Fresh, local caught red snapper, breaded and deep fried in coconut oil makes a delicious dinner. As Floridians, we’re used to all the beach side restaurants serving up their specialty, grouper nuggets, fried in their standard oil. Well the other day, I had homemade red snapper nuggets that were better than anything I’ve ever tasted in a restaurant!
My stepdad, Paul, regularly goes on fishing trips off the coast in the Gulf of Mexico. He always brings back fresh grouper, snapper, or any other catch of the day. He skins and cleans the fish himself and takes them home to the house to fry up for dinner. I had given him a gallon of coconut oil to start using when he fries because it has a high smoke point. This night for dinner he made, red snapper nuggets, french fries, and cauliflower. Everything was cooked in coconut oil instead of regular vegetable oil.
At first, I was hesitant to try the fish because I’m a picky eater and the thought of catching your own fish and cleaning it and cooking it is disgusting to me and I’d rather leave it to professionals. Well, I should say that Paul is close enough to any professional fish fryer you can get! He probably eats his own catch 3-4 times a week. He cut up the snapper into bite size pieces and battered it with his own recipe. 1 cup flour, 1 tablespoon corn starch, and almost one full beer or ginger ale. The consistency should be that of pancake batter. After battering the fish, he deep fries them in hot coconut oil for about 10 minutes or until they are golden brown. A note about frying with coconut oil: it will not burn like vegetable oil.
Thankfully, I got over my fear of eating fish made at home and tried the snapper nuggets. They were slightly sweet, plump, all white meat nuggets. After I got my first bite, I couldn’t stop eating them. And although they were fried, (I don’t eat much fried food), they were light and delicious thanks to the coconut oil. Plus, the snapper was extremely fresh and the french fries and cauliflower made for great eating too!
Just last night at a nice restaurant in Miami, I saw they were offering fried snapper as a fish and chips option. I had to order it to compare to Paul’s homemade fish and chips. And being completely honest, no bias here, Paul’s were much better! The restaurant snapper was chewy and the breading was a bit doughy. Also, there were brown bits of the skin on the fish, which I’m not a fan of.
Thanks to Paul for a great fish fry! I can’t wait to come over and have some more.