Okay, I know, I know deep fried food isn’t the healthiest.
But the thing is, when you work in one of eight kitchens at a big resort and you make friends with the butcher who is a nice enough person, you get certain perks. Like deep fried, super crispy, fresh caught snapper that was brought in that morning with a side of house made sweet chile sauce and guacamole made from local avocados.
I had what amounted to probably 3oz of fish and maybe 3tbsp of guacamole before I decided I was sold.
Frying snapper is quite easy, actually. I think its one of the fish that I can tolerate without growing tired of it. Here’s my recipe for pan fried Snapper with Red Cabbage and Honey-Lime-Cilantro dressing.
For the Snapper
1lb Snapper (I used fresh caught Red Queen Snapper from my local supermarket)
1/3 cup Tapioca Starch
1/3 cup Arrowroot Powder
1tsp Cayenne Pepper
1tsp Black Pepper
1tsp Celery Salt
1tsp Onion Powder
Pinch of Kosher Salt
4oz Sparkling Water (I used Perrier Lime Sparkling Water)
Coconut oil for frying
- Cut your fish into bite-sized pieces, or alternatively leave it in a large piece if you desire. I cut mine into smaller strips because I intended to use it for fish tacos, but never ended up making the tacos. Sprinkle your kosher salt onto your fish and set aside.
- Mix together your dry ingredients except the salt, and slowly pour in your sparkling water until your batter is liquid. It’s important to keep a whisk or fork handy as the dry ingredients tend to settle on the bottom of your bowl if you let it sit too long, so if you’re working in batches with your fish, make sure to whisk the batter periodically so you’re not just getting liquid every time you dip your fish in before frying.
- Heat up your oil in a heavy-bottomed pan until it’s 350°F. It’s a good idea to have a kitchen thermometer for this purpose, as you’ll want to keep your oil at a constant heat throughout the cooking process. If you don’t, your coconut oil will start to smoke a bit, and that’s when it’s at the right temperature to fry.
- Begin frying your fish by dipping it in your batter, then placing it away from you into the oil so it doesn’t splash back on you. It’s kind of hard to explain without pictures, but you want to let the piece of fish you’re holding be the last piece to touch the oil away from you, not toward you. Cook fish until golden brown, about 5-8 minutes depending on how big your pieces are.
For the Honey-Lime-Cilantro “dressing”
4 tbsp Raw Honey
Juice of 1 Lime (I used a local lime)
2 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
Whisk all ingredients until fully combined.
Once fish is done frying, serve on a bed of shredded, lightly salted cabbage and drizzle the honey dressing on top. Enjoy!