A salt dome is a mixture of kosher salt, water, and egg whites that is used to cover a food that is subsequently baked. Upon cooking, the salt mixture hardens, forming a delicious variant of concrete which entombs whatever meat is trapped within it, allowing it to cook evenly without losing moisture.
I’ve only used the salt dome technique for Red Snapper and Mediterranean Sea Bass. That being said, there is no reason a salt dome couldn’t be used for any other type of fish. My wife absolutely hates rainbow trout. I’ve been meaning to cook one in a salt dome to see if I could sway her to my side. On a side note, I think it’s more fun to use a whole fish, not just a filet. It’s a proven fact that children are far more likely to eat fish if they can see its head and poke its eyeballs.
In conclusion, a salt dome will make any fish taste better. Not just better, but it will taste like it came from a restaurant; not just any restaurant, a good restaurant.
Set the oven for 450°F. Combine the salt, egg whites, with 1/4 cup of water in a mixing bowl. It will have the consistency of wet sand.
Line a cooking sheet with parchment paper. Use about 1/3 of your egg/salt mixture to make a 1/2 inch layer as a base to put the fish on. Make this base layer about the same shape as the fish you are using. Place your clean and gutted fish on the base. Fill the inside cavity of the fish with the parsley and sliced lemons.
Coat the fish with the remaining egg/salt mixture. it's okay if the tail sticks out.
Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the fish has an internal temperature of 130°F. Let it rest out of the oven for 10 minutes before serving.
Get a large group of loved ones (or people you're trying to impress) and gather them at the table. Bring forth the cooked salt dome and use a spoon to crack it open in front of everyone, revealing the treasure within. Portion the fish out and enjoy.
Fish are an incredible food for the elderly:
Although Red Snapper is my favorite fish for this recipe, any whole fish could be used.
Also, even if you miss the mark and your final internal temperature is a lot higher than 130°F, it will still be moist and delicious due to the forgiving nature of the salt dome. I wonder which other meats could be cooked in a salt dome….