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In honor of my favorite fish, this most-simple pan-fried butter snapper takes 2 ingredients to prepare and just 10 minutes to cook.
I’ve recently unearthed a real love for snapper. A few months ago, I resolved to bring home a different piece of fresh fish each week. I’m ALWAYS game for a fun culinary adventure and making my way over to the fish counter felt like a thrill! I look forward to standing in front of the ice-filled chests, taking in all the fresh fish, making note of which are the most sustainable sources, and then inquiring with the fish counter clerk as to which is the most fresh.
Side note: if you’d like some help navigating the “best” and most sustainability-friendly fish choices according to YOUR location, the Monterey Bay Aquarium has us covered! They crafted a wonderfully thorough and regularly-updated “Seafood Watch” that does the thinking for you. Simply click HERE to open the page, choose your state, and review the document for your “best,” “good,” and “avoid” seafood choices.
In this weekly adventure, I’ve tasted and tested a LOT of fish! They all have their own unique signature, but snapper (turns out) has won my heart. It’s not too firm, not too flaky, is hardly ever “fishy,” and holds up incredibly well while cooked.
Today’s pan-fried butter snapper recipe is an ode to my favorite fish! In honor of its natural awesomeness, we’re going to prepare it as simply as possible. Just a little sea salt and just a little butter. THAT’S IT! We don’t need the oven or a marinade. Just some fresh snapper, a hot skillet, and about 10 minutes.
As Is or Enhanced
Once the fish is done, you can enjoy it as-is (just with salt & butter), OR you can add a few drizzles of my most recent Cilantro Lime Cream Sauce! It is a wonderful addition to the fish. A quick garnish of fresh cilantro makes it a wow-worthy protein.
What To Serve With Pan-Fried Butter Snapper
- Caramelized Carrots
- Cauliflower Rice
- Roasted Potatoes
- Sauteed Spinach (killer recipe in my ‘Fed & Fit’ book)
- Blackened Salmon Bowls with Coconut Rice
- The Best Crispy Calamari
- Chili-Lime Seared Ahi Tuna Recipe
- Cilantro Lime Salmon Bake with Tomato Avocado Salsa
- Easy Baked Crab Legs
- Easy Shrimp Scampi Recipe
- Simple Shrimp Roll Recipe
- Incredible Baked Red Snapper Recipe
- Lemon Garlic Baked Cod with Cherry Tomatoes
- Oven Baked Tilapia
- Pan Seared Salmon with Skin
Just for You
Want more recipes like this?
- 2 tablespoons butter from grass-fed cows like Kerrygolds or ghee
- 1 pound fresh snapper filet skin on (or off, your call)
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3 tablespoons Cilantro Lime Cream Sauce (optional)
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro sprigs (optional)
- cracked black pepper to taste (optional)
- Melt the butter or ghee in a cast-iron or other large skillet over medium/high heat. Liberally season the snapper with the sea salt. Once the butter is melted, lay the snapper non-skin-side face-down in the hot skillet. Cook on this side for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the snapper develops a slight golden brown color.
- Carefully flip the fish over using a large spatula and cook for an additional 4 minutes.
- If desired, drizzle with the Cilantro Lime Cream Sauce and then garnish with the fresh cilantro and cracked black pepper. Enjoy!
I’ve never cooked snapper, but I’m trying it tonight on your recommendation! Do you mean skin side down when you say face top-side face down?
GOOD question. I’ll update the post to clarify. I mean non-skin-side (top) face-down.
Bethany @ Athletic Avocado says
Sometimes the simplest recipes are the best! This snapper looks insanely delicious and easy to make! Skin on all the way 🙂
I really liked the cooking tips.
Ronda Corkhill says
I followed the directions to the T except I used my all clad. The fish doubled in height in the pan and only cooked on the outside. I left it in the pan for another 5 minutes on low to cook the interior after cutting the piece in half. Maybe next time I’ll try making snapper nuggets….
Charles Perkins says
If you “score” the skin side before cooking,this should reduce the amount of shrinkage of the fillets.
, lay the snapper non-skin-side face-down in the hot skillet.
HOW ABOUT SKIN SIDE UP
just so much easier to follow less confusing and less words to read
Brandi Schilhab says
Thanks for the input, John!
For me, this is one of the best meals I’ve ever serve to my family.
Melissa Guevara says
We are so glad to hear that! Thank you for taking the time to share with us. -Team F&F