Snapper is one of the most widespread types of fish in the world and comes in plenty variations, depending on its habiting waters. Some of the most common types of snapper include the red snapper, the Australian snapper, and the blue and gold snapper. The latter usually resides in the Pacific Ocean and you can easily find it from Mexico to Ecuador and Galapagos, while the Northern red snapper is native to the western part of the Atlantic Ocean.
The Australian snapper or the silver snapper is spread all around the coastal waters of the Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, China, Japan, and all the way to New Zealand, and Australia. Although known as the silver snapper this type of fish doesn’t, in fact, belong to the large family of snappers, Lutjanidae. It is highly known as an eating fish while the red snapper is more prized as a game fish.
Nevertheless, with such a wide variety of snappers, it comes as no surprise that millions of people have introduced this type of fish into their regular diets and local cuisines. Today we will mainly address the Northern red snapper as it is the most common type of snapper found in the United States and its surroundings.
Its meat is moist, lean, and surprisingly sweet with a nutty flavor which makes it perfect for all types of seasoning, whether mild or intense. There are plenty of cooking methods you can use to enjoy a snapper meal, including baking, grilling, poaching, broiling, and steaming. Since its meat is rather moist and thin, it is not suitable for sushi or deep-frying.
However, just like with any other type of fish, consumption should be done under strict regulations. It is advisable to only purchase snapper from certified vendors and from specialized fish markets as there is a risk of Ciguatera poisoning. This is caused by eating contaminated fish and the dinoflagellates that cause it cannot be destroyed by cooking.
If your snapper comes from certified sources, there is no reason why you should not look into the following delicious cooking recipes.
Snapper with fresh salad
If you’re looking for a low-calorie yet extremely nutritious and healthy meal, you can easily appeal to a quick combination of cooked or grilled snapper with additional mixes of fresh salads. To obtain a perfectly cooked snapper, you have to use fillets, preferably without any bones. The skin can be left or removed, according to your preferences.
Pat, the skin of the snapper, dry using a regular paper towel to remove any additional fats or impurities and season it according to your desires. We suggest using fresh ingredients specifically designed to season fish such as rosemary, thyme, freshly minced sea salt and pepper, oregano, extra virgin olive oil, and some lime or lemon juice.
You should then place the snapper in a nonstick frying pan and cook the fish with the skin upside down for around two minutes at medium-high heat. Turn the fish and cook the other part again for two minutes or until it becomes crisp. Take it out of the pan and put it on a clean plate to rest for a few more minutes.
To finish this easy yet delicious meal you can add a mix of fresh salads and veggies of your choice. We suggest lettuce, spinach, radish or cherry tomatoes, alongside small chunks of avocado and red or spring onion. You can also add macadamia nuts or almonds for extra crisp.
Snapper with grilled veggies
The snapper should be cooked the same way, the only difference of the dish is the type of garnish you prefer. If you’re looking for a slightly more caloric meal, you can replace the fresh salad mix with some juicy grilled veggies. Mushroom, cherry tomatoes, zucchinis, eggplants, and red pepper bells are the most common combination alongside with a small onion. You can also use a combination of beans or broccoli and cauliflower, depending on your preferences.
Don’t forget to season the veggies with some salt and pepper, and accompany the entire meal with a glass of dry white wine.
Seychelles fish curry
This is a slightly more elaborated dish which will certainly impress your guests and family members. You can prepare it for special occasions or when you’re trying to watch your weight without starving yourself. The preparation and cooking time of this recipe won’t take you more than one hour, but you need to pay additional attention to the seasoning prior to starting to prepare the dish.
For the massale, you’ll need around 2 tablespoons of coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and black peppercorns, as well as one tablespoon of cardamom pods, garlic cloves, ground chili, and grated nutmeg. You can also add a pinch of cinnamon for extra spiciness and a touch of sweetness.
The curry will require some red snapper fillets, salt, pepper, sunflower or olive oil, onions, two tablespoons of massale, some ground turmeric, chopped garlic, chopped small piece of ginger, fresh thyme, half a teaspoon of anise, as well as some fish stock or regular water.
After gathering all these delicious spices and ingredients, you can proceed to the cooking part, which is not complicated at all. All you need to do is dry all the spices and mix them together, alongside the stirred chili and nutmeg.
You need to cut your fish into smaller fillets or bite-sized pieces and season it with some fresh salt and pepper. For added flavor, you can use Mozaic pepper which is a delicious and extremely flavored mix of red, white, and black pepper. Set the fish aside.
Heat the oil in a regular nonstick fry pan and put the chopped onions until they turn gold. Add the massale and turmeric and gently fry for a couple of minutes. After that, just add the fish and the rest of the ingredients and spices and cook for one minute on each side. Then add the fish stock and allow all the ingredients to cook for another 10 minutes.
When your massale is ready, serve it with white or black wild rice. We guarantee this is a delicious snapper recipe which will certainly praise your cooking skills and your innovation.
Soul food fish & chips
The classic fish & chips will get a little twist with this delicious recipe. It is the perfect soul food to treat you after a hard day at work or a long and rainy autumn day. Share this meal only with your closest friends and family members, and garnish it with one to two full glasses of white or rose wine.
Instead of appealing to the classic fish fingers that don’t have too much actual fish meat in them, we suggest you opt for snapper fillets and cut them into smaller pieces. You can either fry them with lemon or seasonings or cook them in aluminum foil with lemon slices. No matter your choice, we guarantee delicious results.
The next step of this guilty pleasure meal is to peel some potatoes and cut them into slim slices, just like for French fries. The secret to this meal is to actually cook the French fries yourself and not appeal to frozen and cut fries from the stores. You’ll see your home cooked fries will have a totally different taste than the ones you find in local supermarkets.
Garnish the fried potatoes with some fresh rosemary, parmesan, grated cheese or oregano and let them rest for a few minutes. Remove the excess oil using a dry paper sheet and place them on the same plate as your cooked snapper.
The last ingredient of the fish and chips is actually the salsa you are going to indulge into. There are three main options that go perfectly with snapper so you can choose the one that you like the most or, why not, all of them at once. The first proposition is fresh tzatziki made with Greek yogurt, pickles, fresh cucumbers, minced garlic, and lemon juice.
The second one is also a yogurt-based sauce with lots of mint and lemon juice, while the last one is made of minced garlic with tomato slices. The key to this sauce is to cut and mince the garlic until it turns into a thick paste. You can do this yourself or put the garlic in the blender with just a pinch of extra virgin olive oil and salt. Cut the tomatoes into thin and small chunks, similar to the ones used for bruschettas, and mix them with the blended garlic.
You can serve the salsa as it is or combine it with some extra lemon juice, according to your own preferences. Although this is definitely not a low-calorie meal, we guarantee it will be the most delicious one you’ll ever try. After all, this is why soul food exists – to nourish your soul in a way that only food can.
Have you tried some of our snapper recipes so far? Which one tastes the best? Do you have any other delicious snapper recipes we should try?