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Mesquite-Smoked Caribbean Style Whole Red Snapper


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  • 1 whole red snapper - (3 1/2 to 4 lbs) scaled, cleaned
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper julienned
  • 1 yellow bell pepper julienned
  • 1 Vidalia or other sweet onion julienned
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup julienned ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 Scotch bonnet pepper ribbed, seeded, and small diced
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup dark rum
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons cane or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup Mesquite wood chips soaked for 1 hour


Servings 4


Step 1

Make 4 or 5 deep diagonal cuts into the flesh of the fish on both sides of the fish. Season the snapper both inside and out with the salt and black pepper. In a mixing bowl, combine the red pepper, yellow pepper, onion, and cilantro, set aside.

Place the snapper in a large casserole dish. Stuff the cavity of the fish with the pepper/onion mixture. In a small bowl mix the ginger, garlic, and the Scotch bonnet pepper, rub this mixture all over the fish being sure to rub the cavity and the slits on either side.

In a separate mixing bowl combine the coconut milk, rum, lime juice, sugar and olive oil. Pour this mixture over the snapper and wrap with plastic. Refrigerate and let marinade for 2 hours before smoking. Be sure to turn the fish 3 times during the marinating period.

Set-up the grill using an indirect cooking method (the coals are pushed to the sides of the grill and the fish cooks in the center of the coals), and sprinkle the Mesquite wood chips over top the charcoals. Place the marinated snapper in a fish basket and place the basket on the grill. Cover the grill and let the fish cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the flesh flakes and breaks away from the bone.

This recipe yields 4 servings.

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