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A Williams-Sonoma recipe. While roasting, the paste turns into a hardened crust that functions like a clay pot, protecting food from direct heat while promoting uniform cooking and sealing in moisture.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Rinse snapper inside and out with cold water; pat dry with paper towels.
- Season fish inside and out with pepper.
- In a bowl, stir together egg whites, water and salt to make a paste.
- Spread half of salt paste over the bottom of an oval roasting pan.
- Place fish on top; pack remaining salt paste over entire surface of fish.
- Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of fish registers 135 degrees F., about 50-60 minutes.
- The salt paste will have formed a hard crust; gently crack it with a spoon, lift off crust and discard.
- Serve fish immediately.