Red Snapper with Zingy Summer Salad
Summer is here and it’s time for quick and refreshing recipes. We all have to be outside and soak in the sun, so dishes that come together quickly but are still delicious are the key. Last weekend, we went to one of my favorite fish markets and restaurants in Chicago - Boston Fish Market (I know, that is a different city, yes). My dad took me there the first time for a great lunch of fresh seafood and since then, I stop in once when I’m in the area to pick up some seafood. The red snapper looked especially gorgeous, so that was my pick this time. Red snapper is a mild whitefish, so just a simple sear with salt and pepper is perfect. Normally, I would dress seared red snapper with lemon but my salad is so zingy (technical term), it would have been overkill. I’m not a grill master, but if you are, this fish and this dish are also perfect for grilling.
The salad is a mix of summer produce from my fridge and you can mix and match according to your preference. I went for tang with the tomatoes, sweetness with the corn, and spicy crunch with the radishes. I think cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, red onions, and charred zucchini would also make a great salad to pair with this fish. The dressing and the herbs are the key here. You can put this dressing over any mix of raw or grilled or roasted vegetables and it will really take it to the next level. It’s very inspired by Vietnamese flavors and it’s so summery!
1 red snapper fillet, about 12 oz
1 tsp olive oil
Pam cooking spray
salt and pepper to taste
1 tomato on the vine, diced
2-3 radishes, thinly sliced
1 ear of corn, charred
2 springs spring onions, diced
2 tbsp chopped mint leaves
2 tbsp chopped cilantro leaves
For the Dressing
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp water
1 tsp olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Char the corn over a gas stove or grill, about 5-10 mins, depending on how charred you like the corn. Keep turning it over the heat for even charring. Set aside to cool for a few minutes and then shave the kernels off of the cob. Place in a salad bowl.
Next, prep the spring onions, mint leaves, cilantro, tomatoes, and radishes; add everything to the bowl with charred corn. Mix everything under the “For the Dressing” section and pour over the salad, toss well, and set aside.
Heat up a stainless steel or non-stick pan and pour the remaining 1 tsp of oil. Once heated through and almost smoking, spray the pan with a little cooking spray. Place the fillet of fish, skin down, and cooking for 3-4 mins or until the fish releases naturally from the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Flip the fillet over and brown for another 5 mins or until the fish releases from the pan. Season again with salt and pepper.
Remove the fish to a serving platter, skin-side up, and top with the salad. Serve!