Updated: Jun 18, 2020
Easy to make salt encrusted Branzino with fresh herbs, lemons, and garlic.
Branzino is a mild flavored white fish, also known as European Sea Bass and found in the Mediterranean, which makes it very popular in Italian cuisine.
Traditionally, Branzino is cooked whole. You can grill, pan-sear, bake or fry it. I am going 100% Italian and will use the salt encrusted method for this recipe. It keeps the fish moist while imparting a great amount of flavor. Salt, black pepper, lemon, fresh thyme and rosemary, garlic, and olive oil are all the ingredients you'll need to make this delectable dish.
If Branzino is not available in your area, do not worry. You can substitute it with trout, sea bass, snapper, or any whole white meat fish of your choice!
Are you ready?
Let's make it!
Prep time: less than 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves 2 people
1 whole Branzino or any white meat fish of your choice (gutted)
4 pounds of salt
3 cloves of garlic (peeled)
1 lemon (sliced)
fresh Thyme and Rosemary
Black pepper to taste
Preheat over to 400 degrees F.
On a baking sheet, place a large piece of aluminum foil and create a bed of salt (figure 1). Lay the fish on the salt.
Generously rub some olive oil and black pepper in the fish cavity.
Place the lemon slices, garlic, thyme, and rosemary (Figure 2).
Completely cover the fish with the remaining salt. Fold the ends of the aluminum foil to create a "pocket" (Figure 3).
Seal the ends. Double wrap with more foil if needed (Figure 4).
Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and open the foil. The Branzino will be encrusted in a hard salt cocoon (Figure 5).
Gently break the crust apart with the back of a spoon (Figure 6).
Remove as much salt as possible from the fish. Transfer to a serving dish.
Drizzle some olive oil and fresh herbs on top. Serve and enjoy!
Printable PDF recipe below: