Salt Baked Fish with Lemon Thyme and Dill
4 pounds kosher salt
4 large egg whites, whisked together for 20 seconds
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
3 lemon slices
3 thyme sprigs
3 dill sprigs
2 bay leaves
One 2 to 2 ½ -pound whole white Danube fish with scales, cleaned and gutted
Extra-virgin olive oil
Flake sea salt, for serving
Lemon wedges for serving
Preheat the oven to 400°.
Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. In a large bowl, mix the kosher salt, dill, thyme leaves and lemon zest adding just enough egg whites until the mixture resembles moist sand.
Spread half of the salt mixture in the center of the baking sheet, 1/4 -inch thick and a little larger than the fish. Stuff the inside of the fish with the lemon slices, thyme sprigs, dill sprigs and bay leaves. Rub the outside of the fish with olive oil. Using your hands, cover the fish with the remaining salt mixture, lightly packing it to completely cover the fish.
Bake the fish until the instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the fish and see that it registers 135F, about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest 5 minutes.
Bring the fish to the table and crack the top salt crust and discard. Brush away any salt. Remove the skin from the top of the fish. Place the top fillet on a platter. Turn the fish over and repeat removing the skin. Discard the skin and back bone. Drizzle the fish with a few tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with flake salt. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.