pan fried red snapper

Simple Pan Fried Red Snapper with Roasted Beets and Pink Grapefruit Dressing

Pan-fried Red Snapper is one of my favorite seafood dishes to prepare for a light and healthy dinner. I love how easy it is to make; the crispy, golden-brown crust outside the fish is irresistible. The tender and juicy meat inside the red snapper is delicate and flavorful, making it the perfect ingredient for various seasonings and sauces. I’ll share my step-by-step instructions for making the perfect pan-fried Red Snapper recipe at home in this recipe.

Roasted baby beets become even sweeter than mature beets, making them the perfect complement to a sweet and sour grapefruit salad. If you can’t find golden baby beets, use all red beets or experiment with different colored varieties like white and Chioggia, which have stunning red and white rings when cut. So, let’s get started!

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Pan Seared Red Snapper with Skin

Pan Seared Red Snapper with Skin

Easy pan-fried Red Snapper fillet recipe is a simple and delicious seafood dish perfect for a light and healthy dinner. The recipe features a crispy and golden-brown crust on the outside of the fish and tender, juicy meat on the inside.

4.1 from 20 votes
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

1

hour 

10

minutes
Cook Mode

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Ingredients

  • Pink Grapefruit Dressing
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed pink

  • grapefruit juice

  • 1 small minced shallot

  • 1 Tsp. honey

  • 1 Tsp. sherry vinegar

  • ¼ C. olive oil

  • salt and ground black Pepper to taste

  • Roasted Beets
  • 2 red baby beets, wash and clean

  • 2 golden baby beets, wash and clean

  • Olive oil

  • salt and ground black Pepper to taste

  • Pan-Fried Red Snapper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 4 red snapper fillets, skin on, lightly scored

  • Sea salt and black pepper

  • 1 grapefruit, cut into segments

  • 2 radishes, sliced

  • 1 teaspoon chopped basil, + more for garnish

  • 1 teaspoon chopped cilantro, + more for garnish

Directions

  • Pink Grapefruit Dressing
  • In a small bowl, combine the grapefruit juice, shallot, honey, and sherry vinegar, whisking well. Whisk in the olive oil in a slow, steady stream until emulsified.
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Roasted Beets
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Peel the beets and place them on two separate pieces of tin foil. Coat them lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Wrap the beets in the foil and place them on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven until they are cooked through and easily pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, 45–60 minutes.
  • Red-Snapper
  • Heat olive oil and butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. When the foam subsides, season the red snapper fillets with salt and pepper and cook, skin-side down, for about 3 minutes, until they are lightly browned.
  • Then turn the fillets over and sear the other side for 2 minutes until cooked.

Best Way to Eat Red Snapper

The best way to eat red snapper is largely a personal preference, as it is a versatile fish that can be prepared in numerous ways. Popular methods include grilling, baking, broiling, pan-searing, or steaming. Red snapper is known for its firm texture and mild, nutty flavor, which pairs well with various seasonings and sauces. Cooking it with the skin on can help keep the flesh moist. Many enjoy red snapper in Mediterranean dishes, seasoned with olive oil, lemon, and herbs, or in Caribbean cuisine, where it’s often served with spicy and tangy flavors.

Is Red Snapper Good for Frying?

Yes, red snapper is good for frying. Its firm texture holds up well when breaded and deep-fried or pan-fried. To fry red snapper, the fillets can be coated in seasoned flour, dipped in egg, and then covered in breadcrumbs or batter. The key is maintaining the oil at the right temperature (typically around 350°F or 175°C) to ensure the fish cooks evenly and turns golden brown without absorbing too much oil.

How is Snapper Supposed to be Cooked?

Snapper should be cooked until it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C), at which point the flesh should be opaque and flake easily with a fork. Overcooking can dry out the fish, so monitoring the cooking time closely is important. Whether you are grilling, baking, broiling, frying, marinating, or seasoning the snapper beforehand, it is often helpful to enhance its flavor.

What Do You Soak Red Snapper In?

Before cooking, red snapper can be soaked or marinated to infuse it with additional flavor and moisture. Common soaking solutions include:

  • Milk or Buttermilk: Soaking fish in milk or buttermilk can help tenderize the fish and reduce any fishy odor, thanks to these liquids’ mild acidity and enzymes.
  • Citrus Juice: A brief soak in lemon or lime juice can add a bright flavor and help to firm up the flesh, but be careful not to marinate for too long as the acidity can begin to “cook” the fish, similar to ceviche.
  • Olive Oil and Herbs: A marinade made with olive oil, garlic, and fresh herbs like parsley, dill, or thyme can impart a wonderful aroma and taste to the fish.
  • Seasoned Brine: A brine made with water, salt, and seasonings can help season the fish throughout and keep it moist during cooking.

When marinating fish, it’s generally best to do so in the refrigerator and for a relatively short time (30 minutes to an hour) to prevent the fish from becoming too soft or mushy. Always discard any used marinade, and do not reuse it for food safety reasons.

Summing Up

As the final fillets are gently plated, the kitchen is fragrant with the heady aroma of citrus and the comforting scent of roasted vegetables. This dish is the epitome of balance, a beautiful array of pan-fried Red Snapper resting alongside a colorful medley of sweet beets dressed with a tart grapefruit emulsion. It’s a testament to how a few carefully chosen, high-quality ingredients can sing together in harmony.

The technique may be simple, but the outcome is nothing short of a culinary ballet, with every element pirouetting on the palate, leaving a lingering note of satisfaction and the quiet thrill of a well-crafted meal. In this dish, one finds a delicious dinner and an invitation to savor each bite, appreciate the interplay of textures and flavors, and celebrate the simple pleasures of cooking at home.

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Last Updated on February 5, 2024 by John Siracusa

Author

  • John Siracusa

    Hi, I'm John. I've worked in the Food Service industry for over 25 years, working in my family's business. Cooking for me has always been an art infused with traditions. My career was inspired by Hell's Kitchen, the West Side of Manhattan, which has one of New York City's best independent restaurant communities. I also admire Gordon Ramsay's no-nonsense approach to always being your best.

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4.1 from 20 votes

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