Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC, 375ºF, gas mark 5
Pick your fish which should be gutted, cleaned, and scaled . Fill the stomach cavity with, the fennel or rosemary and add a bit of lemon if you wish(wedges) . Take an oven proof dish which is just large enough to fit the fish and sprinkle an even layer of salt on the base. Lay the fish carefully on top and cover with a thick layer of salt. Sprinkle a little water over the top and bake for 25 – 30 minutes dependent on the size of the fish.
Take the dish from the oven to the table. Break open the salt crust (watch out for the steam) to reveal the fragrant, perfectly cooked sea bass. Have a spare dish on hand for the salt crust, skin and bones of the fish, you will find that is not over salty despite the cooking method.
This is a simple dish which features the freshness and quality of the fish. Therefore you should serve it with simple accompaniments such as boiled and buttered new potatoes, crusty bread and fresh salad plus maybe a dipping sauce such as aioli, romesco, pesto, salsa verde or a mild chilli sauce.