Top Chef & Salt Crusted Fish

Fantasy Top Chef
Fantasy Top Chef

Yes, that’s right it’s Wednesday and that means it’s another Top Chef night.  (Can I get a hallelujah?)  My knockout pool pick tonight is Kevin.  After that I only have those  Voltaggios brothers.  However, after this week at least one guy is going to get knocked out of the pool completely and if Robin goes home, I am the big winner.  Yay me!

With that being said, what ever you do, check out Thursday Night Smackdown‘s Live Blogging of the episode.  Also, whatever else you do, don’t go to fellow Fantasy Top Chef player Michele’s Intensity Academy for some crazy delicious fiery sauces because she was mean to me.  She called me blog boy.  Do you believe that???

More to come!


Wow…actually less to come.  Maybe I should check the broadcast schedule before I go blabbing about Top Chef.  Ugh.  So what do I blog about?

The one thing that caught my eye in the reunion dinner was

Salt Crusted Fish

So cooking something in a salt crust is a technique I first saw on Iron Chef (the original Japanese series.)  If you are not familiar with what cooking fish in a salt crust is, it’s exactly what it sounds like.  You take a whole fish, surround it with salt, and then throw it in the oven.  Bake for about 20 minutes, let it sit for about 25 more and you have a moist, flaky, delicious dinner that’s not at all salty.  Seriously…

BTW the following is my guess as to what Marcel and Ilan used in their salt crusted fish.  Feel free to play with the recipe.

You will need:

  • 1 whole fish, red snapper is perfect
  • 6-8 leaves Thai basil
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 6-8 kafir lime leaves
  • 8 egg whites
  • 1 3 pound box of Kosher salt
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

Preheat the oven to 325.

Ask your fish monger to remove the scales and to make sure the fish is gutted.  When you get the fish home, make sure it is washed and patted dry.

Stuff the fish with the basil, lemongrass, and kafir lime leaves and set aside.

Put the egg whites in a bowl and the pour in the full box of Kosher salt.  Mix well until you have something the consistency of wet sand.

Take out a piece of parchment paper and lay it out on a baking sheet.  Make a bed of the salt mixture about half an inch wider than the fish itself.  Lay the fish on top of the bed and then cover with the rest of the salt.  Do your best to cover every inch of the fish with salt.

Put the fish in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let the fish rest for 25 more.  Then use the back of a chef’s knife to crack open the crust.  Cut out portions, squeeze a bit of lemon juice over the top, look out for bones, and enjoy!

Thanks to Bravo for the image!


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