Lake Peigneur Salt Dome Snapper
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
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Serves: 4
  • 1 (3-pound) box of kosher salt
  • 1 (16-ounce) carton liquid egg whites, such as Crystal Farms All Whites
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle full-bodied beer, such as Abita Amber
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • Water, if needed
  • 1 (4-pound) whole red snapper, cleaned and scaled with head and tail on
  • 1 tablespoon Acadiana Table Cajun Seasoning Blend, see recipe here
  • 2 bunches fresh cilantro
  • 2 large sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 fresh lemon, sliced thin
  • 1 fresh lime, sliced thin
  1. Preheat your oven to 400ºF.
  2. To make the salt crust, empty the contents of one box of kosher salt into a large stainless steel mixing bowl. In another container, add the egg white liquid, beer, and Tabasco. Stir to combine the liquids and slowly pour into the bowl of salt. With your hands, move the salt around in the liquids until it all feels like wet sand. If it doesn’t all feel wet, add a little water. Keep at room temperature until ready to use.
  3. Move the whole snapper to a parchment-lined baking tray. Sprinkle the inside and outer skin lightly with Cajun seasoning. Stuff the cavity of the fish with fresh cilantro and rosemary. Layer the inner cavity with alternating lemon and lime slices.
  4. Pour a small mound of salt in the center of the parchment-lined baking tray. Spread it out to the size of your fish. Place the seasoned red snapper on top of the salt base. Pour the remaining salt over the middle of the fish and with your hands, mold the salt around the fish like a dome, leaving the head and tail exposed. It is critical to seal the entire fish (this traps steam) with no gaps at the bottom between the fish and the tray.
  5. Place the uncovered baking tray with the salt-encrusted snapper in the oven. If you have a probe thermometer, insert it through the salt and into the flesh of the fish. Bake for approximately 45 minutes. The salt will brown and harden, a sure sign that the fish is cooked inside. The internal temperature of the fish should reach 145ºF for perfect doneness. Remove the tray and let cool.
  6. For serving, bring the entire tray to the table. Crack open the salt dome with the back of a knife and carefully remove the chunks of salt exposing the fish inside. With a brush, gently dust off any flakes of salt and place a platter alongside the fish. Using a spatula, slice along the bone and gently remove the flaky white flesh of the snapper to the platter. Discard the entire bone and vertebrae from the cavity of the fish along with the herbs and citrus. With the spatula, gently lift up the bottom half of the cooked fish and place on the platter. Serve with a salad and simple vegetable.
Be sure to use a coarse salt for this, not table salt (it will not form a hard crust). Use a very large baking tray with lots of room for removing the salt at the end of cooking. While this seems like a messy clean up, it’s actually hassle-free by dumping the entire parchment-lined tray full of salt and fish bones straight into the garbage.
Recipe by Acadiana Table at