From the wine team at Blackmarket
Snapper is one of the most popular fishes in New Zealand and one I was bought up catching, like so many other kids, with my grandfather and father.
Here is how I cook it:
- Scale the fish but be gentle as the flesh of the fish is quite delicate and can get beaten up a bit. Using a pair of tweezers pull all the pin bones out of the flesh, dipping the tweezers in water helps the bones fall off.
- Trim the very outside of the fillet and then score the skin across the filet from the tip of the tail to the head end. The score should be 5mm apart and 5mm deep at the centre point.
- For the best results, I cook the fish all the way with the skin side down.
- To cook use olive oil and start in a medium hot fry pan (non stick helps). Place the skin side down the season and the flesh side with a little sea salt.
- If the fish bows slightly, leave for 30 seconds or so then push gently back down in the pan.
- During the cooking process, using a spoon, baste the fish with the hot oil, this means scooping up and pouring the hot oil over the flesh side.
- After 3-4 minutes, the skin side should be nice and crispy. When the fish is 90’ cooked turn over to flesh side down, leave for 15 seconds and remove from the pan and serve straight away.
- Cooking the fish with the skin off is a very simple process.
- Without the skin there to protect the flesh, the key is gentle cooking.
- Again remove the pin bones from the flesh with tweezers and trim any excess off the belly area.
- Place the fish in a medium hot pan with a tablespoon of olive oil. Season with a little sea salt.
- Fry gently on one side 1-2 minutes before flipping over then adding a knob of salted butter. Turn the heat right down and leave for a further 2 minutes.
- Serve with the butter from the pan poured over.
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