Jamaican cuisine is known for jerk dishes. We have dishes like jerk beef, jerk pork, and even jerk seafood. However, here we explore the deliciousness of Jamaican coconut snapper that you can easily enjoy at home.
How do you know when the snapper is done?
Red snapper is a delicious lean white fish that is packed with nutrients and protein. It’s a great fish to cook with richer ingredients like coconut milk and heavy spices.
When cooking snapper, some people chop up the fish or cook it whole. Regardless, if you’re wondering how you can tell when the snapper is cooked, you use a thermometer and check for the internal temperature of 145 F.
However, if you do not have a thermometer like most of us home cooks, you can easily stick a fork into the meat and lightly pull the meat to check if it’s cooked. If the meat is flaky, the fish is cooked.
Why is my fish tough and rubbery?
There could be various reasons why your fish is tough and rubbery. The easiest answer to that would be that you overcooked your fish. Sometimes cooking fish for too long can turn it into a chewy mess just like steak.
Another factor that could affect the texture of the fish is the way the fish was prepared. If the fish was very fresh, almost alive, and it was thrown into heat, the fish could have experience rigor mortis, causing its tissues to stiffen.
How do you fix overcooked snapper?
It’s not so easy to redeem yourself if you’ve overcooked snapper and fish in general. However, there are options to save yourself a little. It’s not all the time that people overcook fish anyway.
If you do so, you could easily cut the fish and simmer it in the presence of fat for a little longer. Luckily, in this recipe, we’re making use of coconut cream so it’ll help fix your overcooked snapper in an event that you do.
- Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is our fat of choice since its flavor is already great with the coconut milk flavor.
- Onion, Garlic, Ginger, Scotch Bonnet Pepper
Onion, garlic, ginger, and scotch bonnet peppers create a delicious base for the curry stew.
- Jamaican Curry Powder
Jamaican curry powder can be found on Amazon or Jamaican stores.
- Diced Tomatoes
You can use fresh tomatoes for this recipe or canned diced tomatoes.
- Coconut Milk
You can use store bought coconut milk or freshly squeezed coconut milk for this recipe.
For this recipe, we’re using snapper fillets instead of whole snapper. If you have a whole snapper, you could use that as well.
We love the addition of kale in this recipe because it adds freshness to a rich dish.
- Lime, Cilantro
Lime and cilantro are added flavors to the coconut dish to balance out the richness of the coconut milk.
Tips and Tricks
- Sear the fish skin first
It’s always best to sear the fish skin first so that the meat doesn’t toughen up and shrink immediately. It’s also most presentable that way.
- Add fresh coconut towards the end of the cooking period
Fresh coconut milk is super tasty and it’s perfect to add a little just as you finish cooking so it’s a lot more creamy.
How to make Jamaican Coconut Snapper
Make sure you have all your ingredients ready for this recipe.
In a large saucepan, heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Sear the snapper fillets skin down for 3 minutes. Repeat on the meat side for another 2 minutes. Set aside.
Saute the ginger, onion, and garlic until tender. Add the scotch bonnet pepper and saute for another 2 minutes.
Add the diced tomatoes and the bay leaf. Pour in the coconut milk (leave ¼ cup) and then bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for another 8 minutes to reduce the sauce a little.
Add the kale, lime juice, and return the snapper fillets to the mixture.
Garnish with chopped cilantro.
What to serve with coconut snapper?
Jamaican coconut snapper is a saucy dish that deserves to be eaten with a heavy yet blander carbohydrate. Our number one pairing with this dish is rice. If you’ve got yourself perfectly cooked loose Jasmine rice, you’re good to go with this coconut snapper. Here are the other things you could serve with coconut snapper:
- Mango salsa
- Fried plantains
- Roasted potato wedges
- Sweet potatoes