Just watched the IronChef 2000th dish special last night on FoodTV and was really intrigued by the Chinese team's main dish. They incorporated pork, soft-shell turtle and bananas in a dish, wrapped it in banana leaves and covered the whole thing with a mountain of salt and eggwhites six or eight inches think before baking it.
I'd heard of the salt-encrusting technique before, but never actually seen it. Wow!
1) Why do they do it?
2) Is it incredibly hard to do?
3) Does this only work for meat-based dishes that need a long time to get tender and meld or would it work for something vegetarian?