Delicious crispy skin snapper with fresh lemon herb Caper Salsa is a quick and easy fish dinner recipe for any occasion. You will learn how to cook perfectly crispy fish skin, 14 recipe ideas for how to use capers, and 8 additional side dish recipe ideas. The caper salsa goes well in the summer during the grilling season with meats and seafood, and as a salad dressing or marinade.
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Hello my friends. Finally, I was able to release a new recipe today. I was taking time off to re-inspire and re-nourish myself. Maybe I took a little too long?. During this time, I was selecting the recipes I would like to make for the next six months. Most of the influences for my selections come from Mediterranean cuisine, Dominican food, and dishes from the restaurants that we love. I want this food blog to reflect my passion for ethnic food, and give you easy recipes with simple ingredients. I’m trying to do more healthy food, but once in a while you will see some decadent desserts, fun cocktails, and what we like to eat on our cheat day(s). We also want to continue with our main goal of Spoonabilities which is to help you with finding recipes and ideas to use the leftover jars of mustards, jams or anything else that is left behind in your fridge or pantry.
Last week was a busy week because I was testing recipes and getting the final approval from my Chief Tasting Officer Geoffrey. I was also testing some recipes with products from our friends at Flora Fine Foods. My early inspiration that drew me into the kitchen to learn how to cook was Italian food, which always has been one of my weaknesses. Because of that, I completely enjoy our partnership with Flora Fine Foods. They have a fantastic selection of imported Italian products. I use their capers in this week’s recipe of Crispy-skin Snapper with Caper Salsa. This caper salsa is fresh, herby and lemony; perfect for any fish or seafood dinner.
More Recipes made with Flora Fine Food
UPDATE: If you haven’t read (or made) the other recipes made with Flora Fine Food products, after you read this post, check out the following mouthwatering recipes inspired by Italian & Mediterranean food:
- Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Sicilian Olives. This vegetarian recipe can be made vegan by just changing the pasta.
- Spiced Lamb Meatballs with Piquillo Pepper Pesto. This is my favorite recipe so far. Maybe because I love lamb.
- Cauliflower Crust Pizza with Artichokes and Roasted Red Pepper. This recipe is also vegetarian with the option to make it vegan just substituting the cheese for vegan cheese.
- Summer Antipastp Salad in a Jar is a great meal prep idea for your busy week. With five different variations, you can take this salad to work every day of the week, or keep for easy week-night dinners.
For a while I have wanted to make a recipe with snapper, but I was afraid to damage this beautiful and flavorful fish. For my everyday meals, I tend to cook fish in the oven. I prefer to cook economic white fish, cod or salmon, and I have never pan-fried fish. Therefore, I decided to test this snapper recipe a couple of times before sharing it with you. And honestly, it was much easier than I thought. With the cooking technique that I explain below, the snapper comes out perfectly cooked with a delicious crispy skin.
Herb & Lemony Caper Salsa
This fish recipe takes less than 15 minutes if you make the Caper Salsa first. However, you can also make the salsa while the fish is cooking. I prefer to make the caper salsa first to allow the ingredients to marinate and enrich the salsa. To make this salsa you need flat parsley, cilantro, capers, lemon, grated garlic, Sambal Oelek (chili paste), and extra virgin olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. I didn’t use either salt or pepper since I found the caper salsa perfect for my taste. I rinse the capers and think after a rough chop the capers still infuses enough salt into the salsa.
How to Make Crispy Fish Skin
Through my research, I found this is the best way to make fish skin crispy. Since you start with a cold pan, you need to be patient. Here are the steps:
- Rinse and pat dry the fish: Line a plate with a paper towel and put the fish skin side down. Take some more paper towel and dry the other side. Repeat the step for the skin side.
- On a dry clean plate, place the fish and sprinkle both sides with salt, pepper & extra virgin olive oil. Be generous with the salt, but don’t overdo it.
- In a COLD nonstick skillet, add a Tablespoon of olive oil. Place the snapper skin side down and turn on the stove to medium heat. The skillet will heat up gradually until fat starts to cook out of the fish.
- When the fat begins to cook, take a flexible spatula and press the fish against the pan for a few seconds. This step is very important because it will help cook the whole skin thoroughly. This first side takes around 4-5 minutes, but if your fish is thick, you may want to cook it for 6 or 7 minutes. The key here is to make sure the skin is crispy before flipping, and the flesh is mostly opaque.
- Turn to the other side for about a minute or two.
Side Dishes to Serve with Snapper and Caper Salsa
To plate the crispy-skin snapper, spoon the caper salsa onto the plate and place the fish skin side up on top of the salsa. Here are a few suggestions for what side dishes you can serve with this fish dinner:
- Zucchini noodles, but before you put on the plate add some of the caper salsa and combine
- Grilled zucchini and topped with more caper salsa
- Roasted fingerling potatoes
- Pecan Honey Mustard Dressing on Green Beans
- Microgreens in a very light vinaigrette or use the caper salsa as a vinaigrette
- Grilled Summer Vegetables with Black Olive Vinaigrette
- Mashed potatoes
- White rice
What to do with a Leftover Jar of Capers
Now that you used some capers for the salsa, you have an open jar sitting in your refrigerator waiting for the next recipe. Here are 14 ideas to give you the best suggestions for what to do with your leftover jar of capers:
- Bagel and lox or smoked salmon tartine with fried capers
- Tuna salad or chicken salad
- Chicken piccata or fish piccata
- Garlic butter caper sauce for pasta
- Caper cream sauce for chicken, pork or veal
- Add it into a salad dressing
- Caper tapenade
- Arugula Salsa Verde
- Caper Cream Cheese
- Eggplant Caponata
- Pasta Puttanesca
- Tahini Caper Salad Dressing
- Make your own tartar sauce
- Turkey burgers with coleslaw
I hope you get to make this Crispy-skinned Snapper with Caper Salsa recipe or any of our recipes. Let me know in the comment section what you think about this recipe, and if you try it. If you share this recipe or your creation on social media, tag us @spoonabilities and use the hashtag #Spoonabilities. Thank you.
