This past Saturday my husband, coworker, and I were up in Ketchikan, Alaska fishing for coho salmon. We caught some!
We brought it home and the first thing I thought of was to use Alton Brown's Salt Dome fish recipe (I think he originally used a striped bass).
3 - 3 lb. boxes kosher salt
6 egg whites
1 cup (or more) water
One whole fish, preferably with tail and head on, gills removed (but mine was just fine)
Herbs of your choice
Lemon, cut into thin slices
Easy peasy, right? Pour half of the salt into a very large bowl.
Separate the whites from the yolks.
Pour the egg whites into the bowl.
Now, pour the water into the bowl.
Finally, finish with the second half of the salt.
Mix thoroughly. You want the mixture to be mortar-like. Very thick and wet (but not too wet!).
Slice your lemon fairly thinly.
Take a second to admire that beautiful fish.
Stuff it with some herbs and the lemon slices. I used dill and some thyme grown in my parents' garden.
Lay down a bed of salt on your pan. Then put the fish on the salt.
Pack the salt around the fish very well.
Bake in a 450 degree oven until the fish is done. We baked this one for about an hour (it was approximately 10 pounds of fish) and, arguably, it could have been in there for less time. You want the fish temperature to read 130 degrees. Ours was higher which resulted in having some dry spots but it was still a superior flavor to anything you'd get from the market.
Here is where I will defer to Alton Brown and his wisdom:
Open the fish at the table by hitting the dome several times with a small hammer and lifting off the slabs of salt. Brush away any stray salt. Gently pull out dorsal (back) fin. Using a fish knife or serrated pie server, make a single incision all the way down the back of the fish and around the gill plate. Then lift the skin off working from the head to the tail. Remove meat from top side of fish, going down one side of the spine then the other. Grasp the tail and remove the skeleton, (it should come up intact). The meat revealed below will slide right off the skin.
We ended up with quite a plateful of tasty fish! I served rolls and vegetables with this but all I ended up eating was salmon!!