Salt-crusted baked trout

City Club sous chef Callum Nugent’s salt-crusted baked trout is perfect for your Christmas feast and a great way to impress your guests on another special occasion.

This salt-crusted baked trout is fantastic as a warm starter for Christmas lunch or any other special occasion.

City Club MDR Sous Chef Callum Nugent says the salt crust insulates the fish and allows it to cook more evenly.

“You will need to ask the fishmonger to clean the fish for you as this is a whole baked fish recipe and you will put lemon, dill and garlic inside of the fish,” Callum says.

Serves: 6

Cooks in: 45 minutes

Difficulty: medium

  • 2.5-3kg whole trout
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
  • 65g of dill
  • 5kg fine table salt
  • 40mls of water
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  1. Cut the lemon into quarters and place inside the belly of the fish, along with the dill (stalks and all) and the garlic gloves crushed with the skin still on.
  2. Place 1.5 kg of salt on the bottom of a tray big enough to place your fish flat on the salt.
  3. Combine remaining salt and water in a bowl and mix to form a slurry. This will help form the crust when the fish is baking.
  4. Spread the slurry all over the fish.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 200 degrees in a fan-forced oven.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  7. When cool enough to touch, break off the salt crust, along with all of the skin from the top side. Don’t be alarmed if the skin does not come off with the crust, it is easily removed with your fingers once the crust is removed.
  8. Break the flesh into medium sized chunks and place on a platter, then flip the fish over and repeat the process for the other side (remove crust and skin and break flesh into chunks).
  9. Complete the dish with a squeeze of lemon juice, drizzle of olive oil and freshly cracked black pepper over the fish chunks.

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