We all think of salt as a simple seasoning. In times gone by, salt was an important item of trade. It was transported across the Mediterranean Sea by boat, along roads built specifically for its movement, and by camel across the Sahara. This simple ingredient has caused wars and has even been used to create revenue from taxes. I used cheap salt to make my salt baked fish.
My blogging friend Tammy asked me to write about pin boning fish. To make sure no-one is confused, for this recipe for salt baked fish you do not need to bone the fish. But when serving fillets it is extremely important that you get all the fine bones out. There is an expectation when eating fillets that there will be no bones. At home I am not fussed if I find one. But it can be a scary thing to have a bone stuck in your throat. This has happened to Dave when we were eating at home. I actually had to shove my tweezers down his throat to dislodge the bone. Not a pretty experience for anyone. So, onto pin boning. I have a special set of tweezers which have been designed for this task.
Once the fillets are off the fish I set aside a glass of water. Place the fillets flesh side up on a flat surface. Rub your finger gently up and down to feel for bones. Using your tweezers, grab hold of the exposed bone and pull gently away from the fish, in line with the way the bone is lying. Dip the tweezers into the water to get rid of the bone. Keep repeating this process until the fish is free of bones when you run your fingers over the flesh. You need to be patient and use a fair bit of pressure to make sure you feel the bones. When serving fish whole, i.e. with the head on, there is an expectation there will be bones. In some fancy restaurants the fish is brought to the table whole and then removed from the bone for you.
Click on the links for conversions and notes.
Salt Baked Fish
- 1 kg cheap fine salt
- 100 mls water
- 700 g whole fish, guts, gills and fins removed, scales left on
- Preheat the oven to 250° Celsius
- Place the salt and water into a bowl and mix to combine
- Put half of the salt onto a baking tray
- Place the fish onto the salt
- Cover the fish with the rest of the salt, making sure you make it thicker on the tail end
- Bake for 20 minutes
- Remove the salt and skin and serve
Inspiration published on Lavender and Lime February 27:
- 2015 – Vietnamese Picnic Rolls
- 2014 – Chocolate Buns
- 2013 – Weltevrede Wine Estate
- 2012 – Liam Tomlin Food At Leopard’s Leap