• Andrew Zimmern Cooks: Fried Whole Yellowtail Snapper


Fried Whole Yellowtail Snapper

By Andrew Zimmern

In this country, we tend to eat the same fish over and over again, overfishing some species almost to the point of extinction. The easiest way to become a more sustainable seafood eater is to expand your repertoire and consume smaller whole fish. Plus, cooking head-on, bone-in fish will result in a better flavor and texture. I love serving this fried whole yellowtail snapper with a side of tostones, or twice-fried plantains.

Watch Andrew make this recipe:

Fried Whole Yellowtail Snapper

Servings: 2


  • 1 whole yellowtail snapper, cleaned and scaled
  • Juice of 1/2 lime, plus more for garnish
  • Salt
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced
  • 1 large tomato, pureed (learn how to puree a tomato with a box grater)
  • 3 cups flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 3 to 4 cups peanut or canola oil, for frying
  • 1 red chile, thinly sliced for garnish
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced for garnish
  • Small handful cilantro, for garnish


Remove the tail and fins from the snapper with scissors.

Make three incisions on each side of the fish to hold the seasonings and to help it cook more evenly.

Place the fish in a zip-top bag. Add the lime juice, salt, onion, jalapeno and tomato puree. Marinate in the refrigerator for 10 to 24 hours.

Remove the fish from the marinade, and dredge the fish in the seasoned flour. Knock off any excess flour.

Heat the oil to 375 degrees F. Fry the fish for about 10 minutes. Remove and drain on a paper towel. Season with salt. Place on a platter and top with red chiles, shaved onion slices and cilantro. Squeeze half of a lime over the top and serve.

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