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Salt Crusted Red Snapper

salt crusted red snapper

Photo: Andie Cumber

I was inspired to try a salt crusted red snapper after last weeks blog post about the different types of salts.  The salt crust has the added flavor of herbs like thyme, and rosemary along with a few bay leaves.  And for an extra little somethin somethin, I threw in some minced garlic.  Once water is added, this herb flavored salt takes on the consistency of wet sand.   

Photo: Andie Cumber

Then the snapper is literally buried in the salt.  As the snapper cooks, the salt hardens and acts like a protective vessel that locks in moisture and ensures an even cook.  Admittedly, I’ve never tried this technique before.  So, I’m really curious to see if the fish itself will taste too salty.  Afterall, the recipe calls for three pounds of kosher salt.  

Once the fish is cooked you’ll want to crack the hardened salt.  I used the end of a butter knife.  Next, transfer the fish to another dish and remove the skin.  Given that most of the salt is absorbed into the skin you’ll want to remove and discard it because it’s way to salty to eat.  However, the meat underneath is not salty at all but full of the herb flavor.

salt crusted red snapper

One of the reasons I chose the red snapper to conduct my experiment with the salt crust is because this fish doesn’t taste fishy.  In fact, it’s mild and has a subtle nutty taste along with a firm texture.  

Moreover, red snapper also has some amazing healthy benefits too!  

High in potassium = increase in the bodies metabolism, decrease risk for stroke, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and kidney stones

Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids = a decrease in your risk for heart disease and high cholesterol 

Great source of  calcium = Good bone health and prevent tooth cavities

Lots of Vitamin A = good eye health

Controls the production of insulin = reduction of inflammation and development of diabetes

In short, this salt crusted red snapper was easy to whip up.  It’s tasty and definitely worth doing again.  Now in all fairness I have to admit that I need more practice on removing the bones.  But, just in case you are wondering how it should be done click here

Lastly as a side, I paired the salt crusted red snapper with sauteed spinach with toasted pine nuts.  Check out my blog post on other popular salts if you need additional ideas for flavoring your food. 


Salt Crusted Red Snapper

  • Author: Andie Cumber
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Seafood
  • Diet: Low Fat



3 pounds kosher salt
6 large rosemary sprigs
10 thyme sprigs
4 bay leaves
2 ½ pound dorado or red snapper
1 Tbsp minced garlic
½ cup of water
2 tbsp virgin olive oil
Flaky sea salt for serving (optional)
1 lemon cut in slices (for garnish)
Parsley (for garnish)


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F/204°C. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. In a large bowl, mix the kosher salt with 1/2 cup of water until it resembles moist sand. Strip the leaves from half of the rosemary and thyme sprigs and mix into the bowl along with 2 of the bay leaves and the garlic minced.
  • Spread half of the salt mixture in the center of the baking sheet and place the remaining rosemary and thyme sprigs and bay leaves on top. Lay the fish on the mound, then cover with the remaining salt mixture, lightly packing it to completely cover the fish.
  • Bake the fish for 35 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into it registers 137°F/58°C. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes. 
  • Crack the top salt crust and discard it. Remove and discard the skin from the top of the fish and, using a fish spatula, carefully transfer the top fillet to a platter. Flip the fish over and repeat the process. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Serve. 


a 2 pound fish yields approximately 1 pound of skin-on-filet (50%) or just 10 ounces of skin-off fillet.  A serving size is about 3.5 ounces so a 2.5 ounce fish will give you about 4 services.


  • Serving Size: 3.5 ounces
  • Calories: 145
  • Sugar: 0
  • Sodium: 10 mg with no skin
  • Fat: 5.014g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.003g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0.005g
  • Carbohydrates: .068g
  • Fiber: .036g
  • Protein: 73g
  • Cholesterol: 133mg

Keywords: fish, red snapper, seafood, salt crusted, kosher salt