Salt-crusted sea bass with a salad of pourpier

James Martin puts unusual ingredients to use in his salt-baked fish dish with pork and purslane salad
By James Martin
Salt-crusted sea bass with a salad of pourpier
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the sea bass

  • 1.2 kg sea salt
  • small bunch dill, leaves chopped and stalks reserved
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 x 750 g sea bass, filleted, scaled, head & tail removed
  • handfuls seaweed

For the salad

  • tbsp olive oil
  • 150 g cooked pork belly, cut into lardons
  • pinches sea salt
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 5 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 4 tbsp corn oil
  • 200 g pourpier (purslane)
  • 100 g croutons


1. For the sea bass: preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6.

2. Mix the sea salt, dill leaves and egg whites in a large bowl. Stuff the cavity of the sea bass with the dill stalks.

3. Cover the base of a deep roasting tin with a layer of the salt mixture. Scatter over the seaweed. Lay the sea bass on top and cover with the remaining salt. Pat well to make sure the whole fish is covered.

4. Cook in the oven for 25 minutes. Meanwhile prepare the salad.

5. For the salad: heat the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the lardons of pork belly until crisp. Drain on kitchen paper.

6. To make the dressing, whisk together the salt and mustard followed by the vinegar and corn oil. Season with black pepper.

7. Dress the pourpier salad leaves then toss together with the croutons and pork belly.

8. Remove the sea bass from the oven and crack the salt crust at the table to reveal the cooked fish. Serve with the prepared salad.

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