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Sea Salt-Crusted Pink Snapper with Ice Wine Nage


This recipe for sea salt-crusted pink snapper with ice wine nage is from chef Laurent Tourondel's cookbook, "Bistro Laurent Tourondel: New American Bistro Cooking."

  • Servings: 6

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, November Fall 2007


  • 1/4 cup juniper berries
  • 1 star anise
  • 10 cups coarse sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
  • 1/4 cup egg whites (from about 6 large eggs), lightly beaten
  • 1 whole pink snapper (3 pounds) or black sea bass, cleaned
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 7 to 10 cipollini onions, sliced, or 1 large Spanish onion, sliced
  • 2 Belgian endives, cut lengthwise into thin strips
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 1/2 cups ice wine or other sweet white dessert wine, such as Sauternes
  • Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
  • Freshly squeezed juice of 1 orange
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  1. Using the bottom of a heavy pan, crush juniper berries and star anise. Add to a large bowl along with salt, fennel seeds, lemon, and orange zest; mix well. Add egg whites and stir until well combined.

  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  3. Coat fish with oil on oil sides. Spread 3 cups of salt mixture on a rimmed baking sheet large enough to hold the fish. Place fish on top of salt; cover fish completely with remaining salt. Bake until a the tip of a knife inserted in the thickest part of the fish feels warm to the touch when you remove it, 30 to 45 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add endive and carrots and cook 2 minutes more. Add wine, lemon juice, orange juice, and saffron. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Cook until liquid has reduced by one-third, about 5 minutes.

  5. Using a slotted spoon, transfer vegetables to a bowl; set aside. Reduce heat to medium-low and whisk remaining 10 tablespoons butter, 1 or 2 tablespoons at a time, into the nage, just until melted. Season with salt and pepper. Add vegetables back into the nage until just heated through.

  6. Using a knife and spoon, break the salt crust from the fish and remove it in sections. Lift fish away from bones and serve with nage and garnish with parsley.

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