How To Cook Delicious Whole Snapper (Like A Chef)


Are you missing your favorite restaurant?

In this video, we’re bringing the restaurant TO YOU!

We’ve got Chef Troy on the podcast today taking us back into the kitchen of the Crab & Fin restaurant and showing us a delicious way to cook whole snapper.

This will definitely make you hungry, and if you’ve never tried whole fish, a whole other world is about to be opened to you.

whole lane snapper cooking

Chef Troy will take us step by step through the process of cooking whole fish (he uses snapper in the video, but this method can be used with any fish) and breaks down:

  • How to tell if a fish is actually fresh (if you’re buying it from a grocery store)
  • How to scale and prepare a fish to be cooked whole
  • A few different ways to cook it — including frying, baking and grilling it — so anybody can do it
  • Tips to get the most flavor out of the fish
  • What “fish bacon” is

And much more!

While many restaurants are shut down now I know you’re going to love this cooking episode.

I definitely recommend watching the video version of this podcast below, but you can also listen to the audio version by clicking the play button underneath it, or on iTunes, Stitcher, or Spotify.

P.S. Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, or Spotify and leave us a review!

How To Cook Whole Snapper [VIDEO]

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How To Cook Whole Snapper [PODCAST]

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how to cook whole snapper

Who’s ready to make some whole snapper now?!

I’ve got to say, that snapper was pretty delicious and I would definitely recommend you go visit Chef Troy at Crab & Fin in Sarasota.

But for now, while we’re all staying home, cooking is a fun activity to do with your family and put food on the table at the same time.

We used lane snapper in this video, but this would also be a great way to cook fish like mangrove snapper and sheepshead.

Have any questions about cooking whole fish?

Let me know in the comments below!

And if you know someone who wants to see a new way to cook their catch, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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Paul Lecat
11 months ago

Great restaurant!!! Go there!! For those new to eating whole cooked fish, you probably already know where the bones are.

first, run a butterknife down the lateral line and push the top half of the meat toward the dorsal fin. It should slide up without much effort. No bones. This is the prime piece to give to your wife/date, etc.

The second part is the lower half. This is where the pin bones (usually perpendicular to the main spine (vertebral) bones. Again, using a butter knife, push the meat down so it slides off the ribs. Here is where the pin bones and ribs can get in the way, so this part is really for fishermen who can deal with a bone or two.

NEVER forget the cheek meat! This is another special bite to give to your loved one!!

Flip fish over, or just lift the spine out and use similar technique for the other side.


Travis Anderson
1 year ago

I just cooked 2 lanes on Friday… should have done them whole like this! Cleaned filets but I feel like I lost so much meat. Next time will definitely try this!

Chef Troy
1 year ago

Yes you don’t lose anything! Plus it’s much easier and less messy!

1 year ago

Wow, that looks really good and pretty easy. I’ve always shied away from doing whole fish simply because I didn’t know how. Thanks for the video. One question, is there a recipe for the “sauces” (for lack of a better word) or are the something I can buy in the grocery? I have almost zero cooking skills.

Chef Troy
1 year ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Hi thanks for the comment! These sauces are made from scratch in the restaurant. Most of what I make is by taste (although I do probably have them written down somewhere).

For the mango habanero, it is pretty simple:
4 cups diced mango
1 cup sugar
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1 whole habanero (for less heat, don’t use the seeds)
2 cups water

Just really gotta bring everything to a boil and let it roll for a couple minutes (not too long, the sugars will get pretty syrupy pretty quickly, and can easily burn)

The sweet soy is slightly more difficult, unless you have access to whole octopus heads LOL!
It’s roughly:
1 gallon of soy sauce
5 lemons, halved and squeezed (throw them right in the soy as well)
12 cups of sugar
3-4 octopus heads

Obviously, these recipes can be scaled down, these are for commercial kitchen production amounts!

Seems like a lot of sugar (and it is admittedly more than I use in almost any other sauce), but the amount you use on each plate is a fraction of the amount used in the entire recipe, so scale it all back. With the habanero, and the Pad Thai sauce we use for the noodles, some sweet is necessary to balance the heat in both.

Hope this gets you goin in the right direction!

1 year ago

Really Cool! Thank you!

Chef Troy
1 year ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Thanks no problem, look forward to doing some more!

Joseph Brumley
1 year ago

I’m definitely go to try this. Looks amazing! Thanks for this video.

Chef Troy
1 year ago
Reply to  Joseph Brumley

Thank you Joe, glad you enjoyed it! Stay tuned…….

William Rector
1 year ago

What was the oven temp?

Chef Troy
1 year ago
Reply to  William Rector

The oven was set on high, typically about 500°, convection. You can go lower if you’d like, you just may not get as crispy a result, and clearly it will take slightly longer.

Randal Jones
1 year ago

Wow thanks a bunch. One of my favorite ways to eat fish in a restaurant. Now I can do it at home, or at least try. Question… When he cooks it on the grill then oven or completely on the grill I am guessing he doesn’t dredge it in a mixture of salt and flour?

Chef Troy
1 year ago
Reply to  Randal Jones

You are correct Randal! All I would do in that scenario is hit the fish with a nice dry rub or a marinade, such as chimichurri for example, or even as simple (and one of my favorites) fresh lemon, salt and pepper. Please let me know how this turns out if you go for it, and any questions, feel free to ask!

Thomas Marks
1 year ago

I think I might become a catch and eat fisherman.

Nick Pavone
1 year ago


Tom Ilg
1 year ago
Reply to  Nick Pavone

Why cut any of the fins off? I lived in Mexico for 3 years and had ate these guys weekly…the fins (deep fried) were delicious, they tasted like Kettle Chips (potato chips). The loca chefs stuffed th interior with peppers and onion….ahhh to die for!

Chef Troy
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom Ilg

Good question Tom! More for the sake of being restaurant friendly to be honest. A few reasons I do this, it lessens the chance of a guest getting poked inadvertently, and gives it a slightly cleaner look. Also, it’s easier to work around and get the meat off the bones with them out of the way, particularly the pelvic, pectoral and anal fins.

Chef Troy
1 year ago
Reply to  Nick Pavone

Thank you Nick, glad you enjoyed the video! Can’t wait to get back in the kitchen and start cooking again!


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