Seared red snapper with salsa verde

Seared red snapper with salsa verde

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This red snapper dish takes the classic chimichurri salsa of Argentina, and adds a twist with some Mexican flavours that give body and delicate flavours to the sauce.

Hibiscus flowers are used in Mexico to make a sweet iced tea called agua de Jamaica, but here their colour and tart flavour add great zest to the plate.

Ingredients (serves 2)

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

Salsa verde

  • 3 tomatillos
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 3 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 1 tsp Mexican oregano
  • 3 Mexican bay leaves (or 1 dry bay leaf)
  • 2 tbsp chopped serrano chilli
  • 60ml olive oil
  • 30ml white vinegar
  • Salt

Red snapper

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 x 80g fillets of red snapper, scored ½ cm deep on the skin side
  • Salt


  • ½ cup dried hibiscus flowers, soaked for 30 minutes in one cup of warm water then strained


Roast the tomatillos in a dry pan or comal on a medium heat until tender. Reserve.

Crush the garlic and salt together in a mortar and pestle, then add the remaining salsa ingredients one at a time, crushing gently until well incorporated. Season and reserve.

Bring a heavy-based 25 cm saucepan to a medium to high heat, add the olive oil and season the pan with salt. Quickly add the fish fillets skin side down and immediately place a pan on top to ensure the skin sets flat to the heated pan. Lift the top pan off the fish after two minutes, then continue cooking until the flesh of the fish is cooked two thirds of the way through, indicated by the change of colour from translucent to white. Turn over to finish cooking, it will need only a little more time.

Serve immediately with salsa verde and garnish with hibiscus flowers.

Note: Hibiscus flowers are sold as flor de Jamaica in the Mexican section of speciality food stores or Mexican grocers.

Recipe and images courtesy of SBS Food.

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