March 12, 2021 | Last Updated on January 14, 2023 by Patricia Valbrun
Red Snapper Fish is a thing of beauty with its beautiful crispy golden crust and juicy flesh inside. Excellent choice for a speedy supper recipe that will be on the table in minutes, making it a perfect addition to your midweek dinner.
Wondering how to stop fish from sticking to the pan? It’s easy! Use a heavy based skillet such as a Dutch Oven or Cast-Iron Skillet (doesn’t need to be non-stick). Heat the pan before adding oil, and most importantly – do not move the fish until it naturally releases from the pan!
How to make Crispy Fried Red Snapper!
- Use a heavy based skillet – it doesn’t need to be non-stick, but it needs to be a heavy pan.
- Heat the pan before adding oil; Oil should be at 350F (use thermometer).
- Clean and cut fish. Once completed pat fish dry.
- Season the fish with our famous Epis (Haitian seasoning), fish seasoning, salt rosemary, thyme and lime juice. Marinate for 30 minutes.
- In large bowl; flour, fish seasoning and salt. Coat fish in flour and shake off excess flour very well.
- Slowly add fish to hot pan and slowly cook. If it sticks a bit, do not move until it naturally releases.
I provide more details for instructions below.
Sauces for fish (Caribbean Fish Sauce)
Considering that I am a sauce person, I need to have my sauce on or on the side! With this well-seasoned crispy fish, you can keep it simple and use the juice of a lemon or lime but not I.
Here is how I make my favorite fish sauce. You can also use this to make a fish stew!
- Use a medium skillet and heat olive oil.
- Sliced, onions, red and green bell pepper and minced garlic. Sautee until translucent. Then add, cherry tomatoes, white wine, water, thyme and rosemary.
- Cook down the wine. Move on to butter, lime, fish seasoning and black pepper. Cook slowly to get a thicker sauce.
The ingredients to make this fish sauce is repeatedly used in this recipe so don’t be intimidated! This recipe calls for a quick, less mess, savory dinner. With that being said ” Who doesn’t like sauceee ?”.
How to cook fish on the stove !
1. Use a heavy-duty skillet – it DOES NOT need to be a nonstick pan!
Use a heavy-duty skillet, like a dutch oven or a good quality, heavy non-stick fry pan (I love my Lodge Dutch oven for frying (shown in the video). It heats better, and more evenly, which really helps to get an even, golden, crispy crust.
2. Heat the pan first before adding the oilor Heat pan with oil– Which one should I do?
Heat a dry pan, and as soon as you see small wisps of smoke, add oil, then immediately add the fish. You can also add the oil to dry pan not heated and allow the oil to come to temperature (use a thermometer), slowly add fish.
3. Do not move until it releases naturally – allow the fish to naturally release. You will be able to tell just by the fish rising to the surface and is cooked and golden brown.
Give it a nudge, and if it doesn’t want to move, then it means that it’s not ready. Leave it and try again in another 15 seconds or so!
4. Pat fish dry – dry fish equals a crispier surface. Especially important for thawed frozen fish. Do NOT skip this step!
5. Shake off excess flour – coat well in flour but vigorously shake off excess. Too much flour will make the crispy crust falls off.
How long should I cook Red Snapper?
Red snapper is super versatile and can also be baked or grilled, but for this recipe we are frying red snapper to get that delicious crispy surface and soft, tender middle.
Frying red snapper fish generally cooks very quickly, and red snapper fillets will only need around 2-3 minutes each side, depending on how thick they are and how many you have.
It is also possible to fry a red snapper whole, which can take around 10-12 minutes; different pots and stoves holds heat differently so take that into consideration.
To know if your red snapper is ready, take a look at the flesh. When cooked, the flesh turns from translucent to opaque, and it will also flake apart easily when poked with a fork.
Try to avoid overcooking your red snapper, as it will quickly transform from soft and flakey into a dry overcooked chewy fish. You can easily tell when overcooked if the fish is a bit brown inside.
Tips for making Fried Fish
- Cleaning fish can be time consuming. I highly recommend that you ask the butcher at the store to properly clean the fish prior to selling it to you. Trust me this will save you time!
- Clean the fish carefully with lime, lemon or vinegar. Run your knife through the fish to ensure all scales are removed.
