Natural chemistry has been an integral part of cuisine history, but it also has its place in cuisine present and future.
Cooking meat or fish in coarse salt or lemon juice is still done today. How do you think ceviche is made? Here I did a little mix of both methods with some sardine filets;
First, I laid a bed of coarse salt (I used sel de Guerande) on a plate.
Then, I laid my sardine filets skin side down..
and covered them with some more coarse salt.
I left them like this for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Then, I rinsed them well.. very well, in cold water. You don't want that salt to stay on there.
Pat them dry. By now the flesh has firmed up.
Then, I laid them in another dish and squeezed the juice from 1 lime over the filets and added some olive oil until just covered. I added a bit of piment d'espelette and swirled it all around to mis it well.
I placed this in the fridge for another hour.
Then I served alongside some roasted asparagus and a salad of mango, shrimp, lime, and cilantro.
This hot/cold deal was very refreshing, and cooking sardines this was is a great way to go if it's raining and you can't light up the bbq or plancha... and you don't want the fish smell in the house!