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.

Family:

Sparidae (breams).

Description:

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.

Season:

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.

Price:

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

Relations:

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.

Alternatives:

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

Imports:

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

Recipes:

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

Post credit | Sydney Fish Market

SALT-CRUSTED WHOLE SNAPPER

serves 4

Ingredients
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


Method

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

  • 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
  • Our family of 4 tucked into one of the better fish n chips we have had for a long time. Nice crisp batter (not soggy, oily, or smoothed). We had a selection trawler whiting, flake, calamari, sea scallops, potato scallops, and chips all beautifully cooked, and with great taste of the seafood

    “Delicious ”

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  • Service at the Co-Op is friendly and helpful and the fish is MAGNIFICENTLY FRESH. If you have a special occasion coming up, the cooked lobster is absolutely delicious.

    “LOVE THE CO-OP” – Visited March 2017

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  • My wife and I ordered grilled swordfish. It took some time until it was done, but then we each got a nicely grilled piece about the size of a T Bone steak. Our daughter liked the salad. It might not be the place for a formal dinner but if you are hungry for fish at a reasonable price it’s certainly worth going there.

    “Excellent fish”

    via Trip Advisor
 

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