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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Papio Baked in Salt

Papio (Jackfish) caught in Hawaiian waters

Menu Notes:
  • Papio is the Hawaiian name for a juvenile Ulua, or Big-eyed Jackfish, that weighs less than 10 lb. This one was about 6 to 8 lbs.
  • I followed a recipe published by, multiplying the ingredient amounts by 2 and increasing the baking time to 45 minutes or so. I researched the optimum internal temperature of a baked whole fish and consensus seemed to be around 60°C to 63°C (or 140°F to 145°F), so I used a digital thermometer and removed the papio from the oven when that temperature was reached.
  • The result was so good, I felt no need to change anything about the recipe, and I will not repeat it here, just show the pictures.
The Pictures:

Scaling the fish is easiest inside a double bag—plastic inside of paper

Excellent scaling tool, bought at Walmart for a few dollars

Coriander and fennel seeds and black peppercorns toasted in a skillet

Leek and lemon slices

Hawaiian sea salt mixed with egg white

The papio encased in salt, with the oven up to temperature

The salt crust is too tough for a thermometer to pierce it, but I went in through the  belly cavity

It's difficult to crack the crust after baking for 45 minutes

We had to use a pair of tongs like a chisel to break it up

Then it lifted off easily, and we brushed away any excess crumbled crystals before serving

Sorry I didn't have time to photograph as we ate, but it was a memorable meal.

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