New Zealand Snapper
Alternative Names: tai snapper, red sea bream
Monterey Bay Recommendation: Can be either a good alternative or avoid, depending on the fishing zone in New Zealand where it is caught. It may be tough for the home cook to determine. I recommend buying from a reputable dealer like Whole Foods, which will not carry fish from fisheries marked "avoid".
Uses in Cooking: This delicate fish is often baked or grilled with the skin on. It can be sauteed, poached, or steamed.
Similar Fish: Gilthead sea bream, Branzino, Alfonsino
Description: The flesh of this fish is softer than most snappers because it is actually a sea bream. It should be handled gently. The flavor is mild, but interesting and buttery.
Fun Facts: As the tai snapper has gained popularity, fishing pressure has really strained the population, but they are real success story in terms of sustainable fisheries management. As the fisherman have cleaned up their act, the fish have recovered well, primarily due to how quickly they reach sexual maturity, allowing them to bounce back quickly.