Sea bass baked in a salt crust with lemon sauce and a potato, tomato, and basil confit


by: Xeno

One of the most simple and beautiful dishes in the Mediterranean, salt-crusted sea bass is a joy to cook and to eat.


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serves: 4

2 (1 1/2-lb/750-g) sea bass (gutted but not scaled or trimmed)

4 lb (1.75 kg) cooking salt

2 egg whites


2 1/2 cups (600 ml) Fish Stock

1 tablespoon fennel seeds

1 small lemon (sliced)

1/2 cup (120 ml) dry white wine

1 egg

1 egg yolk

1 1/4 cups (300 ml) olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1/4 cup olive oil

1 small onion (minced)

1 clove garlic (minced)

1 lb (450 g) waxy new potatoes (peeled and cut into quarters)

1 large beefsteak tomato or 2 plum tomatoes (skinned and chopped)

2 tablespoons finely shredded basil

Nutrition Facts
Sea bass baked in a salt crust with lemon sauce and a potato, tomato, and basil confit

Servings Per Recipe: 4

Amount per Serving

Calories: 2987

  • Total Fat: 128.8 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 22.3 g
  •     Trans Fat: 2 g
  • Cholesterol: 165.4 mg
  • Sodium: 1374.5 mg
  • Total Carbs: 358.7 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 18.4 g
  •     Sugars: 12.7 g
  • Protein: 88.7 g

how is this calculated?

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1.  Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). For the sauce, put the fish stock, fennel seeds, sliced lemon, and white wine into a pan and boil rapidly until the liquid has reduced to about 1/4 cup. Strain into a small bowl and let cool. Put the whole egg, egg yolk, reduced stock mixture, and some salt and pepper into a blender. With the motor running, gradually pour in the oil to make a thick, mayonnaiselike mixture. Transfer to a bowl and season to taste.

2.  For the potato confit, heat the olive oil in a pan, add the onion and garlic, and cook for 5 minutes until soft and lightly browned. Add the potatoes, tomato, and basil, and cook gently for 25 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

3.  While the potatoes are cooking, mix the salt with the egg whites. Spread a thick layer of the mixture in the bottom of a small roasting pan. Put the sea bass on top, then cover completely with the remaining salt mixture, making sure that there are no gaps (but don't worry if the tail is still exposed). Bake for 20 minutes.

4.  Remove the fish from the oven and crack the top of the salt crust with the back of a large knife. Lift the crust away from the top of the fish, then carefully transfer the fish to a serving plate, leaving behind the rest of the salt crust.

5.  Pull the skin away from the top of the fish and gently lift the fillets off the bones onto four warmed serving plates. Season the potato, tomato, and basil confit with some salt and pepper, then spoon alongside the fish with some of the lemon sauce.

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