- Red snapper contains a lot of bones, so be sure to eat slowly when eating the fish. Be aware if feeding to children; I personally pull it apart with a fork and hand feed my child just in case.
- As well as a delicious taste, red snapper fish offers a range of health benefits. It does, however, contain a fairly high level of mercury, so should only be consumed once a week.
Red Snapper Frequently asked Questions:
What does fried red snapper taste like?
Red snapper has a light flavor that easily absorbs seasoning when cleaned properly. Whether grilled, fried or made into a stew, it has a delicious flavor.
Why is my red snapper rubbery?
When overcooked fish can be rubbery or if stored at a low temperature. When thawing fish, use cold water while keeping fish in bag.
Is fried red snapper healthy?
It is a great source of lean protein and is high in both vitamin B12 and omega-3s.
More Seafood Recipes You’ll Love
Fried Red Snapper
- 2 red snappers fillets cut and cleaned at store
Fish Marinate :
- 1 tablespoon fish seasoning
- 1/3 cup
epis(check blog post)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 stem rosemary
- 6 stem thyme
- 1 lime juice
Oil for Frying:
- Peanut Oil
- 4 scotch bonnet pepper optional
- 2 stem scallion optional
- 2 stem rosemary optional
For Four Batter:
- 2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoon fish seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup onions
- 1 cup red bell pepper
- 1 cup green bell pepper
- 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 cup water
- 2 stems rosemary
- 3 stems thyme
- 1/2 butter
- 1 of lime juice
- 1 tablespoon fish seasoning
- black pepper to tatse
- Rinse to clean snapper with lime and water.
- On a cutting board, cut snappers to your liking. I would usually create 3 deep slits on both sides of the snappers but for this recipe I had two large ones so I cut mines in pieces. Buy ones that can fit in your pan!
- Pat fish dry. When done, season with fish seasoning, epis, salt, rosemary, thyme and lime juice. Marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour. This ensures that flavors get deep into the fish, yummy !
- When ready to make, use the largest non-stick frying pan you have. Add enough peanut oil to cover at least 1-1/2 inches of depth.
- Heat the skillet for a few minutes over medium heat. In the meantime, lets coat the snapper in flour batter. Dredge in flour and make sure to get flour into those crevices so they are also nice and crispy. While also, shacking off the excess flour afterwards and set aside.
- At medium heat, slowly fry for a few minutes on the first side but do not turn until it is ready. If you want to flavor the oil as I did it is optional. Add in scotch bonnet pepper, thyme and rosemary.
- When cooking, the fish will naturally release and float on top of the pan but you can also check by lifting it a little to make sure the snapper is golden. That is a sign, especially at medium heat that it is ready to be turned over.
- Total time should be no longer than 15 minutes for frying. But of course, not all stoves or pots are the same so keep an eye on it the entire time. My total time for frying was about 12 minutes using a dutch oven pot.
- Set on a cookie rack over an allimum pan to drain access oil. To reheat to keep skin crispy, bake at 350F for 5 minutes.
Caribbean Fish Sauce
- Use a medium skillet and heat olive oil.
- Add in your sliced onions, red and green bell pepper and minced garlic. Sauté until translucent about 2 minutes..
- Then add, cherry tomatoes, white wine, water, thyme and rosemary. Cook down the wine for 2 minutes.
- Move on to your butter, lime, fish seasoning and black pepper. Cook slowly for another 5 minutes to get a thicker sauce.
- Enjoy !
- For a simple recipe, you can easily cut out the Caribbean fish sauce if you’re not a sauce person. This recipe is made to be simple! All ingredients are repeatedly used so don’t get overwhelmed!
- When buying the fish, make sure it is cleaned for you. I usually go to my local Latin market because they have a great selection and the fish is super fresh! They also clean the fish for me and cut it up if I want.
- You can cut the fish in large pieces or leave it whole. If cutting the fish yourself, make sure you have the best knife ever because the bones are thick. Cut at the store !
- If cooking the fish whole with the head, make sure it can fit in your pan or purchase smaller size fish if wanting to cook whole! But the smaller the fish the less meat you have and more bones.
How did you like this recipe? Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Looking for another Seafood recipe? Try this Creole Fried Shrimp recipe next!
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