Salt-Baking a Whole Fish

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

As with many topics of culinary history, the origin of cooking foods encased in salt is up for debate. Several cultures lay claim to the invention — from the Iberian Spaniards and Portuguese, to the Mediterranean Italians and Greeks, and further east to the ancient Persians and Chinese.

Whatever the truth, salt-baking, or salt-roasting, has stood the test of time. Similar to tagines and clay pots, this centuries-old method traps steam heat to infuse moisture, amplify flavor and retain nutrients. So remarkably tender and succulent are the foods cooked inside these paradoxical salt igloos, that this otherwise humble technique has even been likened to the light-years-more-high-tech magic of sous vide.

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Smoked Salmon Kedgeree with Spinach, Green Peas and Leek

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

Paella, risotto, biryani, bibimbap, fried rice, arroz con pollo. The world over, fluffy grains of rice shine in familiar classics — from Spain to Japan and nearly every culture between.

A product of the British occupation of India, kedgeree takes its origin from a simple rice and lentil dish called khichari. The Anglo-Indian colonials, apparently fond of rice dishes with lots of garnishes, often served small plates of cold cooked fish, onion, and hard-boiled eggs alongside more mildly spiced versions of khichari in their homes. Eventually everything merged into one bowl, the smoked fish and/or egg replacing lentils, and kedgeree was born.

Kedgeree with salmon

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