How to salt crust grill
Yields 2 servings
For many American eaters, their introduction to salt-crust grilling may have come from watching reruns of the original Iron Chef television program. This show, filmed in Japan, featured chefs who, quite often, would pack fish and other ingredients into salt and slowly oven roast it.
It's a visually impressive way to cook. Like food cooked en papillote (in a pouch), there's a certain drama to bringing the food out of the oven and cracking the salt crust open to reveal the roasted goodness inside. It's also a delicious way to cook, too, as the food gets lightly seasoned from the salt (far less than you might expect) during the cooking process, while, somehow, the technique seems to lock in the food's natural flavor and juices.
The best part, though, is that salt crust grilling is easy. You don't need much more than salt and an egg or two and you can do your own salt crust grill.
- 1 whole tilapia, scales and insides removed
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 3 tablespoons of butter in tablespoon-sized chunks
- Salt and pepper
- 2 pounds kosher salt
- 3 eggs
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Pat the fish dry with a paper towel, then fill the cavity of the fish with lemon slices, butter and a generous amount of salt and pepper.
- Next, mix the kosher salt and eggs until well incorporated.
- Take half of the kosher salt mixture and make a layer on the baking sheet longer and wider than the fish.
- Rest the fish on the layer of salt and cover with the second half. Pack down the salt and make sure the fish is covered as much as possible, then roast the fish for 15 minutes.
- Crack the salt shell with a knife and serve, making sure to brush off any of the kosher salt from the salt crust grill.