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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.

Reviews Add a comment

  • TreTre
    18 NOV, 2007
    I made this and the fish was wonderful. I had a difficult time serving the fish. Is it possible to expand the video to see how to remove the fish from the bone and salt crust without destroying it? My individual servings were not very attractive.
  • cbush
    12 NOV, 2007
    Hi what happens to the juniper berry/star anise mixture after the egg whites have been added? Does it go into the cavity of the snapper? cheers Cynthai