Friday, October 19, 2012

“BBQ” Broiled Red Snapper – This One’s For the Haters

There’s a fairly large population of folks who just don’t like fish. I’m not talking about people with allergies, but those poor souls who’s worst nightmare is arriving at a dinner party, only to find out the main course is fish. Their reasons are as diverse as they are unfortunate.

Well, this broiled red snapper recipe may be just what the doctor ordered. Normally we don’t want to cover up the delicate flavors of the seafood, but in this case, we have no choice. It’s not like you can’t tell you’re eating fish, but close enough.

By the way, the last time I made red snapper, a few people wondered out loud if that was a wise choice, sustainability-wise. I believe the variety I used was local and not in danger, but I know it’s on some no-eat lists. However, things may be looking up for red snapper in the Gulf.

I just read that there appears to be an abundant red snapper population there, and fishermen are anxiously waiting for the bureaucratic powers that be to raise the limits. You can read more about that here. Of course, this will work with any white fish, so I hope you give it a try soon. Enjoy!

2 (7-oz) red snapper filets
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp bbq sauce
salt and cayenne pepper to taste 

View the complete recipe

Bonus Red Snapper Info

I have no way to verify whether this info is accurate, but I found it compelling and wanted to share. 


axel14222 said...

lol @ "swimmin chicken" & "ocean veal" my laugh after a long day. Thanks, Chef!

beeje11 said...

Chef, it is difficult for me to broil like this because I have one of those under-oven broilers and the heating element is way too close to the broiler pan, so food always burns before it cooks. If I were going to bake this instead, would a very high temperature, like 500 degrees, be appropriate and do you think it would turn out the same way? Thanks

Chef John said...

Start under bad broiler for just a few minutes to get it started and then pop in oven until done!

beeje11 said...

Thank you! Looks delicious by the way

Anonymous said...

Looks like a variation of the 'Rusty chicken' and I'm wondering how this would work with thin chicken breast slices. Instead of baking or done on the grill. (Sometimes it's too cold and nasty to grill, here in New England.)

Anonymous said...

I'd just fry it in a frying pan with bacon fat and butter!

Squirt it with a little lemon juice after plating.

~ jcard21

Donna said...

Because I'm not a fish person myself, a "hater" perhaps. I do something similar with salmon filets. Mayo / soy sauce / chives / prinkle black pepper then baked in the oven. I think it's awesome and makes me want to eat fish.
I've never made red snapper ... but I think I'll try your recipe for variety :)

Unknown said...

Ever since I saw your video for making creme fraiche, I have been experimenting; mustard coleslaw with CF, etc.

I want to try your fish BBQ with salmon, and CF instead of mayo.

Wish me luck.

Jan Schattling said...

I really don't like fish, but that looks kinda tasty.
I a little surprised that you ad the pepper in advance.
I always try not to use spices as the top layer cause they tend to burn and become bitter.
And what did you do to those tomatos?
They have such a dark red color and look realy delicious.

Chef John said...

They are just a purple heirloom variety. I forget the name!

Steve said...


For a more or less definitive reference on fish population and sustainability, refer to

and they suggest avoiding gulf Red Snapper.

I spent a few years involved in oceanographic research and the allied sciences. Iknow folks from MBARI (Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute) and they are among the best scientists in the business. If they say something about oceanography or marine biology, I am inclined to believe them.

Your mileage may vary.

I should also note that many fish are sold as Red Snapper which really aren't. Fish labeling is not always as precise as they might be.

Anonymous said...

Tried this tonight - so easy, so good!! Thanks Chef!

Anonymous said...

Hey Chef just wondering if you have ever tried barramundi? Super great taste, nice texture, and is a sustainable fish! My hubby and I love it, only issue is it is very hard to find where we live :(

Ed the house chef said...

Chef, I've tried many of your recipes and loved them all. I failed on this one though, not because I can't cook fish but because I had to substitute fish..I think. The commissary where I live has a horrible selection of fish (most everything else too) and never has anything fresh so I picked up a packet of frozen flounder. I'm not sure if it was the fish or that I had to use a little countertop broiler because the broiler on the over blows our circuit breakers so is unusable, anyway the fish turned into a gelatonous mess. I turned the pan every 2 minutes like you instructed, but each time the broiler pan was full of juices so I dumped them out. All in all it turned out to be really bad. I'm thinking maybe flounder is a juicier fish that red snapper, am I correct?

Chef John said...

It was the fish! Sounds like cheap water-logged frozen fish. Nothing you can do.

Chef John said...

It was the fish! Sounds like cheap water-logged frozen fish. Nothing you can do.

Dad said...

Hi Chef John.
2 Things.
1. I LOVE your site. Every recipe that I have tried has come out "magnifique". My friends and family are so impressed that they have begun to call me Little John.
2; I used your "fish hater" sauce for Red Snapper on Tilapia. It was a huge hit.
Thanks again for bringing us such delicious and easy to follow recipes.

Scion said...

Hey, I really love this! And it gave me a chance to use up those extra packets of mayo from Chic-fil-et and BBQ sauce from Sonic!
I did this with ocean perch (which was great) and flounder (good but needs to cook a little to dry it out a bit before broiling). And it was nice not to get things so fishy-smelling in the kitchen.

Unknown said...

Liked your observation of problems being caused by waterlogged, frozen fish. Where I live here in Ohio it is very hard to find anything else. Can you give me any advice on how to defrost and prepare fish for the cooking methods you use?"