Red snapper is one of our most popular fish this summer. It’s flavourful with a pleasing firm, flaky texture when cooked. Like most white fish, red snapper is very versatile. And after trying for the first time, this is a fish customers ask for time and time again.
Red snapper is best cooked quickly. For oven roasting, we’d recommend preheating your oven to gas mark 7 (218 °C, 425 °F). Lining your baking tray with foil makes washing up easier. Season both sides of your red snapper fillets with salt and pepper to taste. Rest your fillets on thin slices of lemon, skin side up, and roast for around fifteen minutes. The fish is perfect when the flesh is no longer translucent and flakes easily when prodded with a fork or skewer.
Pat your fillets dry with kitchen paper and then season with salt and pepper. Heat a non stick pan over a medium heat until your preferred cooking oil is hot. It should not be smoking hot. Place fillets into the pan skin side down and cook for three minutes until the skin is an even golden brown colour. Then turn the fillets over and cook for a further three minutes until the flesh flakes easily with a fork. Note: if the skin browns too quickly, remove the pan from direct heat for a few seconds and reduce the heat.
You can use any of your favourite marinades for red snapper as it’s very versatile and an excellent vehicle for flavour. The usual ‘leave over night’ rule doesn’t apply to fish. An hour is more than enough for your red snapper fillets to take on the flavours of your marinade. Depending on the size of your fillets and the temperature of your barbecue, red snapper fillets will be cooked and flake easily after being cooked for between five and eight minutes. Turn once during cooking. Tip: Slash the skin once or twice with a sharp knife before marinating.
Sauces and accompaniments
A simple butter sauce works best with oven baked or pan fried red snapper. Slowly melt a few tablespoons of butter in a pan with your favourite herbs and spices. Finely chopped rosemary, a little lemon zest and chilli work very well. A teaspoon of butter placed on the cooked fillet works just as well with a squeeze of lemon juice. From the barbecue, a cooked red snapper fillet is a great replacement for a beef patty in a burger bun, served with salad or crunchy coleslaw.