Today we're making Pan Seared Mangrove Snapper with Mango Coleslaw. The blackened snapper is fresh and tasty. Paired with the sweet and crunchy mango slaw, you have a whole meal that's healthy and top-notch!
Catch of The Day
The catch of the day is fresh Mangrove Snapper, freshly caught near the beautiful coast of Islamorada, Florida.
These fillets are seasoned with Cajun blackened seasoning, which adds a nice touch of spice to the dish. Then, they're seared in a hot pan for a few minutes until cooked through.
To accompany the fish, I've prepared mango coleslaw seasoned with lime juice, honey, and salt. This slaw serves as a sweet complement to the slightly spicy blackened fish, creating a great combination of flavors.
What is Mangrove Snapper?
Mangrove snappers, also known as mangos or gray snappers, are a type of small fish with a taste similar to yellowtail. They typically measure around 4 or 5 inches in length, although they can grow larger. Fresh mangrove snapper is characterized by its moist and sweet pink flesh.
When searing mangrove snapper for cooking, it's advisable to have the skin removed during the cleaning process. Additionally, ask the fishmonger to remove the tiny bones located at the tail end.
With three fillets weighing nearly one pound, you can expect one fillet to serve one person as a satisfying meal. Even older children could easily eat a whole fillet.
Given its delicious flavor, someone with a hearty appetite can probably eat two or three fillets!
You'll need a heavy-bottom skillet—either stainless steel or cast iron works best.
When flipping small snappers, use a fish-turner instead of tongs to ensure the fillets stay intact.
A fish turner, also known as a fish spatula, has a thin, flexible metal blade specifically designed for flipping delicate foods like fish fillets without breaking them.
What You Need
- Mangrove snapper fillets
- Blackened seasoning (use the recipe in the recipe card below or get Paul Prudhomme's Redfish Magic where you buy your fish)
- olive oil
- lemon or lime wedges
For the Mango Slaw
Mango slaw is a healthy and sweet salad made with chopped ripe mangoes, green or purple cabbage, and grated carrots, dressed with lime juice, honey, salt, and pepper.
Mango coleslaw is a perfect side for fish dishes, especially this one.
The coleslaw is quick to prepare—all you need to do is chop the ingredients and mix them with the dressing. Plus, it can be made ahead of time, perfect for meal prep or entertaining.
- purple, red, or green cabbage
- jalapeno pepper
- salt and black pepper
See the recipe card below for quantities.
How to Sear Fresh Snapper
- Pat the snapper fillets dry with paper towels.
- Season the fish with blackened seasoning.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Place the snapper fillets in the skillet without crowding the pan. Cook without moving them for 3 minutes.
- Using a spatula, carefully flip the fillets and cook for an additional 2 minutes until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.
- Remove the snapper fillets from the skillet and transfer them to a serving platter.
- Garnish with lemon or lime slices and fresh herbs.
- Serve with mango coleslaw.
Note: If you have more fish than fits in one pan, use 2 pans.
If you only have one skillet, let the pan cool and wash it or wipe it down before starting the next batch. This will remove all the cooked bits of fish and seasoning.
You can substitute any thin white fish fillets such as yellowtail, hogfish, mahi, or red snapper in this recipe.
If you have a thicker piece of fish such as grouper or swordfish, cook it over medium heat for a few extra minutes.
- Taco Night: Serve the seared snapper and mango coleslaw as fillings for soft tortillas to create delicious fish tacos. Add some sliced avocado, cilantro, and a drizzle of your favorite sauce for extra flavor.
- Rice Bowl: Serve the seared snapper and mango slaw over a bowl of cooked rice for a colorful and nutritious meal. You can also add additional toppings like sliced cucumbers, avocado, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
- Salad: Place the seared snapper on a bed of mixed greens and top them with the mango slaw for a light and refreshing salad. Drizzle with a citrus vinaigrette or a creamy dressing for added flavor.
- Sandwich: Layer the seared snapper and mango slaw between slices of crusty bread or on a soft bun to create a flavorful fish sandwich. Add some lettuce, tomato, and a spread of mayo or aioli for extra goodness.
Always store your freshly caught fish on ice until you reach a refrigerator.
Place the fish in the refrigerator and cook it within 1-2 days. Store the fish in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap to prevent exposure to air.
After the fish is cooked, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 or 2 days.
The slaw can be made a day or two before serving to allow the flavors to meld together, enhancing its taste. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Leaving the skin on the fish is optional. Some prefer to leave the skin on for added flavor and texture, while others prefer to remove it before cooking. If you choose to leave the skin on, make sure it's scaled and cleaned properly.
Yes, you can cook snapper in a non-stick pan. Non-stick pans are convenient for cooking fish because they require less oil and are easier to clean. However, keep in mind that non-stick pans may not get as hot as other types of pans, so you may need to adjust your cooking time accordingly to ensure that the fish gets a nice sear.
Mangrove snapper bears a striking resemblance to yellowtail and can be seamlessly substituted for each other in culinary applications. Known for its slightly sweeter taste, attributed to its smaller size, mangrove snapper is best when prepared through frying, baking, broiling, or grilling.
Explore These Florida Seafood Recipes
The following recipes have been created for you using wild-caught and fresh fish and shrimp from the Florida Keys.
- Florida Keys Pink Shrimp Salad
- Blackened Shrimp
- Pan Fried Snapper
- Healthy Shrimp Tacos with Pico de Gallo
- Crispy Pan Fried Mahi Mahi Recipe
- Blackened Swordfish
- Seared Tripletail with Garlic Butter Sauce
- Florida Smoked Fish Dip Recipe
Seared Mangrove Snapper with Mango Coleslaw is an easy recipe that has SUMMER all over it!
Mangrove Snapper, also known as Mango or Gray Snapper, is a slender white fish native to South Florida. If mangrove snapper is unavailable, you can substitute any fresh snapper fillets (such as yellowtail, red snapper, or lane snapper) or thin white fillets like tripletail, hogfish, trout, or flounder.
Plan on serving one fillet per person, approximately 6 ounces each.
Season each fillet with blackened seasoning or your favorite seafood seasoning.
If you are not home and just have salt and pepper, fresh fish, and a grill, you're good to go, that works too!
While mango slaw is traditionally associated with fish tacos, it is also an exceptional standalone side dish. Adjust the level of spiciness to your preference by removing the seeds from jalapeno peppers for a milder taste, or leaving them intact for a bolder flavor.
This recipe can be easily scaled up by doubling or tripling the ingredients.
Pan Seared Mangrove Snapper with Mango Coleslaw
FOR THE MANGO SLAW
- 1 mango, peeled and cubed
- 1 carrot, shredded
- 2 cups shredded purple, red, or green cabbage (about half a cabbage)
- 1 jalapeno pepper diced
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 2 limes, juiced
- 1 tablespoon honey
- salt and black pepper to taste
FOR THE FISH
- 1 pound snapper fillets, defrosted if frozen
- 2 tablespoons blackened seasoning (see below for recipe) or Chef Paul Prudhomme's Redfish Magic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Mix the mango coleslaw ingredients in a large bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until needed. This step can be done one day in advance of serving.
- Pat the snapper fillets dry with paper towels. Dust blackened seasoning on top and bottom of fish.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place the snapper fillets into the skillet. Cook without moving them for 3 minutes.
- Using a spatula, carefully flip the fish and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.
- Remove the snapper fillets from the skillet and transfer them to a serving platter. Garnish with lemon or lime slices and fresh herbs. Serve with mango coleslaw.
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (add more if you want it spicy)
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon kosher or coarse salt