Inside Out (Australia)

WHOLE FISH BAKED IN A SALT CRUST

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SERVES 8 PREPARATIO­N TIME 25 minutes COOKING TIME 50 minutes (plus 5 minutes resting time)

2.5kg whole yellowtail kingfish or snapper, scaled, gutted and cleaned 1 tsp fennel seeds 1 tsp black peppercorn­s 1 lemon, thinly sliced 1 lime, thinly sliced 2 sprigs rosemary 2 sprigs lemon thyme 4 egg whites 100ml water 3kg sea salt Extra virgin olive oil, to serve Lemon wedges, to serve

1. Preheat oven to 220°C. Line a large heavy-based baking pan with baking paper. Wash the fish under cold water inside the cavity and out. Pat fish dry with paper towel.

2. Heat a small dry frying pan over medium heat. Toast the fennel seeds and peppercorn­s for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Transfer to a mortar and crush with a pestle. Sprinkle the inside of the fish cavity with the seed mix then line with lemon, lime and herbs.

3. Use an electric mixer to whisk the egg whites to soft peaks. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the water and salt and mix until well combined. Place around one-eighth of the salt mixture along the centre of prepared baking pan. Top with the fish and cover completely with

remaining salt mixture, pressing down to compact and seal. Bake for 45 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from oven and set aside to rest for 5-10 minutes. Crack the salt crust open with the back of a knife and peel away. Drizzle fish with oil and serve with lemon.

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