This beautiful preparation really showcases the vibrant color of a red snapper and pairs well with brightly colored vegetables. For the cover photo, I chose to pair it with roasted beets because they are colorful and I was already using the oven. You can choose any veggies you like, but you need to pair it with something because this preparation is strictly fish and spices. The bold flavors in this dish ensure that it isn’t boring, but they are not so aggressive that they overpower the superb natural flavor of red snapper. The Thai chilis add a bit of spice and of course, you can bump that up if you like. This is a hearty and fragrant dish that leaves your kitchen smelling wonderful without too many dishes. Roasting fish is simple and pretty forgiving. The only challenge is knowing when the fish is done. For an exactly 3 lb fish, the time range is pretty reliable, but for fish of other sizes, you’ll have to adjust.
1 snapper around 3 lbs – scaled, gutted, gills removed
4 Tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup chopped ginger
5 cloves garlic
2 Thai chilis
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
Preheat an oven to 400 degrees. Cut 4 slightly angled cuts, top to bottom and down to the bone on each side. Coat the entire fish with the olive oil. Place in a roasting pan on a roasting rack.
Combine all of the rest of the items and use either a small food processor or a mortar and pestle to create a paste.
Rub the paste into all the cuts on the fish and put about 1/3 of it inside the cavity of the fish.
Cook uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes. It is done when the flesh is bright white all the way to the bone and no pink liquid can be seen when you lift the meat with a fork. You can serve this dish family style and just have at it. If you prefer, you can gently lift it onto a cutting board and use a fork to break it down into four nice clean servings of fish. This takes a little practice and you need to work quickly so it doesn’t get to the table cold. Once the first half is picked clean, you can gently lift off the whole skeleton and get most of the bones. The bottom half is easier to clean up than the top one.