Simple Things: Salt-Crusted Fish

Some of the nicest things in life are simple, like a gentle, summertime breeze. Like this recipe for fish baked in a salt crust. The common, everyday salt. Nothing fancy. No Sous-Vide machines required.


  • Salt
  • Water
  • Egg whites – one egg is usually enough for a medium-sized fish
  • Fish – mackerel, sea bass, sea bream, etc.
  • Herbs – go to town! Sage, tarragon, thyme, rosemary, etc.
  • Lemon wedges for garnish

Mix water, egg whites and a lot of salt, enough to cover your fish. Feel free to add the lemon or grapefruit zest but not necessary. Stuff herbs into the cleaned and gutted fish. On a lined baking tray, cover the fish thoroughly in the salt mixture. Bake at 180-200 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on your oven and size of the fish. You can’t go wrong, really. It’s that simple.

Enjoy with a side of macerated tomato salad and pour the juice from the salad onto the fish. I paired this fish with baked potatoes (in the same oven), a summer salad (avocado, roasted asparagus and halved cherry tomatoes) with a shot of chilled gazpacho.

This week, I have been thinking about how powerful our body is in guiding us and how we aren’t usually very good at listening to ourselves. The new time we find during this pandemic social distancing has been good for that.

Fast Company article explains what neuroscience says about that here. Combine EQ and IQ to make better choices, one Stanford workshop / lab on “Design Your Life” says. Basal ganglia does not govern words. Inability to articulate does not mean a lack of sophistication.

What Californians call basal ganglia, folks back home call it “energies.” My yoga instructor calls it vibrations. And I happen to believe in them. Perhaps because I have been prone to anxiety this year (who isn’t, 2020?), I pick up on a certain anxious energy from certain activities, places or characters. This year, I just can’t. I am a little checked out. Can’t be a good soldier about it, let me be AWOL.

At other times though, I feel this summertime breeze energy that I dig. It feels mellow and easy and simple and nourishing. Like this salt-baked fish recipe. Have I sold this to you yet?

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