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F&W Pairing - Salt Crusted Sea Bream

Updated: Apr 6, 2018

I believe most of us are stuffed after a long Chinese New Year holiday.

This dish is light and fresh, a perfect healthy supper in 40 minutes.

Whole fish stuffed with thyme & lemon, baked in salt crust until it is perfectly moist.

This cooking method keeps the flesh juicy and seasoned, delicious!

A glass of wine is always good. In principle white wine pairs well with most fish,

but certain whites go better with certain types of fish, preparation and sauce.

Our choice of fish for this dish is sea bream, a lean, flaky and mild flavored white fish. (Sea Bass is an alternative for this recipe)

Preparing the fish with thyme and lemon; herbaceous notes/ refreshing whites are to look for.

A glass of Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc would be my choice:


1 Whole Sea Bream (with scales, gutted)

1 kg Kosher Salt

1 Egg White

1 Lemon (sliced)

Few Fresh Thyme Sprigs


1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.

2. Combine the kosher salt and egg white in a large bowl, mix well until it reaches the consistency of damp sand. Spread half the salt mixture in the centre of the baking sheet to form a bed for the fish.

3. Pat the fish dry inside and out with kitchen paper. Lightly season the cavity of the fish, tuck half the lemon slices and thyme sprigs inside the cavity.

4. Lay the fish on top of the salt bed, place the remaining lemon slices and thyme sprigs on top. Cover the fish completely with the rest of the salt mixture and pat it down firmly.

5. Bake the fish for 20-30 minutes depending on the size of the fish, or until the internal temperature reaches 57-60°C.

6. Once cooked, let it rest for 10 minutes. With the back of a spoon, crack and remove the top salt crust. Carefully peel off the skin, then fillet the fish gently and transfer to a plate. Drizzle with a little olive oil and lemon juice. Serve it with a refreshing fennel & cucumber salad, or a satisfying warm potato salad.

*The trick for this dish is to leave the scales on the fish, which makes the skin very easy to peel off after baking; same principle applies on the chilled fish dish in Teochew (Chiu Chow) cuisine.

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