Last month I had a tiny bit of Crop Over withdrawal. I also had a serious eczema attack and wanted to do everything in my power to get my skin back to normal. One of the recommended practices was to eat more fish. I’m not in love with Salmon, and Tilapia (although I like the taste), apparently isn’t the greatest in quality. So, I figured what better time to bring some red snapper back into my life than now. I tried making red snapper YEARS ago but it didn’t hit the way I wanted it to. Needless to say, I was a likkle scurred to try it again. Although, I do feel that my culinary game has been kicked up a notch (or two, or three) since 2012.
Since snapper isn’t found in my local grocery stores, and since I wasn’t in the mood to pay for Whole Foods’ ridiculous fish prices, I had to do some research. I did a quick Google search for a fish market near me and found one with excellent ratings and rave reviews. I was the first and only person in the market and Juan was super friendly and helpful. He cleaned the fish for me and made sure to ask if I wanted the head chopped off. Um sir, that’s a resounding “YES”…I am not a fish head eater attahl! Now that I had my precious red snapper, it was time to get to the business of prepping it.
Fears aside, I let the ancestors guide me as I experimented with this baked red snapper recipe. They didn’t lead me astray y’all. When I tell you my feet AND the feet of my Caribbean ancestors were in this fish! Yes LAWD they were! I had to make it at least two more times since then just to make sure I wasn’t trippin’. Success!
Okay here are my insider tips and disclaimers to note before you try your hands at this dish. Oh, and yes, I have and will continue to copy and paste from previous recipes, because some disclaimers are consistent across the board:
- You already know island people don’t really measure ingredients like that, but I did my best and came up with these rough measurements
- I used black pepper, seasoning salt, complete seasoning, onion powder and garlic powder to season my fish in addition to my homemade green seasoning (recipe below)
- If you don’t like whole allspice (a.k.a. Reggae Balls) you can substitute them for ground allspice (but you’ll have to figure out the appropriate amount to use on your own because I’ve never used it for this recipe)
- As always, start light when adding ingredients so that you don’t over season your dish (you can always add but never take away)
- Make sure the foil completely wraps the parchment paper because no one has time for burnt paper and oven fires
If you try this recipe please let me know how it goes and share pics and vids during the process! I’d love to see it! For a true Crop Over/Oistins Fish Fry experience I’m going to try frying my snapper in my air fryer next. Wish me luck!
Happy cooking and ting!