Snapper: Red

Other Common Names:

Mexican snapper, Caribbean snapper, American red snapper, Genuine Gulf snapper




year round

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Range & Habitat: U.S. Southern Atlantic coast; Gulf and Caribbean coasts

Identification & Biology: A red-eyed fish with carmine fins and a red back that fades into a pinkish belly. Ranges from 2 to 35 lbs. (average 3 to 8 lbs.).

Market Description: The prized white meat of the red snapper is firm in texture, low in fat, mild and delicate in flavor. A meaty, all-purpose fish with edible skin.

Habitat: NC to Brazil, most prominent in the Gulf

Availability: Year Round

Flavor Profile: lean, firm texture, medium flake, sweet & nutty

Fishing Technique: Long line, hook&line

Special Note: Called snapper because of large animal like teeth

Suitable Sub: any snapper variety

Sold as: Whole fish, fillets, steaks

Buying tips: Not all snapper is red snapper–be wary of fish market labels, which can be ambiguous. Look for whole fish with deep red fins and red backs fading into pinkish-silver bellies; check for healthy red gills (the fish should look alive). Choose fillets with red skin left on, as skinned fillets can easily come from other (less premium) kinds of snapper. White meat should be moist and reflective, free of gaping and drying.

Recommended preparation: Almost anything goes with this popular, versatile fish. Whole red snapper is excellent baked and stuffed, or poached and glazed (salmon- style). Fillets can be steamed, broiled, roasted, pan-fried, or (with a fish basket) grilled. Chunks can be added to stews and chowders (leave the skin on for a colorful touch).

Substitutes: Blackfish, carp, grouper, haddock, monkfish, ocean perch, pollock, tilefish, turbot, whiting, wolffish