Have a wonderful week!
Your Recipe Concierge
Crispy skin Snapper with Caper Salsa Recipe
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 3 serving 1x
Crispy-skin Snapper with Caper Salsa is a healthy fish recipe which is easy to make. The caper salsa is made with fresh parsley, chili paste, cilantro, olive oil and lemon juice.
- 3 5-6oz. skin-on snapper fillets
- 1 small garlic clove, grated and mashed
- 1 cup chopped herbs (such as parsley & cilantro)
- 2 Tablespoons chopped capers from Flora Fine Foods
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon
- 7 Tablespoons (or more) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon chili paste (sambal oelek)
- Kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper
For the Caper Salsa:
- Grate the garlic with a microplane
- Chop the parsley & cilantro and rough chop the capers
- In a medium bowl, mix the chopped herbs, capers, lemon juice, and 6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. If needed, season the herby sauce with ½ teaspoon of kosher salt and pepper.
For the Crispy-skinned Snapper:
- Rinse, and pat dry the fish: Line a plate with a paper towel and put the fish skin side down. Take more paper towel and dry the other side. Repeat this step on the skin side.
- Place the fish on a dry clean plate and sprinkle both sides with salt, pepper, and extra virgin olive oil. Be generous with the salt, but don’t overdo it.
- In a COLD nonstick skillet, brush on a Tablespoon of olive oil to coat the surface of the pan. Place the snapper skin side down and turn the stove on medium heat. The skillet will heat up gradually and the fat will start to cook out of the fish.
- When the fat starts to cook, take a flexible spatula and press the fish against the pan for a few seconds. This step is very important because it will help cook the whole skin completely. This first side takes around 4-5 minutes. If your fish is thick, you may want to cook for 6 or 7 minutes. The key here is to make sure the skin is crispy, and the flesh is mostly opaque.
- Flip the fish over to the other side and cook for about a minute or two.
- To plate the snapper, spoon the caper salsa onto the plate and place the fish skin side up on top of the salsa.
Vitamin A 7%, Vitamin C 50%, Calcium 5%, Iron 9%, Vitamin B12 12%, Vitamin E 1%, Vitamin K 413%
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Dinner
- Cuisine: International
- Serving Size: 6 oz
- Calories: 375
- Sodium: 398.7 mg
- Fat: 35.9 g
- Carbohydrates: 2.5 g
- Fiber: 1 g
- Protein: 14 g
- Cholesterol: 31.2 mg
Products used available via these Amazon links:
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This looks great! My only question is what should I do if I don’t have a non-stick pan? Follow the directions the same way? Or start on a higher heat?
Hi Aami, Yes, follow the directions the same way. I will suggest adding a bit of extra olive oil. Also, make sure to don't move it as per the directions.
Do you have an air fryer? You can do it in the air fryer too.
Fitoru Keto Support
So love it! I actually made this today and it was so good! Can't wait to try this again! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!
Geoffrey @ Spoonabilities
You are very welcome. Glad you had a chance to make it and love it.
I bought red snapper today and I was searching for some delicious recipe. I came across this recipe and gave it a try. This recipe is perfect for me as I'm on ketogenic diet. This recipe is low on carbs and very delicious as well. I will try this recipe with some other fish next time.
How was it Corrie? What other fish are you going to use?
Snapper and capers are a match made in heaven, thanks for this amazing recipe!
You are very welcome Emily. Glad you agree. Enjoy!
Heidy L. McCallum
I love Snapper! Some of the best snapper fish I ever had was when I used to have a timeshare in Mexico. I seriously cannot wait to try yours.
WOW, now we are jealous. What kind of Mexican recipes did you use for your snapper there?
I have always been intimidated to make snapper but I love how you broke the whole recipe down. It gives me the confidence to try. It looks fantastic!
Thanks for sharing that Jen. As you read, Carlos was intimidated too. So glad his write-up gave you the confidence to try. Let us know how great it turns out.
This is my kind of fish. I love everything about this recipe from crispy skin to this amazing caper salsa. Fantastic. Will be making it often.
Thank you Edyta for stopping by and checking out our Snapper recipe. So glad you like it and the caper salsa. If you have any questions while you are making the recipe, let us know.
This post is amazing! The step by step to crispy fish is perfect for newbies to have delicious fish first time around! I am also grateful for the suggestions for my now open jar of capers - so many great recipes!
Thank you Beth for diving into our recipe. So glad we can be of help to both newbies, and you and your open jar of capers. Let us know if you need any more help.