I watched this video a few weeks ago and I've been thinking about it ever since. I like the way these two guys stay open minded to what each place is trying to do. The first low-end place doesn't even have seating, and the last place serves pretentiously a salt-packed whole fish. The whole time I was thinking, the 80's called and said they want their gimmicky food preparation back.
And I expected the Buzzfeed hotshots to agree with me. Instead they said it was transformational. The fish was transformed. They were transformed.
The thing is, they really don't know what they're talking about, and don't pretend to. The whole thing is an experiment after all. They're doing this to learn.
Internet, help a brother out. What does a salt crust do?
Lemme guess lemme guess lemme guess.
It creates a very tight oven. An oven within an oven. It draws out moisture to the surface then traps it and steams the fish. It imparts a faint taste of salt. It creates a uniform buffer. It's like a pan that touches all parts of the fish and heats evenly all at once. It's a great gimmick. It gives the impression that you know what you're doing.
Bon Appétite, Salt Crusts, Chris Hall. They should know a thing or two. Chris tried it and wrote about his experience.
Cooking a whole fish in a salt crust is a fine idea—if you don't own any cooking vessels and live on the edge of a salt marsh. Otherwise, it's sort of a gimmick. There are better ways to cook a whole fish. Don't you agree?
The salt crust did nothing for the taste or texture of this fish that plain roasting in the oven (with or without a savory topping) wouldn't have done, possibly better, with less trouble. And what's this business about "spectacular presentation?" The fish is cooked on foil on a rimmed baking sheet, for heaven's sake, hardly the thing you'd bring to the table. If you want truly superior flavor and spectacular presentation, try cooking fish with a few vegetables in parchment paper.
The restaurant scene shows how it's served. No baking tray, no tinfoil.
The salt works to seal in moisture and gently steam the food in its own juices, seasoning it slightly in the meantime. The finished product is invariably moist, succulent and bursting with flavor.
“Salt-baked fish is a bit of a Spanish technique, and really keeps the flesh juicy while it cooks”
Salt-baking fish seals in moisture and seasons at the same time; be sure to discard the skin.
Genius Kitchen, comment to instructions.
Hubby love fish done this way in Italy. I always wanted to try doing it at home. This made the fish so moist. Well sure be making this again. Was so cheap to with the fish from a friend and the salad and herbs from my garden. So easy too.
The fish becomes encased in the salt crust, which results is a very tender, moist fish.
Its that all you guys got? You all say the same thing. And no one bothered with a side-by-side comparison. I agree with Bon Appétite, parchment, tin foil, or a clay cloche, a pan with a tight fitting lid will do the same thing. And you don't have to waste a pound of salt and make a huge mess. It's a gimmick. I tried this once and it was all the eh.