Product of the week – Snapper

Pagrus auratus

Other names:

Australasian snapper, cockney, cockney bream, old man snapper, pink snapper, pinkies, red bream, schnapper, squire. Previously known by the Latin name Chrysophrys auratus.


Sparidae (breams).


Available wild-caught, it is a marine fish found near reefs and rocky bottoms, mainly near the coast and on the continental shelf from Townsville, Queensland, south to the central WA coast (including Bass Strait and around Tasmania), with juveniles mainly found in estuaries. It is caught by traps, trawling, longlines, handlines and gillnets. It has a pinkish skin with blue spots and a distinctive shape with a prominent forehead hump.


Available year round with peaks in winter.

Size and Weight:

Commonly 800g-8kg and 38-90cm, but can grow to at least 19.5kg and 130cm.


Medium-high priced (plate-sized are usually dearer than larger fish).


Black Bream, Frypan Bream, Pikey Bream, Tarwhine, Yellowfin Bream.

To Buy:

Sold whole (gilled and gutted), in cutlet/steak and fillet (often skinned) forms. In whole fish look for lustrous skin, firm flesh, and a pleasant, fresh sea smell. In cutlets, steaks and fillets, look for cream-pink, firm, lustrous, moist flesh without any brown markings or oozing water and with a pleasant fresh sea smell. Previously known by the Latin name Chrysophrys auratus.To Store:

Make sure whole fish is scaled, gutted and cleaned thoroughly. Wrap whole fish, fillets, cutlets and steaks in plastic wrap or place in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze whole fish for up to 6 months, and fillets, cutlets or steaks for up to 3 months, below -18ºC.

To Cook:

Average yield is 45%. Has a mild, delicate, sweet flavour, low oiliness and moist, medium-textured flesh with coarse flakes and easily removed pin bones; larger fish tend to have softer flesh. The edible skin can be left on. The centre bone of cutlets can be removed and a filling placed in the cavity. The bones make excellent stock. Score whole fish at the thickest part of the flesh. Cut thick fillets into serving-size portions and score to allow even heat penetration.

Cooking Methods:

Steam, poach, deep-fry, pan-fry, stir-fry, bake, braise, grill, barbecue, smoke, raw (sashimi), pickle. A good plate-sized fish cooked whole.

Goes well with:

Breadcrumbs, cream, herbs, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, mayonnaise, sweet chilli sauce, tartare sauce.


Blue-Eye Trevalla, Goldband Snapper, Mulloway, Pearl Perch, Red Emperor, Queenfish.


Chilled and frozen product, whole and fillets, is imported from New Zealand.


Hand Moulded Sushi (Nigiri-zushi) >
Snapper Fillets with Cabbage & Pan-fried Potatoes >
Snapper Tartare with Ruby Grapefruit >

Post credit | Sydney Fish Market


serves 4

1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) coarse salt
250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) cold water
1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) whole snapper, cleaned
1 small lemon, thinly sliced into rounds, plus extra 1/2 lemon to serve
10 g (1/4 oz/1/2 bunch) thyme sprigs
extra virgin olive oil, to serve


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius
Combine the salt and water in a bowl.

Spread half the salt mixture in a large baking dish that can double as a serving dish and shape it into a firmly packed rectangle larger than the snapper.

Pat the snapper dry using paper towel. Lay the fish on the salt base and place the lemon slices and thyme in the cavity. Spoon the remaining salt mixture over the top of the snapper and, using your fingers, firmly press it onto the fish. Try to cover the entire fish, including the head and tail, but if the salt mixture runs out, cover these with foil.

Bake the snapper for 25-30 minutes, or until its internal temperature reaches 60 degrees Celsius – check using a meat thermometer. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 2 minutes.

Loosen the crust by tapping the edge using the back of a spoon, then carefully lift the top crust off the fish and discard. Squeeze the extra lemon over the snapper, drizzle with olive oil and serve.

Recipe Credit | Australian Fish & Seafood Cookbook | Susman, Huckstep, Swan & Hodges

  • Best cooked fish and chips I have had in so long and I live in a fishing town. Fish was fresh and cooked to perfection.

    “Yummy!” – Visited January 2017

    via Trip Advisor
  • The fisherman’s co-op is your one stop shop for both a tasty seafood lunch and to purchase fresh seafood for dinner. Highly recommended the fisherman’s basket for two, it was easily enough to fill both our bellies. We then purchased a fresh kilo of prawns to take home.

    “Seafood lunch and fresh fish takeaway”

    via Trip Advisor
  • Heaps of choice of fresh fish to cook at home. We got the $35 family basket – nice variety, plenty to eat, fast service, great taste. A good way to end a day out in the town before heading home again.

    “Great location, great fish. great choice”

    via Trip Advisor
  • Stopped by the Fishermen’s Co-op just before the lunchtime crowd and the snapper was excellent. The crumbing was light and the oil fresh. In fact all the fish there looked great. The calamari was fresh and actually squid rings not mashed together to look like a ring. It got very busy quickly after I arrived and seating outside on the covered deck is limited so get in early or takeaway to the beach close by.

    “A great feed of fish and chips” – Visited January 2017

    via Trip Advisor

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