Lemon Red Snapper

Don't let the length of the ingredient list deter you from making this lemon-scented fish served with coconut rice; it's simple to prepare. You can substitute skinless grouper, tile fish, or flounder fillets for the snapper.

Slideshow: Amazing Seafood Recipes

  • Servings: 6

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coconut rice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh seeded jalapeño chile
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut (see Note)
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon finely julienned lime zest
lemon snapper
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons finely julienned lemon zest
  • Six 5-ounce red snapper fillets, with skin
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh chives

How to make this recipe

  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the rice, jalapeño, and garlic. Add the spinach, coconut milk, cumin, salt, pepper, and 3 cups of water, raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork, stir in the shredded coconut, cilantro, lime juice, and zest and keep warm.

  2. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small ovenproof saucepan, toss the pine nuts with the lemon zest and toast for about 3 minutes, or until the nuts are fragrant and lightly colored.

  3. Using a sharp knife, make three 1/2-inch-deep slashes in each side of each snapper fillet. In a nonreactive baking dish, combine the onion, lemon juice, sherry, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Add the fish, turn to coat and marinate for 5 minutes. Pour half of the marinade into a bowl.

  4. Bake the fish for about 15 minutes, basting with the reserved marinade halfway through cooking, until opaque. Transfer to plates and spoon the pan juices on top. Garnish with the pine nuts and chives and serve with the coconut rice.


Shredded unsweetened coconut is available at health food stores.

One Serving Calories 440 kcal, Protein 35 gm, Carbohydrate 45 gm, Cholesterol 52 mg, Total Fat 12.5 gm, Saturated Fat 3.8 gm.

Suggested Pairing

Because ginger, lemons, and spices can overwhelm dry, subtle wines, look for a simpler aromatic white, such as a West Coast Riesling, which is acidic enough to stand up to the tartness and fruity enough to magnify the flavors of the snapper.

Contributed By Published May 1996

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