Salt-crusted Cod with Rosemary, Lime and Garlic

Alan Coxon fills cod loin with nutty rosemary, lime and garlic stuffing, and wraps them in a salty crust to make a delicious baked fish dish
By Alan Coxon
Salt-crusted Cod with Rosemary, Lime and Garlic
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes plus 15-20 mins resting
  • Effort: medium


For the stuffing

  • 65 g butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 50 g breadcrumbs
  • 50 g shelled walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp English mustard
  • 2 tbsp chopped rosemary
  • 2 limes, finely grated zest and juice
  • black pepper
  • 8 x 2.5 cm sprigs rosemary
  • 960 g cod loin

For the crust

  • 675 g coarse sea salt
  • 1 kg strong bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 3 egg whites, lightly whisked
  • 600 ml water
  • 1 egg yolk


1. For the stuffing, melt half the butter in a frying pan and add the onion and garlic; gently cook until softened, but not coloured.

2. Mix together the breadcrumbs, nuts, mustard, chopped rosemary, lime zest and half the lime juice; season to taste. Tip in the onion and mix well.

3. With a sharp knife, make an incision down the centre of the cod loin to make a pocket. Fill the pocket with the stuffing. Drizzle over the remaining lime juice and scatter the rosemary sprigs over the top. Leave on one side.

4. To make the crust, combine the salt and flour in a large bowl and stir well. Add the egg whites and enough of the water to make a soft dough. Cover the dough and leave to rest for 15-20 minutes.

5. Preheat the oven to 160C/gas 4.

6. Knead thoroughly to make a smooth ball. Roll out on a lightly flour-dusted surface to around 5mm thick.

7. Fold the pastry around the cod loin to completely seal. Place on a greased baking tray and brush the crust with egg wash. Cook in the oven for 15 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown.

8. To serve, break open the salt crust, carefully remove the cod and serve with a fresh tomato and herb salad.

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