Spicy Pan-fried Snapper


One of the easiest and most flavourful ways to cook fish is to dust it with spices and pan fry it. In this recipe, fresh snapper is coated with an aromatic mixture of smoked paprika, chili powder and freshly ground cumin and coriander. To experience the true intensity of spices, purchase them whole and grind them with a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder.

Pan-frying fish is as simple as it sounds but be mindful of a few things: bring fish to room temperature before adding it to a sizzling-hot pan. And for the love of fish, don’t crowd the pan. Otherwise, you’ll end up steaming rather than frying it. For the most succulent fish, remove it from the heat and tent it with foil just before it’s done. The residual heat will take care of the rest.

Delicious with
fresh corn and stuffed tomatoes.

Spicy Pan-fried Snapper

Serves 2


■ 2 fillets of snapper, cod or halibut, about 6 -7 oz each, bones and skin removed
■ 2 tsp freshly ground cumin
■ 2 tsp freshly ground coriander
■ 2 tsp chili powder*
■ 2 tsp smoked paprika (mild)
■ 1 tsp kosher salt
■ 1/2 tsp sugar
■ 1 -2 Tbsp vegetable oil
■ fresh lemon slices

*not to be confused with ground chilli peppers

Cooking Instructions

Bring the fish to room temperature and blot any moisture with a paper towel.  In a small bowl, combine the spices, sugar and salt.

Place the fish on a sheet of parchment or waxed paper and scatter half the spice mixture over the fillets. Turn the fish over and sprinkle the remaining spice mixture over the fillets.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the opened mussels to a large bowl, discarding any that have not Heat the oil in a medium non-stick skillet. When the oil starts to shimmer, add the spiced fish, being mindful not to crowd the pan. Cook just until the edge of the fish start to brown, about three to four minutes, depending on the size of your fish. Turn over and cook until almost done, about  2-3 minutes, depending on the thickness. Remove from the heat and cover loosely with foil. (The residual heat will continue to cook the fish.). Cover the mussels with foil to keep warm.

When ready to serve, pour the pan juices over the fish and serve with fresh lemon wedges.

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