need to buy a REALLY GOOD fish for this one. I served it with steamed red-skin potatoes and steamed green asparagus. And a tip. for a super-easy clean up, cover the pan at the very begining with aluminun foil, so at the end you just have to pull it out and throw it to the trash can!!

Very good! The crust kept the fish juicy. I thought the large amount of salt would make the dish salty but it didn't.

This recipe is delicious, especially made with fresh caught Sea Bass!

also made using snapper. throw in frsh tarragon and lemons in fish before encasing. wonderful recipe using seasoned salted crust from sea-bass.

Excellent. My son in Naples Italy prepares fish with a simular recipe. To avoid an overpowering salty taste drain the juices from under the fish before serving or build a channel in the salt under the fish so it seeps out during cooking. The idea is to keep the fish juices contained in the salt dome but too much liquid disolves the salt. Any number of ocean fish can be used. Striped Bass will even work, but firmer fleshed fish is better.

i think sea bass should be served with a little more acidity with things such as fruit or a wine sauce

Tasty Stand-Ins: How to Make the Chilean Sea Bass Recipe Without Chilean Sea Bass

If you absolutely cannot find super fresh Chilean Sea Bass, the next best fish substitute is black cod. Extremely flavorful without being “fishy”, black cod is the perfect substitute for Chilean Sea Bass. Like Chilean Sea Bass, black cod also had a sumptuous, melt-in-your-mouth buttery quality.

If neither Chilean Sea Bass or black cod are available, you can still make the Chilean Sea Bass recipe with flounder or cobia. Although you shouldn’t have to alter the cooking time much for the cobia, the flounder will cook quicker than the Chilean Sea Bass, so just keep a careful eye on it.

Overcooking is probably the second biggest mistake people make when cooking fish at home, by the way.

Sea Bass

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Not to be confused with evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk is very sweet (and very sticky) and used primarily in desserts.

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Online since 1995, CDKitchen has grown into a large collection of delicious recipes created by home cooks and professional chefs from around the world. We are all about tasty treats, good eats, and fun food. Join our community of 202,500+ other members - browse for a recipe, submit your own, add a review, or upload a recipe photo.

Salt and Pepper Crusted Sea Bass

If you’re trying to get your family to eat more fish, sea bass is the perfect gateway. The flavor is mild, the texture is meaty, and it pairs with just about anything—from Mediterranean spices to fruity salsas. But, in order to put focus on just how perfect sea bass can be on its own, I kept things clean and simple.

Hitting a fillet of fish with salt and pepper is common. But with this recipe, I used a generous amount of both in order to create a dreamy crust on top. As a result, you get a golden crisp exterior with a flaky and tender interior. You don’t need much else, but if you’re feeling extra, go ahead and whip up that garlic lemon butter I’ve provided in the recipe card. You can’t go wrong with a sparkling drizzle of garlicky lemony buttery goodness )

I like to serve my salt and pepper crusted sea bass with a veg, like oven-roasted broccoli, or over a wholesome bed of greens and grains like I did here. Depends on the season! But salt and pepper goes with pretty much anything, so your options are endless. What will you serve it with?

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I made two fancy meals today. The first which I am posting about this evening is this Chilean Sea Bass. The second which will come shortly is a fantastic Filet Mignon. Yum yum yum.

I got an opportunity to sample these goodies from Certified Steak & Seafood Company. I haven't cooked a ton of Sea Bass before but it ended up to be pretty simple. The quality of the fillets I got was fantastic. I have to say I haven't made a dinner that I enjoyed this much in quite some time.

Onto the recipe! For the sea bass I thought going the citrus route would compliment it well, and I was right. I reduced an orange mango juice blend down to almost nothing so the flavors were very potent, then added butter and whisked it in to create a velvety smooth sauce. Delicious.

  • 4 sea bass fillets
  • salt and white pepper to taste
  • 1-2 Tbsp. vegetable oil for sauteeing
  • Orange Mango sauce (see below)
  • sliced green onions for garnish

1. Season fish with salt and white pepper. In a oven proof saute pan over medium high heat, add oil and saute fish about 1 minute per side, just long enough to lightly brown each side. Transfer pan to a 400-f degree oven. Cook for 13-15 minutes until cooked through. Set aside and prepare sauce.

  • 3/4 cup Simply Orange Mango juice blend
  • zest of half of one orange
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 tsp. minced shallots
  • 1 stick unsalted butter

1. Zest half of one orange (about 2 tsp.) Add the juice, zest, white wine and shallots to a sauce pan on medium high heat. Cook until it is syrupy and reduced to almost nothing, stirring occasionally.

2. On low heat, add in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking vigorously. Whisk continuously to achieve a silky texture. Do not let sauce boil.

To serve: Drizzle orange sauce over the bottom of the plate. Add sea bass and rice on the side. Drizzle more sauce on top of fillet. Garnish with sliced green onions.

This sponsorship is brought to you by Certified Steak & Seafood Company who we have partnered with for this promotion.


WOW, this was absolutely wonderful! This is on my make again list of recipes!

Tina - I'm so glad you liked it :) I loved this recipe too!

chút con đường phát triển của Ma thú các Gia tộc!" Đoạn Vân nhìn quét
qua những Ma thú ở đây, phát hiện bọn chúng đều rất thận trọng tập trung
lắng nghe mình khai mạc nên rất hài lòng.

Dừng lại một chút, Đoạn Vân nói tiếp: "Chư vị ở đây đều là Ma thú cấp
cao của Trung Hoa Gia tộc ta, có thể phát triển lên được những vị trí
quan trọng như vậy, ta nghĩ các ngươi đều không những có năng lực, mà
thực lực cũng rất mạnh. Ngày nay, thực lực Ma thú của Trung Hoa Gia tộc
ta chắc hẳn các ngươi cũng đều biết cả rồi. Trung Hoa Gia tộc ta có số
lượng cửu cấp Ma thú đã vượt quá hai ngàn, đạt đến một con số tương đối
kinh khủng trên đại lục. Số còn lại cơ bản là bát cấp, số lượng cũng
trên dưới hai vạn! Còn thấp cấp Ma thú, trong Gia tộc căn bản đã không
còn rồi. Thực lực như vậy xem ra cũng tương đối cường hãn, nhưng tầm mắt
của chúng ta phải phóng xa ra một chút. Về điểm này gia cơ chúng ta chỉ
là từ A Nhĩ Ti Tư phát triển lên, còn về bộ phận được xưng là Ma thú sâm
lâm của Ma thú thế giới, chúng ta còn chưa thấy qua được nửa phần!"

"Lão Đại, ý ngươi nói, chúng ta phải huy động quân tiến đến Ma thú sâm
lâm?" Phì Tử có chút hưng phấn hỏi. Mà những thủ hạ khác vẻ mặt cũng
phấn khởi tràn trề nhiệt huyết, xem ra không cần bao lâu nữa bọn chúng
sẽ càng cai quản nhiều Ma thú hơn.

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