Rofos grouper

I am not really sure of the name of the fish as I have found it in a dictionary as dusky grouper.InGreek there is only one name for it: Rofos and then looking it out in the internet I saw that there are a few types of groupers: Red Grouper, Dusky grouper, Golden grouper etc., so can I guess from its colour this is a red grouper? If you know the correct name please let me know.

collage Rofos sto alati

However, for this recipe, you can use any kind of grouper or other big fish you like such as a gilt head, a red snapper, a sea bass, a trout or a salmon. Don’t be afraid to use the salt as the fish will not get salty.If you like you don’t have to scale the fish as the scales gets discarded together with the skin.

I saw this recipe more than a year ago, before I began blogging at Elias Mamalakis’ T.V. show and I could not remember exactly what ingredients he used but I found the recipe on his site.As I often say, I cannot stick to recipes and whilst he made it with sea bass and filled the fish with mushrooms, garlic, parsley and peppercorns, I chose to add lemon slices as well and added my favourite spice cardamom. Since I found this spice I have been addicted to it and could not resist adding it as well. Mamalakis used only salt to cover the fish but as I had only one packet of salt and discovered half way that it was not enough to cover the fish, I added two egg whites and some flour and remaining salt and made a salt batter to cover it.Instead of pouring butter on the vegetables as he did, I made a ladolemono sauce with oregano.

steamed vegetables

Rofos sto Alati (Whole Grouper in Salt) 

Preparation time:15 minutes

Cooking time:1 hour

Servings : 5


  • 1 ½ kilos of red grouper or any other whole fish such as red grouper or sea bas

For stuffing:

  • 1 mushroom, chopped
  • 1 cup of parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 lemon chopped in slices
  • A few cardamom pods
  • 1 teaspoon of mixed black, green and pink peppercorns

For covering:

  • 1 kilo of coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 egg whites

For the salad:

  • 5 medium potatoes
  • 5 carrots
  • 5 courgettes
  • 8 broccoli florets, all steamed


  1. Scale, gut and wash the fish. (Scaling is not necessary as the scales will stick on the crust and the skin and will be discarded).
  2. In a bowl put the salt, flour and egg whites and mix with a spoon. Addwater gradually until you have a very thick batter.(You may not need all the water).
  3. Wipe the mushroom and cut it into slices, as well as the lemon, parsley and garlic. Mix in the cardamom pods and the peppercorns and stuff the fish. Place a small piece of aluminum foil around the opening to secure, or secure with a toothpick.
  4. Layer the tin with some of the salt mixture and place the grouper on top.  Cover with the remaining salt mixture.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180ο C /  350ο F and bake for 1 hour.
  6. Remove from the oven and leave it for a few minutes to cool down and then break the crust with a small hammer and remove crust as well as skin.
  7. Serve in a platter with the steamed vegetables and serve with the ladolemono dressing.

Rofos sto alati

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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22 Comments on Rofos sto Alati (Whole Grouper in Salt)

  1. sunita says:

    Thanks , dear Ivy, for your lovely recipe :-)

  2. Ivy says:

    You are welcome Sunita.

  3. Cynthia says:

    I too have seen fish cooked like this before but never tried it. Your dish is encouraging me to do so.

  4. Bellini Valli says:

    I have seen this method of cooking sis. You have given me the inspiration to give it a try:D

  5. JennDZ - The Leftover Queen says:

    WOW, what a cool looking fish! Grouper is big here in FL too – I would say you’ve got a red one there. :)

    Looks great Ivy!

  6. Ivy says:

    Thanks Cynthia and Val. It’s easy and healthy and I am sure your will both love it.

  7. Ivy says:

    Hi Jenn and thanks for letting me know about the name.

  8. Swati: Sugarcraft India says:

    Hi Ivy
    I am back :))
    I am a vegetarian so no fishes for me.. The fish looks very interesting though :))

  9. Ivy says:

    Hi Swati, nice to have you back again.

  10. Emiline says:

    You always make delicious Mediterranean cuisine.

    The fish is ugly and a little scary though.

  11. Ivy says:

    Thanks Emiline.

  12. white on rice couple says:

    I love the fish picture! It’s like he/she is almost saying…”let me go! ahhh!!”. :)

    Great dish, as always!

  13. Ivy says:

    T & D, if you look closer you will notice that I inserted a toothpick in its mouth to keep it open. I am sure it's say "Let me go" (lol).

  14. Illatharasi says:

    Looks yummy:)

    Love the angry look of the fish 😉 … too creative Ivy:)

  15. Mike of Mike's Table says:

    I think that’s a red grouper, but I’m no expert on the matter. I’ve wanted to try fish prepared in this style for a long time–I just keep forgetting to. I hope I can find some good looking fish this weekend, because if I can, I absolutely have to try it–this looks awesome!

  16. Jeena says:

    Wow I love the picture of the fish! 😀

  17. Lore says:

    Wow Ivy, you have outdone yourself! I bet fish prepared this way can cause addiction, and what a healthy one would that be. Love it but I am also intrigued by the cardamom pods.

  18. Ivy says:

    Thanks lore. Since I started using cardamom, I’m addicted and that’s my twist to the recipe which gives this great aroma.

  19. Lulu Barbarian says:

    This looks delicious! I’ve always wanted to try salt crust cooking.

    About the fish, I looked it up in Alan Davidson’s “Mediterranean Seafood,” which is an excellent book I got when I saw Laurie recommending it.

    There are two species of grouper for which Davidson gives “rofos” as the Greek name. One is the Dusky Grouper, which is reddish or yellowish brown. He says that over 50% of the groupers in the Mediterranean are of this species.

    The other species of grouper he calls “rofos” is the Dogtooth Grouper, which is a dark gray and only comprises about 10% of the Mediterranean grouper population.

  20. […] right? I kept hearing about this though, and I always heard great things, so finally, I caved and was officially interested. Plus, what did I have to lose? I had emergency leftovers ready in the fridge, so no matter how […]

  21. Wow, yours looks great! I want to try your sauce next time. It’s nice to learn there are variation of things you can stuff to the fish belly. I am like you, never can stick to the recipe fully : )

    Janet_Gourmet Traveller 88’s last blog post..minimalist way of whole fish baked in sea salt crust

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