Salt-baked Fish

Salt Baked Fish

Ingredients

For the dish, the best fish to use changes depending on the time of year. Lagos is one favourite. Alternatively, you might use fangri or dentex, (but only if you can find them over 3 Kg. in weight). Sea bass is also suitable.

Ingredients for the marinade
150 gr. of butter
Half kilo jumbo prawns
250 gr. mushrooms
Half kilo boiled baby octopus
250 gr. tomatoes
100 gr. green pepper
3 onions
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of salt
1 measure of soy sauce
1 glass of water
Vine leaves
10 kg of salt in which to cover the fish

Preparation

In the order that the ingredients appear in the list, place them in a frying pan and fry lightly. Then place them in a bowl to cool down. Using a very clean, metal baking-tray smear butter over its surface. Over the butter, spread out lightly-boiled, fresh vine-leaves. The fish that you are about to place on top of the vine-leaves should be very fresh (preferably caught within the last hour). After being caught, the fish should haye been cleaned and left for one hour prior to this stage of preparation. Using a wooden spoon, pack the pre-prepared marinade into the belly of the fish. Then, with a knife, lift the surrounding vine-leaves to completely cover the fish. Now encase the fish with around ten kilos of salt and leave to stand for half an hour Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees and place the salt-covered fish in it for 50 minutes. After removing from the oven, carefully place pieces of lemon peel around the fish. For effect, you might want to pour a measure of spirit alcohol over the fish so that you can bring it to the table in flames. To serve, break the hard-baked salt with a hammer and chisel.

Note: Throughout cooking and preparation, the fish never comes into contact with the salt so, once the seal is opened, add salt to tasta The beauty of cooking the fish in salt is that it cooks in the heat stored in the salt rather than in the direct heat of the oven.