Roasting a whole fish in a salt crust makes a very impressive presentation–cracking the crust is an event. And the technique results in very moist fish that’s perfectly seasoned (not at all salty). If you have a large ovenproof platter, you can bake it on that and deliver it straight to the table.

One 4-pound striped bass, gutted and scaled, fins cut off with scissors
4 cups kosher salt
8 large egg whites
About 1/2 bunch fl at-leaf parsley
Fronds from 1 fennel bulb (reserve the bulb for another use)
2 thin lemon slices
2 thin orange slices
Extra virgin olive oil

1. Remove the fish from the refrigerator and let stand for 15 to 30 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
3. Stir together the salt and egg whites in a medium bowl.
4. On a large ovenproof platter or a baking sheet, make a layer of the salt crust mixture just over 1/2-inch thick and slightly larger than the fish, patting the mixture down into an even layer.
5. Stuff the back end of the cavity of the fish with the parsley and fennel, using twice as much parsley as fennel. Lay the citrus slices next to them, inside the cavity, following the shape of the belly. Center the fish on the salt crust. Working from the bottom to the top of the fish, pat the remaining crust mixture over it in a thin coating, covering it completely. (You may have more of the salt mixture than you need.) Using a paper towel, pat the crust to remove any excess moisture.
6. Roast for about 40 minutes, turning the pan around once after 20 minutes, until the thickest part of the fish registers about 125 degrees (insert the thermometer through the crust). Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes.
7. To serve the fish, have on hand a serving platter and a tray to hold the crust and bones. Crack the crust with a wooden spoon or mallet, breaking it into large pieces, and carefully remove it. Push back the skin and, using a palette knife or narrow spatula, lift the top fillet, in large pieces, from the frame of bones that runs down the center of the fish and place on the serving platter. Then, starting at the tail end, lift the frame out in one piece. Discard the fennel and parsley, and reserve the citrus slices to use as a garnish. Check the bottom fillet for any visible bones and remove them, then lift out the fillet in large pieces and transfer to the platter.
8. Garnish with the citrus slices and drizzle with olive oil.
Thomas Keller is the chef of the French Laundry, Per Se, Bouchon, and Ad Hoc. This recipe comes from his cookbook, Ad Hoc At Home._