Savour the flavours of the sea with Salt-Baked Fish

Salt-baked fish is a culinary masterpiece with its perfectly seasoned and succulent flesh, encased in a crisp, salty crust.

Salt-baked fish is an easy-to-make dish that involves baking a whole sea bass in a crust of salt and water. The fish is first rubbed with olive oil and lemon slices, then coated in the salt mixture and baked in the oven for 30-40 minutes. The result is a juicy, moist flesh with a beautiful presentation. 

To add even more flavour, the dish is served with bone marrow chili butter and garnished with fresh spring onion and micro herbs. Recipe compliments of Homegrown Tastes South Africa.


For the fish
  • 1 whole sea bass, guts removed
  • 1 lemon sliced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2kg table salt
  • 2 cups water

For the bone marrow chilli butter

  • 80g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 bulb garlic, roasted
  • 2 beef bone marrow, roasted, marrow removed
  • 2 teaspoons, fish spice
  • 1 tablespoon garlic and chilli paste


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. To prepare the fish, line a baking sheet with baking paper.
  3. In a bowl, mix together the salt and water until it forms a wet sand-like texture. Place the lemon slices inside the fish. Rub the skin of the fish with the olive oil. Take 1/3 of the salt mixture and create a base for the fish on the prepared baking sheet, place the fish on top of this. Use the rest of the salt mixture to completely cover the fish.
  4. Place into the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes.
  5. When the fish has baked, remove the fish from the crust, and with a pastry brush, remove any excess salt.
  6. To make the butter, roast the garlic and beef bone marrow in the oven, remove the garlic from the skin and remove the marrow from the bone, in a bowl, to this add the rest of the ingredients and blend together. Add this butter to a pan allow to heat up and pour over the fish after you’ve removed it from it’s casing.
  7. Garnish with fresh spring onion and micro herbs.

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