Tub Gurnard Baked in Sea Salt

Fresh Fish
Total Time
45 mins
4 People

A simple recipe direct from the wonderful Laurence Hartwell, author of Newlyn’s well-known blog ‘Through the Gaps’.

Gurnard is a delicious and hugely underrated fish. Because of its boney structure it’s much easier to roast whole which means the fillets can then be easily teased from the frame. Baking it in salt helps to keep it beautifully moist too.

A big thanks to Larry for the recipe and for starring in our film.

The film was produced and developed by Nina Constable Media and Mindfully Wired Communications. 


  • x 1 large tub gurnard, gutted and cleaned
  • x 4 egg whites
  • x 1 large onion
  • x 1 fennel bulb roughly chopped
  • 2oz butter
  • x 2 garlic gloves
  • Juice of two lemons
  • 3lb coarse sea salt
  • Enamel or ceramic ovenproof dish


  1. Gut and wash out the cavity.
  2. Mix together the butter, fennel, garlic, salt and pepper. Stuff all this into the belly of the fish and sew up the opening.
  3. Whisk the four egg whites to a meringue and fold in the salt.
  4. Line the bottom of the baking tray/dish with greaseproof or baking parchment. Put a layer of the salt slightly larger than the fish up to a depth of 1” deep and pop the fish on top belly down. Cover completely so that the fish is sealed inside a mound of salt.
  5. Bake in a very hot preheated oven, 220°C/425°F (gas mark 7), for about 35 minutes.
  6. Prepare a simple garlic mayonnaise using the remaining four egg yolks.
  7. Knock the bottom of the roasting dish if you need to, to loosen the salt block. Then carefully knock the salt from around the fish. Or, serve from the baking dish at the table with butter and lemon wedges.
  8. Serve with new or sauté spuds and veg of your choosing - preferably any with some strong flavours to go with the gurnard.

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