Japanese-Style Grilled Red Snapper
One of the great traditions in Japanese cookery is robata, or cooking over an open grill with binchotan charcoal. It’s a great technique for cooking red snapper. Paired with my favorite dipping sauce for Japanese-style grilled fish—a mix of soy, lemon, scallion and daikon radish—it doesn’t get much better than this simple, quick meal.
Watch Andrew make this recipe:
Andrew Zimmern Cooks: Japanese-Style Grilled Red Snapper
- 1 whole red snapper, cleaned and scaled
- Peanut oil
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon togarashi
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 cup daikon radish, peeled and grated
- Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
First, butcher the fish. Lay the fish flat on the cutting board. Make an incision behind the head, cutting halfway through to the backbone. Holding the blade against the backbone, remove the filet by slicing down the fish along the dorsal fin. Reserve that filet for another use. Flip the fish over and again cut against the backbone, from the fin to the collar of the fish, stopping before the head. Flip the fish back over so you can see the bone. Lift the center bone up, crack it at the collar and cut through where you cracked it to easily remove the bone, leaving the head attached. Essentially, you’ll have a boneless filet with the head on.
Prepare a grill for medium-high direct heat. We are using a Japanese-style tabletop grill with binchotan charcoal.
Thread the head-on filet onto a metal skewer. Season with salt and lightly rub with peanut oil. Place on the grill, skin side down. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, then flip and cook it on the other side, moving the tail end of the fish off of the high heat so it doesn’t overcook. Grill for another 4 minutes and remove.
Place the scallions, togarashi, soy sauce and lemon juice in a bowl and stir to combine. Squeeze the daikon radish to remove any extra liquid and place in a mound in the center of the bowl. Sprinkle with additional togarashi and toasted sesame seeds. Serve with the fish.