Today I thought I share a tasty grilled red snapper recipe with you all, as part of my month of grilling (June). This Caribbean inspired grilled red snapper will cause your taste buds to go into a state of frenzy and confusion as they’re hit with bite after bit of exciting Caribbean flavors. I grew up eating fish three ways when I was younger.. fried, curry and stewed, but the past few years have seen me adopt new and exciting ways to prepare seafood. In a few days I’ll share another grilled fish recipe with you, but this time we’ll do an accompanying sauce to go with it.
Special Thanks! I have to take a minute to thank everyone at Chelsea Brand out of Toronto for their generosity in sending me a huge supply of Red Snappers to use in my recipes. Please look for the Chelsea Brand when shopping for seafood at your local grocery store.
1 Red Snapper (1-2 lbs)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 sprigs thyme
3 sprigs dill (optional)
2 slices lemon
1 pimento pepper (see note below)
1/2 scotch bonnet pepper
2 tablespoon coconut milk
banana leaves for wrapping the fish
Notes: Pimento pepper is a flavor pepper, without any heat and also known as seasoning or flavor pepper in the Caribbean. When using scotch bonnet peppers, use gloves and if you’re concerned about the raw heat, avoid using the seeds. If you can’t source banana leaves, use tin foil or parchment paper.
Scale, trim and wash your fish. The fish I was using was already cleaned and gutted, but still had some fins, so using my kitchen scissors I trimmed those off. I then washed the fish with some lime juice (use lemon or vinegar) and cool water (pat dry with paper towels). Then using a sharp knife I made shallow cuts every 1 inch or so (see pic).
I then chopped the scotch bonnet and pimento pepper (huge pieces). Using the back of my knife I tapped on the scallion to bruise it to release it’s flavors and I sliced a couple slices of the lemon.
You’ll need to have the bottom part (belly) of the fish cut open to have a sort of cavity to stuff all the wonderful seasonings. Fold the scallion and tuck in into the belly of the fish as well as the other items (thyme, dill, peppers).
Place the now stuffed fish on the banana leaves (see video below) and season with the black pepper and slat. Turn the fish over to get both sides and using your fingers, try to get some into the small cuts we made. Place the 2 slices of lemon on top of the fish, then pour the coconut milk over it.
Fold the banana leaves over the fish (try to tuck it in to secure) to form a sort of parcel (seal the ends as well). Now place on a hot grill (about 375F).. I used a grill with three burners, so the burner to the far left I left on high and the 2 burners directly below the fish I had on med/low). Close the lid of the BBQ and allow ti to cook for about 12-15 mins (depending on how thick your red snapper is). Then flip and let cook for the same amount of time of this side. If you find that your flame is burning off the banana leaf, turn the heat down to low.
It’s normal for the banana leaves to go charred, so don’t freak! Your grilled snapper is now read. Using a pair of scissors (be careful as there may be steam as you open) cut the parcel open and enjoy. You”l be hit with the lovely fragrance of the coconut milk and other good things we used in stuffing the fish. If your lemon slices are charred, you’ll also get that lovely perfume of lemon oil. Remember this is a whole fish your eating, so be prepared for the bones.
I can’t tell you how many requests I get for this grilled fish every summer. I urge you to try this one and share it with family and friends (blow them away with your skills).